default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Steve Hansen: Afghan war rages on out of the media spotlight

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 12:00 am

Her name was Army Capt. Jennifer M. Moreno. She was from San Diego. Capt. Moreno was killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on Oct. 6.

Army Spc. Angel L. Lopez, of Parma, Ohio, died Oct. 5 as a result of wounds from a firefight in the same area of operations.

Still another, Army Staff Sgt. Richard L. Vasquez, of Seguin, Texas, died Nov. 13 from wounds also caused by an IED.

Unfortunately, these are not isolated cases but typical of what is still happening in Afghanistan every day. Losses from combat deaths range between one to 15 military personnel each week in a war that never seems to end.

We are losing some of America’s finest. All of them volunteered to serve their country without reservation.

The war has been ongoing since Oct. 2001. Since that date, almost 2,300 service members have been killed and approximately 19,500 have been wounded in action. It’s the longest active conflict in American history, at the cost of untold billions of taxpayer dollars.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of all is that Operation Enduring Freedom has all but been forgotten by the national media and the American public. It’s a rare event to see reports of weekly casualties in this endless conflict.

One thing that makes this war so unusual from past major conflicts is the lack of public and media participation. As a contrast in World War II for example, just about everyone played their part — whether it was in military service, working in equipment-producing factories, food and energy rationing, buying war bonds — even saving old toothpaste tubes for metal content.

Now, people can go about their business relatively carefree without a second thought of what is happening to their fellow Americans over 7,000 miles away.

I didn’t know Jennifer Moreno, Angel Lopez, Richard Vasquez or the hundreds of other service members who have been killed in this 13-year operation. Like most, I have not been directly affected. But I still grieve for the families. I know their losses can never be replaced, and their lives have been altered forever.

Recently, the U.S. and Afghan governments tentatively agreed to continue American participation in this war for an unspecified number of years. As of this time, troop deployments could range from 8,000 to 15,000. But news stores have already emerged that President Karzai is refusing to sign the pact.

Whether the United States can continue to successfully support a corrupt central Afghan government, coupled with various tribal conflicts throughout the country, remains to be seen.

This war will most likely continue without much national media attention. No debate will take place. Unfortunately, most of the public will remain unaware of the many ongoing and future personal tragedies.

But service members from all races, backgrounds and genders will still be in the fight. Mothers, fathers, sons and daughters are yet to be sacrificed in a war that has realistic objectives yet to be defined.

Steve Hansen is a Lodi writer and former serviceman.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Recent Comments

Posted 2 hours ago by Jeff Tillett.

Posted 2 hours ago by Mike Adams.

article: Letter: Our leaders need to be better r…

You would think, over the course of the last year or two here, there were enough annecdotes, mentioned here about racism in Lodi, that ther…


Posted 3 hours ago by Mike Adams.

article: Lodi police identify Sacramento woman, …

Is she really short, or is the photographer standing on a ladder? Do police mug shot picture takers compete for a prize, showing their bes…


Posted 11 hours ago by Bob Marconi.

article: Letter: Ron Portal’s letters repeat the…

To sum up: Thanks, Obama, for nothing.


Posted 14 hours ago by Mike Adams.

article: Letter: Ron Portal’s letters repeat the…

Careful Eric.....you're use of facts can cause confusion. In the end, the conservative will rely on the well heeled investigations by vast…



Popular Stories



Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists