Comments: OP-ED WOES

Interesting article and counter post where you take the guy apart piece by piece.

To be brutally honest, I don't want to go to Iraq although my command's asked me if I want to volunteer a number of times. I'm 43, I fulfilled my military obligation in 1989...although I didn't get out until 1992. I spend the remaining 12 years of my 20 in the IRR never having been called up. Last year I was unceremoniously tossed out of the IRR for not having completed Command and General Staff College to make me competitive for promotion to LTC and continued service. And actually, I was fine with that. I have a new life, a new wife, and two wonderful daughters. My days of 'walking the line' are over and I'm damned glad there are young men and women willing to take my place....just as I took the place of the Vietnam era veterans in the early 80s.

I agree with you that the author of this piece underestimates and doesn't understand the mindset that draw those of that serve into the military.

Some of us do it for the benefits...can't argue that the military has a pretty sweet benefits package that you're never going to find on the "outside."

Others do it for the education, experience and discipline that the military provides. There's nothing wrong with a kid out of high school making a decision to go out and see the world with one of the branches of the American military before buckling down and going to college, if that's where they're headed eventually. I have to admit, if I'm presented two candidates for a job position and they're exactly the same right down the line, the applicant with a military pedigree is going to get the job every time!

In any case, I've gotten out of hand yet again...posting like this was my blog. I know, I know...just the comments, MajorDad!

See you on the high ground...and thank you for your family's service!

MajorDad1984

Posted by MajorDad1984 at November 27, 2005 03:55 PM

I have no patience for people who bad-mouth the military. Usually, and that is probably the case with this author, they have never personally met a soldier...just seen one on TV. I love it how he speculates about soldiers, speculates about their motivations, and you just know, that he has never really talked with one.

Oh, the ignorance.

I'll make sure to take five minutes out of my privileged day to wonder: There but for the grace of God go I, ignorant and haughty, screaming bloody suicide at the thought of being so cowardly and misled.

Posted by CaliValleyGirl at November 27, 2005 04:00 PM

Sarah,

Pretty good job at slapping the idiot. I bet you are a Whack A Mole Queen with the keyboard. Good job, gal. You said it better than the rest of us can.

Subsunk

Posted by Subsunk at November 28, 2005 12:21 AM

Hey Sarah,
Man, I've read your blog a while (lurked I guess?) and never commented, but now after reading this, I want to find you and hug you. :) This made my day!

Posted by Christy at November 28, 2005 03:33 AM

What if, for instance, my parents hadn't gone into debt to provide me with a private-school education and the benefits it affords?

Well, he could have got a part-time job and worked his way through community college. He could have got a job that doesn't require a college degree. (They do exist. I don't have a degree, and I've never wanted for employment.) He could have... lots of things.

But yeah, the killer line: There but for the grace of God go I, drunk and naked, screaming bloody suicide at the thought of going back to Iraq.

He'd be peeling potatoes at boot camp for the duration with that attitude.

Posted by Pixy Misa at November 28, 2005 05:57 AM

I've seen this article before and yes that's EXACTLY why I don't want the draft. I would try to get there myself because I wouldn't want this man watching the six of my husband. So he can stay in his namby-pamby protected world while those that serve keep him and his private education a safe place to sleep at night.

HH6

Posted by Houshold6 at November 28, 2005 11:33 AM

Well said!

Posted by Vonn at November 28, 2005 08:29 PM

. . . most soldiers who don't have the "good fortune" of a "private-school education and the benefits it affords".

Why not have the best of both worlds? I'm pre-9/11, but in our student group, we have a growing number of OIF and OEF vets. In 2002, our president was earning his Bronze Star with 1st Bat in Afghanistan at the Ambush of Takur Ghar.

Eric Chen
Vice President
U.S. Military Veterans of Columbia University

Posted by Eric at November 29, 2005 12:18 AM

There were times in Iraq that I got pretty disgusted with the editorial content of S&S. A lot of us said we'd stop reading it if it weren't the only daily paper available. We constantly questioned "whose side are they on?"

I've turned down better paying jobs to return to the Army and stay Army. There is a sense of purpose that I can't find in the civilian world.

Randy

Posted by Raven1 at November 29, 2005 03:05 AM