Tuesday, June 19, 2007

US Revisits Length of Iraq Combat Tours

I was revolted to read that the Army is once again revisiting the length of Iraq combat tours. The Acting Secretary of the Army says “We have to look into our options” including utilizing forces from the Navy & Air Force so as not to put more pressure on the already stretched active duty force.

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va said, that after four years of combat, the strategy in Iraq cannot "justify doing this to the soldiers in the Army and the families back here." (Senator Webb has recently introduced legislation to restrict the length of deployments, and to maintain at least a "one for one" ratio between deployments, unless a national emergency occurs. This is how to support the troops.)

Sen. Joe Lieberman, Traitor-Conn., disagreed and said the Army should do more to add soldiers to its payroll. With our military stretched thin, we've got to be creative about where we might find fresh troops.

I've got an option that I'm sure Lieberman has not considered. He is the proud father of 4; 2 young men and 2 young women. Here's a photo of the happy family, I'll let you decide how many of them look fit for military service. The Senator's website claims he advances public policy that honors the core American values of responsibility, opportunity, and community. What better way to demonstrate these values than sending your children to serve in the military? It's just a thought.

Military families know well the burden that more than 4 years of war, extended duty, and multiple deployments have brought to our families with resultant PTSD, increased number of divorces and suicides and other extreme stressors. Increasing the length of combat tours will also surely increase the numbers of wounded and dead.

With more than 30,000 wounded and dead Americans and countless displaced and dead Iraqis, it’s time to consider all options, including the one thing that doesn’t seem to be under consideration- ending this occupation and bringing the troops home NOW!

It’s the least they can do for an already stretched military and their families.

When will the rest of the country accept and bear some responsibility for this endless war? It is long past time to show respect to the men & women who have borne the burden of this unnecessary war as they selflessly serve their country. Despite their status as professional soldiers, they are real men and women who love and hurt and feel and experience fatigue & stress. They deserve better than being treated as if they are little plastic army figures.

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