Shared sacrifice


Sergeant Krause, who served with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, lives in a quiet middle-class subdivision not far from Fort Campbell, which is on the Tennessee-Kentucky border. Sprawled in his living room in jeans and a polo shirt, he seems happy. He’s safely home after serving three nerve-racking combat tours — one in Afghanistan and two yearlong tours in Iraq. He’s engaged to be married and will receive a degree soon from nearby Austin Peay State University. His commitment to the military, which he made while still in high school in Huntsville, Ala., will end in a few months.

But there is a definite edge in his voice, an undercurrent of bitterness, when he talks about the tiny percentage of the American population that is shouldering the burden of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We’re nowhere close to sharing the sacrifice,” he said. “And it should be shared, because it’s only in that sharing that society will truly care about what’s going on over there.

“Right now it’s such a small minority of families who have a stake in all of this. I hear people say things like, ‘We lost a lot of good people over there.’ I sort of snap around and say, ‘We? You didn’t lose anybody.’ You know what I mean?”