How much of your life has America been at war?

I ran across this interesting tidbit in the Washington Post. It was regarding a recent commencement speech given by Martha Radditz…

The speaker was ABC journalist Martha Raddatz, and the point is the key one in the intro: The graduates have spent half their lives with America at war.

It’s a startling idea, but an incorrect one. The percentage is almost certainly much higher than that.

It included a chart to determine the amount of wartime for one’s age. I was born in 1960, so according to the chart 44.6% of my lifetime America has been at war. Indeed, anyone born after 1985 more than half of their life America has been at war.

But that state of war, we are told (I am too young to know better) feels different than America during World War II or, particularly for the college-aged, Vietnam. Moreso than those wars, war today is distant, fought on our behalf.

That’s Raddatz’s other, perhaps more important point: Young Americans have lived in a country at war for almost their whole lives, but they have to be reminded of it.

One thought on “How much of your life has America been at war?

  1. I’m a full decade older and I’m still at 43.1%. Almost half of my life. Eisenhower’s speech on the military-industrial complex is our new reality.

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