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For the first seven years or so of our necessary war in Afghanistan, and our elective war in Iraq, the American public was denied access to pictures of flag-draped caskets coming back from those conflicts.

Throughout my time in service, our leaders have never been shy about telling us who we work for (the American public, by the way), and therefore, how to conduct ourselves daily to make them proud and supportive of our service. Yet, somehow it was decided that our employers (American public again) couldn’t be trusted to gaze upon dead young Americans, or to see battlefield photos of dead and dying American servicemembers that they’d (by way of our elected officials) sent into battle.

Our military is financed by the American people, with even the military servicemembers paying their fair share. We work for the American public, which makes it our duty to be truthful and honest with them, even if that means we have to show proof of the horrible consequences of their (the American public’s) willingness to send and keep our forces engaged in battle.

If we withhold evidence of the most significant and true cost of war (dead and wounded young Americans) from our employers, we truly disrespect their (the American public’s) place in our society as a whole.

Senior Master Sgt. Burl StubblefieldRamstein Air Base, Germany

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