Former Sergeant Bob Evers, a 14-year Army and Navy veteran now living in Bavaria, fought in both Gulf wars and left the Army on a medical discharge. Tim Wegner photo via Der Spiegel
Those of us in the States don't think about it very much, but the mere experience of living somewhere else seems, sometimes, to be opening the minds of U.S. soldiers based abroad in unexpected directions.
Or this story:
Being in somebody else's country can change people, but this is something many in the United States never experience. Only some 20-25 percent of U.S. citizens even have passports. And we are becoming more oblivious to the rest of the world every day according to journalist Alkman Granitsas. Some dismal facts:
- Only half as many U.S. colleges students (a measly 8.6 percent in total) study a foreign language as did 40 years ago.
- Since 1972, with the sole exception of 2004, the Gallup polling organization reports that U.S. voters ranked the state of the economy as a more important than "foreign affairs." The previous generation of voters had foreign affairs at the top of their agenda.
- "The latest trend for newspapers, magazines, and television is to cut down on foreign reporting. Foreign bureaus are closing down all over the world, often with the excuse that readers are more interested in potholes in the streets and local City Council elections," mourns H.D.S. Greenway.