WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Jim McDermott spoke on the House floor in honor of the ten year anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War.“Ten years ago I stood on the House floor and said that we were entering a war under false pretenses. No weapons of mass destructions later, I have never been so sad to be right.” McDermott said. “We didn’t bother to learn about [Iraq’s] ethno-religious divides or the region’s history. We rushed into Baghdad, guns blazing, promising ourselves that we would be heralded as liberators.”
McDermott asked that we remember the human cost of the war and dedicate ourselves to improving soldiers’ adjustment to civilian life, saying:
“I hope this anniversary will remind us that a whole new generation of veterans is waiting for help reintegrating into civilian life. I believe it’s time to elevate our level of commitment to our veterans. I hope it will remind us that no lives, regardless of nationality, should be taken lightly. I hope it will remind us to ask ‘why’ next time.
“And I hope it doesn’t take another war to get the answer.”
McDermott also released a Congressional invitation today, asking other members to join him in sponsoring a bill to determine what more can be done to help veterans, families and communities affected by combat service, called the Commission on Veterans Care. The commission will make recommendations to Congress and the President on how to better meet the needs of veterans, create community outreach programs and make Memorial Day Weekend of 2014 a celebration and recognition of soldiers from recent and past conflicts.
Information on the Commission on Veterans Care can be found on McDermott’s website.