A few years back, Army veteran and political science professor Scott Althaus published an interesting study looking at how The New York Times covered wars.
The study took a random sampling of the newspaper's coverage from both world wars, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and the first three years of the Iraq war in order to compare news about military casualties and other human costs. Althaus was curious to understand whether people were more engaged and informed in recent conflicts than during the two world wars, but unfortunately, he found that the American public was no more engaged now than then. What he did find surprising was how news concerning casualties downplayed the human costs of war. There left much to be desired of how much the American public needs to learn about the sacrifices made by military veterans.
One of the big trends Althaus gleaned from his study was that rarely did The New York Times give attention to the wounded and those who made it home after their tour was finished. For example, during the period of the war of Iraq he studied, 4,800 American soldiers died while an additional 32,000 were injured -- yet, the Times mentioned casualties twice as much as the wounded. In previous wars, the same publication gave equal attention to both the dead and injured.
Of course, this study only covered one, albeit very prominent, American publication. But what it does illustrate is that in recent years many people have forgotten about the sacrifices outside of death that military veterans make for us. If you are interested in learning more about military veterans, whether for yourself or to share with family members and friends, we recommend including the following three great resources to expand your knowledge base:
3 Sources to Use to Learn More About the Sacrifices of Military Veterans
- PBS Learning Media Stories of Service - While this collection of historical pieces and personal stories from recent veterans is marketed more towards classroom use, there is value in this collection for people of all ages. Particularly notable is the PBS video The Way We Get By: Welcome Home which follows the story of a group of volunteers who have welcomed home more than 900,000 troops in one Bangor, Maine airport. In doing so, it nicely compares and contrasts those coming home experiences of soldiers who served across American wars.
- VALOR: Unsung Heroes from Iraq, Afghanistan, & the Home Front - Looking for stories of the selfless and life-changing sacrifices military members have made during their service for the country? Consider purchasing or borrowing this book from your local library. VALOR highlights nine distinct stories of personal sacrifice made in order to save other peoples' lives or to accomplish a necessary mission. This is a gripping book and a must-read for any interested in getting a more inside view of what some soldiers have experienced on the frontline.
- Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center - If you enjoy researching and learning about things at your own pace and discretion, then consider browsing the fantastic Veterans History Project made possible by the American Folklife Center and the LIbrary of Congress. In these archives, you'll find the personal stories of veterans from every conflict the United States has engaged in. Browse, read, and gain an understanding at your pace.
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It's a sad fact that many veterans continue to struggle due to their military sacrifices. Whether they're in need of emergency services, transportation needs, or something similar in order to better integrate here at home, dreamOway is here to help. Learn how you can start a crowdfunding campaign and raise money for veterans at our website today.