A Vivid Reminder of the “True Cost of War”

SANTA BARBARA — A vivid reminder of the true cost of war was displayed on a Central Coast beach.

As Veterans Day weekend is coming to a close, a passionate Santa Barbara group is reminding people that America is still at war.

On Sunday, Veterans for Peace resurrected its Arlington West display and also read the names of the fallen.

They spent hours reading the names, but each one was read with the same respect.

“These men and women have families that will grieve forever,” said Toni Wellen, a Carpinteria resident.

It is the 8th anniversary of Arlington West.

Community members and leaders gathered at Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara for a special tribute on Sunday.

“I hope people take away the sense of what the true cost of war is,” said Mary Johnston, a member of Veterans for Peace.

As they do twice a month, veterans for peace pounded hundreds of white crosses into the sand in honor of the men and women who died in Afghanistan, but this Sunday was a little different.

The crosses served as a dramatic backdrop, while the names of the fallen were read.

Veterans for Peace has also created a wall in memory of the troops killed in Iraq.

Thousands of names are engraved on it.

“I put together all the names on the Iraq wall — and for the list for Afghanistan — it’s really hard, it’s really hard,” said Ron Dexter, a member of Veterans for Peace.

President Obama has announced that all combat troops in Iraq will be home by the end of the year.

The group hopes Americans take that news to heart.

“We have troops coming back that need an incredible amount of help, PTSD, TBI — traumatic brain injury –are very big issues,” said Dexter.

Source: http://www.kcoy.com/story/16029898/a-vivid-reminder-of-the-true-cost-of-war