Our war expenses are vastly under-reported, in dollars and lives damaged or lost. It is known that U. S. outlay for "defense" exceeds these costs for the rest of the world combined.

I have no doubt that our costs for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have added more than $7 trillion to our deficit in just 12 years, with no end in sight. (This data is available at www.costsofwar.org).

Maybe wars should be "sequestered?" Our last military victory came at the end of World War II in 1945 (69 years ago).

In 1945, this country and our allies forced three axis members -- Germany, Italy and Japan -- to surrender unconditionally. (During that war, I served in the U.S. Army, ages 19 to 21). Sixteen million Americans served in uniform during that war, which the United States and the Allied Forces won, overwhelmingly.

In no war since 1945 has there been any benefit to our country, only worldwide conflict, imposed by feckless politicians using false claims. And the deaths continue and the mourning goes on, today, and every day.

This, too, is something worth remembering as we observe this Memorial Day.

Alan Beasley