Then there is the deeper meaning, and you don't have to dig all that far to get there: What is he is saying about being Commander in Chief? That any harm that befalls any soldier is too great a burden for that soldier's parent that he will be cowed into not engaging militarily? A volunteer military, composed of adults, who accept that disfiguring injury and even death may be the price they pay for their service, is not something that the CinC will deploy because of those risks, despite the fact that those who will suffer have accepted the risk? As I explained to my son, it would be like me going to his school and arguing that the anxiety that testing provokes is too great a burden on such young children, and they should do away with testing altogether. Kind of makes it hard for a school to fulfill its educational mission, doesn't it? So, if we don't accept the risk of injury and death to our soldiers, sailors, and airmen, how can the military fulfill its mission? The Dems might conceive of the military as a government program that gives jobs to rednecks and produces future PTSD sufferers, but a lot of us think of the military in far different terms.
This is the kind of weepy, addled thinking that will forever prevent me from being a leftist. While I occasionally sympathize with their intended goals, this isn't one where I do. And even when I do (e.g., expand educational opportunity), I find their tactics to be geared more to creating and sustaining a voting bloc (e.g., the NEA), than toward actually accomplishing the goal. And they are utterly resistant to accountability: if the program fails but the voting bloc materializes, then sustain the voting bloc, failure to meet goals be damned.
On the bracelet, here is a good NY Post piece; an excerpt:
"I've got a bracelet, too," Obama said - given to him by the mother of a dead soldier who asked Obama to "make sure that another mother's not going through what I'm going through."
Here lies the difference between these two men:
Obama will accept defeat if continuing on hurts too much. For McCain, any mission where defeat is an option is a mission not worth fighting in the first place.