Perspective: Few Americans share Iraq war's sacrifices
WASHINGTON - Ask Navy corpsman Adam Shepherd what he wants Americans to know about his service in Iraq and he says it boils down to one thing. "Just don't forget that we sacrificed a lot to be out here," says the medic, stationed at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq.
It's a sentiment that many servicemen and women express. Five years after President Bush declared war on Islamic extremism, the military has lost 3,599 troops and spent $503 billion in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet unlike past wars, even unpopular ones, most Americans have contributed little directly. Tire and paper drives of World War II are a dim memory. An increasingly narrow slice of the population serves in the military.
Now, a growing number of observers question whether Americans should make some kind of sacrifice for what Bush himself calls the "decisive ideological struggle of our time."
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