Clearly, Bush is impervious to advice from his military commanders so this dire warning from joint chiefs that the military and their families are cracking under the strain leaves Bush unmoved.

At a key juncture in the Iraq war, the military chiefs conveyed to President Bush on Friday their concern about a growing strain on troops and their families from long and repeated combat tours.

Bush met privately at the Pentagon with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Defense Secretary Robert Gates in preparation for decisions about how long to sustain the U.S. troop buildup in Iraq, whether to change course this fall and how to save the health of a heavily stressed Army and Marine Corps.

Indications are that Bush intends to stick with his current approach, at least into 2008, despite persistent pressure from the Democrat-led Congress _ including some prominent Republicans _ to find a new course.

As a military family dealing with a damaged veteran I am acutely aware of the enormous financial and emotional burden placed on families like mine by this occupation. This burden is not shared by the nation but shouldered almost exclusively by the soldiers and Marines and their family members who love them. We are fortunate enough to have good friends who donated time, effort and money to help my son but not all families are as blessed. Even with their help it will be a long time before we recover financially from the burden placed upon us by an uncaring and unprepared governmental system. Many families I know are suffering and have no one to turn to and watch in stunned disbelief as their battered and exhausted warrior is returned to Iraq again and again.

Where are all those ‘support the troops and their mission’, flag waving patriots? Why aren’t they seeking out and helping military families?

The stubborn, worthless ‘stay the course’ mentality has allowed the deaths of 1,800 Iraqis in August alone.