Monday, February 15, 2010

Support the Diplomats too!

In case you haven't heard - we're at war in Afghanistan.

And while the troops there definitely deserve our support - they get shot at, after all - most people tend to forget that we have diplomats in danger too.

Diplomats like my brother - working somewhere in Helmand province, trying to settle our problems peacefully, trying to help the Afghan people create better lives for themselves so they aren't so easily tempted by the Taliban to do bad things.

Those diplomats live in the same conditions as our troops - they share shipping containers and tents, eat bad MREs, wear body armor, get shot at. Their families deal with the same stress, with occasional contact (email, skype) broken by long and scary stretches of nothing. They are there to make our lives better, because they volunteered. And they get paid government wages - meaning not that much considering the mortal danger they face.

What they don't get is public support. Where's the bumper stickers? The campaign rhetoric, the photo ops with public figures? Nowhere. Diplomats serve - and sometimes are injured or die - under the radar.

So next time you hear or read about Afghanistan or Iraq - take a moment and think about the civilians serving too. Support your local diplomat!