There have been "good wars," but war itself is not a good in the same sense that being honest or generous is good. War always represents a failure--of diplomacy, of human cooperation. War can be good only in the sense that waging it is the lesser of bad choices. I.e., it is better to fight than to be enslaved, even though the killing and destruction that war entails is awful, because being enslaved and all it entails is an even worse outcome. At the individual level, it is better to kill some responsible parties than to allow innocents to be killed. Many morally right choices in war would be morally wrong in any other circumstance.
This explains why Soldiers often experience guilt after killing enemy combatants. They made the morally right choice, but it was still a lousy choice for a human being to have to make. There's still something that feels wrong, especially if they have not been educated candidly about what to expect to feel when they kill another human being.
The binary, good/bad language used by our politicians to promote or justify war is not only inaccurate, but it also contributes to the psychological trauma of veterans. A justified war is a necessary evil. Killing in war is a necessary evil. Except for the intense love forged among Soldiers who fight side by side, there is no genuine good created by acts of war.
Our combat veterans should absolutely be commended for exhibiting the physical and moral courage that is required to defend our values, lives, and liberty. A sovereign nation could not survive without them. But we--as a profession of arms, as a nation--need to do a much better job of being honest with our Soldiers about the moral reality of war. Even when war is justified and good in the circumstances, it's still fundamentally bad.
Does this make sense to others?