Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dwell time

By Capt. Fogg

They call it dwell time; the amount of time at home between military tours and our troops aren't getting nearly enough of it. That's what an Army Captain told Joint Chief Chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen at his recent stop at Fort Sill, OK.

"That year we're back, it's just not good enough."

Mullen has been hearing a lot of that sentiment both in the US and at stops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"She has put her whole life, her whole career, and everything, on hold for me... And now I have to say, honey, I just got back, but we're moving. And when we get there, I'm gonna leave again," said a captain of his wife's efforts to return to college. "I can do that. That's what I do," the captain said. "But when it comes to hurting my family, sir, it's repulsive."

"Family considerations don't play a part in the assignment process." That's what another officer was told and that's what made him decide to leave the service.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, some coddled political warriors like Mel Martinez (R-FL) have been telling us that what these men and women who have been fighting for five years want is disgraceful to the troops and Commander Guy, who tells us so often that we have to give them everything they need, save adequate equipment, pay, medical benefits and time off, isn't interested in hearing "phony soldier" talk like that.

Mullen himself says: "I am not willing to see the United States military return to the kind of challenges that we had when I was young. We've got to figure out a way to make sure that family considerations are very much in play."

Just the kind of America-hating talk you'd expect from a guy who thinks our troops are real people rather than painted tin soldiers.

I expect that he will soon be corrected by true Americans like Rush who would most assuredly be over there himself save for his anal problem.

(Cross-posted from Human Voices.)

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  • Five months ago, my daughter boarded a plane bound for Iraq, her third deployment in 4 years.

    I call it “Family Life Interrupted.” Duty has kept her away from every holiday, birth, death, and other family milestones for the past four years. On the evening news, I watch the latest casualty figures and hope my daughter’s name will never appear on this list. Yes, the families of military personnel make their sacrifices too.

    Just because my daughter is a career officer does NOT mean she supports this war. On the night of Bush’s ultimatum to Saddam, she called me from Kuwait to say: “Dad, I don’t believe that itchy trigger-finger cowboy is doing this. We are under-equipped, under-trained and not ready for this.” Thus, incompetence and mismanagement marked the Iraq war even before the first shots were fired.

    Contrary to popular opinion (and neo-con propaganda), there are military officers and their families who never agreed with the rationale for war in Iraq. In the military, officers rarely express personal opinions; they are required to follow orders. In keeping with military policy, my daughter separates her personal opinions from her official duties. In deference to her, I too have kept a low profile. No longer.

    The Bush policy in Iraq has not liberated anyone. It has polarized and radicalized the peoples of the region. It has created a training ground for terrorists, paid in blood by innocent Iraqis. Meanwhile, the Bush/Cheney junta engages in fear mongering, violates our Constitution, and disregards civil liberties.

    Truth is: I have met the enemy. He is not Sunni, nor Shiite, nor Iraqi, nor Iranian. The enemy is our own government, those who voted for it and continue to make excuses for it.

    Does this comment sound bitter? You bet it is!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:43 PM  

  • Thank you for your comment. A lot of people share your bitterness and frustration and disgust with an administration that uses the military callously while accusing the public of not supporting them.

    You are absolutely right that George Bush and his cronies are our enemies; the apathetic public, the cheerleaders for war and the profiteers are our enemies and all the while the people who attacked us have never been punished.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 10:11 AM  

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