09 January 2008

Disappointed Veteran


I feel what I have to say is rather negligible. I am a veteran, married to a veteran, and mother of a veteran.

Our families (my husband's and mine) have had someone in practically every armed conflict in American history. We are mostly blue collar folks and patriotic in the old fashioned way: serve, but verbally blast the government at the same time if they screw up. I am religiously what sometimes disdainfully is described as a secular humanist, afflicted with inconvenient bouts of mysticism.

In 2003, I built what I call The Walk of the Fallen Iraq War Memorial
Labyrinth in my town to honor and serve the men and women dying in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. My sense of outraged justice, and a spiritual thing harder to describe drove me to this act of physical labor and mental anguish.

But the real reason I write today? None of that. . . not for the dead now that I appeal, but for the living. Since WWII
America has prided herself on the mercy of not sending a family's final son into a war zone. Well, the bean counting MBA-educated rulers of the military now have "rotation schedules" that neatly avoid that piece of humanism. They
send married couples with children to the SAME war zone. They don't care, in other words, if they orphan those children.

I got out of the Army in 1979 rather than pursue my desired military career because they began demanding what they called a "parenting plan," in which you would send your children so they could then deploy both of you to nasty places. I could not, in good conscience, do that to my kids.

But today, Jan 9th, a young couple I know left for Iraq -- leaving a toddler and infant behind, perforce military demands for both of them. They are bound for the very same base in the very same combat zone. They could conceivably die side by side on the very same day. Bonus? The mother's unit lacks funds, so although she goes to a base that receives mortar fire routinely, she gets NO body armor.

Supporting the troops, right? Children can't vote and have no advocates. . . and the military doesn't care if they have no parents left, either. I hope my pagan friends are right; I hope there are pissed off Goddesses out there!

--by Labrys

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