The Iraq Conflict: The War That Changed Latinos

Last Saturday, quietly, without cheers, excuses nor lamentations, the Iraq War was over. Before dawn, the last convoy was crossing the international border to Kuwait, carrying a mixed load of soldiers and journalists.

During the previous weeks, troops were abandoning their bases, taking with them equipment, tanks and ordnance, and American flags. By the thousands, soldiers were coming back home.

Who is the soldier -- our youth -- that came back? How did they change?

I remember a political cartoon, now lost, in an American magazine at the end of the Vietnam war. Under the headline "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," a soldier walked down an empty avenue. Nobody welcomed him. Instead of a gun, he carried a syringe. This was that war's image.

And now? Will it be the unemployed young man?

Yes, because while unemployment at the national level is 9.2 percent, among veterans it is 11.4 percent, almost a quarter more, according to the Department of Labor.

But for Latinos and blacks, the percentage is much higher, reflecting their proportion among the nation's poor: 14 percent for Hispanics and 14.7 percent for African Americans.

To read more, go to the Huffington Post