The figures are now in: Supporting a single soldier or Marine in Afghanistan costs a million bucks a year. Our school district recently asked everyone to dig into their pockets to maintain Manchester schools. The cost was two soldiers. Doctors Without Borders (USA) helps people in 60 countries—often risking their lives—through donations equivalent to 161 soldiers. Habitat for Humanity in New York City is building houses through benevolences that equate to ten soldiers.
Putting a price tag on education, health care and housing looks very different when they’re equated to expenses for military adventures. One is an investment; the other is an arbitrary expense. It’s the difference between a family separating its “needs” from its “wants.” Mine isn’t a question of where the money comes from. Just a moral awareness that an investment is better than a hazardous and costly expense.
It’s time to let the war makers know which is which.