The photo of the body of a soldier returning from Afghanistan on the PG's Oct. 28 front page was heart-wrenching but necessary. It brought home the reality of the sacrifices of the current war. We read the news daily with a special pain as we lost our nephew Corey Kowall just a month ago.
The families of all those who give their lives or suffer grave injuries understand the war experience in a most personal and painful way. Our Corey was a bright, talented and courageous 20-year-old. He was killed while on a mission to rescue his comrades whose vehicle had been hit by an I.E.D. My brother lost his only son and there are grieving sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and many, many friends. Life will never be the same for us, and the same must be true for the families of every young person killed in this war.
We want these sacrifices to have some meaning, but Corey lost his life defending an outpost surrounded by Taliban where there were no Afghanis to protect. It was an effort simply to take land in a country we will never be able to control. We want our government and our allies to have a coherent strategy to bring this to an end.
Thank you for focusing attention on the most important cost of this war. As we approach the season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, we want more than words of comfort and hope. We want peace now and a foreign policy that avoids deadly conflicts at all cost. Money must be spent for peace and not money and precious lives for wars.
Although Corey willingly joined the military, he wanted to return home to more humanitarian pursuits. Like the soldier in your photo, he will never have that chance.