With the exception of flag officers having ego management problems, no veteran ever alive has expected to come home down a red-carpeted aisle. Confetti, cheering crowds, and marching bands were never in the daydream, either.
But, then -- a backhanded cuff, a knee to the groin, and a karate chop to the jugular wasn't supposed to be part of the plan, either.
It's not quite what we do, and have been doing for decades, but it's figuratively close. Of course, it gets worse than that, too. Far, far worse.
Take the story of one man, Christopher DeLara, who filed for disability after his tour in Iraq: The Army said it could find no records of him having been overseas.
After five years of fighting -- this time at home, against the military, and after tangling with these paperwork tigers, proving his case -- DeLara had divorced, was briefly homeless, and was escaping into drugs and alcohol.
Welcome Home, Soldier!
DeLara's story has a happy ending -- finally, at last, and after much effort he should not have had to expend. How many are still fighting those same paper tigers -- how many have given up?