Trip to Iraq was best use of O'Malley's time

March 15, 2010

On my morning drive to work recently, I heard on the radio that Gov. Martin O'Malley had just returned from Iraq. I turned up the dial to hear what the governor had to say about how our young soldiers were fairing. All that followed was commentary from the radio host that some folks were questioning the timing of his visit. There was no report about what our soldiers were doing, when they would come home, their living conditions, their morale -- nothing about anything other than whether the governor had misspent his valuable time.

I am an old soldier, and I know what it does to your soul when you feel forgotten by the people at home. These young warriors spend long nights and hot days that are mostly tedious, but sometimes terrifying. They are nourished by memories of their not-so-distant youth, and they are always counting the days until they can come home. A soldier at war is all about coming home.

Governor O'Malley cannot bring our neighbors, daughters and husbands home sooner. What he can do is to show these invisible heroes that the people of Maryland have not forgotten and do care about how they are doing, and that we all are counting the days until they come home.

There is no more valuable use of our governor's time. Thank you, Governor O'Malley.

Edwin Hirsch

The writer is president of the Maryland Service Disabled Veterans Association.

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