OK, I admit I never met anyone who was truly this clueless– but I came close. I did run across at least one person who had to be explained to that there was a war in Iraq as well as Afghanistan. Admittedly, they knew there was “some sort of war” going on in “some other place” but they didn’t know it was Iraq specifically. I suppose that could be just a random failure of geography, or mixing up Iraq and Iran, which isn’t so surprising considering how often Iran is in the news in unfriendly ways.
But overall, people back home just seemed really disconnected from what was happening in their name (and with their tax dollars and military personnel) in far-flung reaches of the world. I can’t help but wonder if veterans from other wars found people back home equally disengaged.