Bring home our troops

Published 7:12 pm Friday, October 14, 2011

Last April, I wrote about vacationing in Cedar Key and indulging in one of my favorite pastimes while away from home — reading the local small town newspapers.

I reported then of a young man who grew up in Dixie County, who was a JROTC student while at Dixie County High School and then upon graduation entered into the service of his country.

In April, he was featured in his hometown newspaper, The Dixie County Times, as a wounded veteran of Afghanistan. Sgt. Robert Blumenberg was then recovering from loss of his lower left leg and damage to his right arm, and other injuries.

Email newsletter signup

His plight was reminded this week when I learned of a similar military combat accident in Afghanistan by Private First Class Ian Edge of Brinson when, on June 25, he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), which caused him to lose a portion of his right leg, and damage to one hand.

Both these young men have been awarded the Purple Heart for their bravery and wounds.

Edge, a medic, also was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with a Valor device for his actions to reach his critically injured platoon commander from a dangerous unsecured area in the face of the enemy.

These two young men represent similar cases of devastating injuries upon military personnel — both men and women — now serving their country in harm’s way. They willingly join our armed forces to do their duty, then return home physically maimed, some so seriously wounded that they may never resume even a small portion of a normal life.

We are now engaged in political debates from a series of Republican candidates seeking to be the next president of the United States.

Few have said anything about Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan, where thousands of our military personnel are waging the fight against the enemies of democracy.

I think it was in the second debate, when two of the candidates said, that the first act they would do as president, would be to issue an executive order to defeat the Obama health care legislation.

Seems like if we are going to continue fighting these overseas battles, we are going to need all the health-care programs possible. Let the health care issues survive.

Let us hear from any of these candidates who would say, “When elected President, the first thing I am going to do is issue an executive order ending these wars and bring safely home our people — NOW!”

Ian Edge appears to have the spirit that he will move on with his life, with plans to complete his rehabilitation, then has hopes to return home to begin studies in the medical profession.

All across America, our wounded return home with cheering welcomes from family, friends and neighbors, and a grateful nation. How much longer can we sustain the debilitating injuries on our brave young people? Let’s call it quits. Let’s get them out of harm’s way now. Let’s keep them whole while there is still time.

These wars are breaking our banks, costing billions a week to sustain. Calling the troops home would save lives, halt the maiming of their bodies, and heal the accounts of the nation as well.

If you Republican candidates or President Obama, too, want a real issue in this political season, issue that executive order.

Jim Smith writes a weekly column for The Post-Searchlight. You can leave a comment on his email at or on