Iraqi war veterans are playing important roles at the Democratic party convention here they’ve marched, staged mock foot patrols on downtown Denver sidewalks and met with the former first lady to discuss health care issues for those who served in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. “The war has really changed this generation,” said David Bellavia, an Iraq veteran who helped form the group Vets for Freedom which advocates against an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Matthis Chiroux, of Iraq Veterans Against the War, walked around in military fatigues trying to get across what has happened to young men and women who served in combat. Two former members of the military, Rep. Patrick Murphy and Rep. Tammie Duckworth have been noticeable by their fight in Congress against the war.
The generation that is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan will not remain silent but intends to play a role in shifting their nation from a commitment to war towards one in which war is the last, not the first resort to a crisis. John McCain may have been a member of the military but he has lost contact with what those who have fought in Baghdad experienced in Iraq.