Monday, November 06, 2006



This is a guest editorial from a 37 year old woman whose husband is in the U.S. Army Reserve and in Iraq-- again. She and her 3 children live in Quincy, Illinois. Quincy is in Adams County, the very westermost extreme of the state. Although county supported Bush over Kerry in 2004-- 20,788 to 10,467-- Quincy has been sliced out of the 18th CD and thrown into the 17th, a more Democratic district. She submitted this piece to the local newspaper and they rejected it. I think it's worth reading:

My husband has been deployed for two of past three years. He was first deployed with the National Guard, and now he is deployed with the Reserves, and he is currently serving in Iraq. I have reached the point where I am angry, upset and frustrated with all things military and even civilian when it comes to deployment. I’m tired of people with yellow ribbon magnets on their cars, I hear all the time from everyone how grateful people are of the sacrifices my husband and I make for our country, and at this time it just makes me want to choke humanity.

I’ve always encouraged my husband when it came to the military. I’m done. I’ve always supported my husband in serving. I’m done. I’ve always supported the military. I’m done. I’ve always encouraged my husband to stay until he’s done his 20. I’M DONE! I supported his decision to re-enlist while he was in Iraq. I’m done! I encouraged my sons and their friends to join the military. I’M DONE!

I really don’t care anymore if my country is grateful, or the person walking down the street or the checkout lady at the grocery store or even if the military is grateful. So far, for his service to his country, he has missed birthdays and holidays and anniversaries and graduations and all the little things in between. And everyone’s all so grateful for our sacrifices, until I ask for a little of someone’s time. Then it’s, oh, I’m sure you can figure out how do get it done on your own, we're busy, we have nothing for you, were not set up for that, maybe later, or I have problems of my own, good luck to you.

I’m done! I’m done, I’m done, I’m done! Stick a fork in me, I’M DONE!

I’m tired of being here alone. I’m tired of a family support network that doesn’t support. I’m tired of the military and their ass-backwards way of doing things. I’m tired of people not being competent enough to do their jobs, I’m tired of the runaround, I’m tired of hoops that must be jumped to salve someone’s ego to get something done. I’M DONE!

I’m sick of it. I’m sick of all of it. I’m sick of the president saying that we are bringing democracy to the Middle East. I’m tired of politicians who will say anything to cover their asses for this fiasco. I’m livid that people who have never been to war, never had to go through what my family and I have gone through, are making decisions that hurt our family, budget constraints, fiscal responsibility, whatever the excuses are to further cut back either military support or help for the families.

It’s not just one or two things that upset me, it’s everything... It’s the fact that it took three weeks, over a hundred phone calls and fit at a general’s office to find someone, anyone, to help me fix a broken window in my kitchen. It’s everything our family has sacrificed so that he could serve his country, so that his country could look and him and say, "And . . ?" It’s the military going on about how much they’ve improved family support, when the fact is, they’re not there for me or my family; I might as well live on the Moon for all the help I get. I’m just sick and tired of it, all of it, every last bit of it.

Am I beginning to sound a little resentful? Well I am.

I’m at the end of my tolerance for the military and their psychotic little ways of doing things. The military is not the world’s police force and shouldn’t be used that way. They put these soldiers in places we have no business being, doing things they weren’t trained or prepared for, and then everyone sits around and wonders why some truly horrible things have happened. I’m tired of the Reserves and the National Guard being treated like the unwanted stepchildren of the military. Go here, do this, stay there but don’t expect the same perks and benefits of active duty you’re only part-timers you know.

I receive only the most superficial help from the military, of the mostly unhelpful kind. I am offered counseling to deal with my frustration, but no help for the reason behind the frustration. I’m sure I could get drugs from a doctor that will make me not care about the problems, but no solution to the problems. I could get a note from the doctor that I needed a massage for the tension, but nothing that would cause that tension to go away. I could get money thrown at the problem, but then place an additional financial debt on my family that would need to be repaid and cause more stress and tension, since I’m the one responsible for maintaining the family’s resources.

I get at best lip service from people, platitudes about problems and incredulous looks that I might need some help while my husband is away. I get pats on the shoulder from people who know my husband is deployed and I want to bite that hand. I don’t need to be patted like a good doggy; I want genuine help in exchange for my husband being taken away from me. Is it so unrealistic that on occasion that I might ask something from my country in exchange for all of our sacrifices to it?

And I’m sick of the president and congress, of anyone having the gall to say, "We’re here to bring democracy to this region." Oh make me sick. We're there because there’s oil there; we’re there because we have a president with issues; we’re there still because there is no way out; we’re there because we have made such a mess of the place if we leave it really will be a hotbed for insurgents. We’re not there because God wants us there, and God didn’t tell the president to invade (you know what you call people who hear God speaking to them? CRAZY! That’s what!) and God doesn’t care who wins this war. My husband is not fighting for God, he’s fighting because he’s a soldier and his command told him to.

Yeah, I’m done.

We're not fighting them there so that we don’t have to fight them here. Has anyone bothered to notice that they are not a standing army, in an established country? They don’t care if we tie up a few insurgents in one country, they have more in other places. We’re probably doing them a favor by being there, entangling our soldiers and our resources in a region we’ll never truly control. Oh, you stupid, stupid self-deluded people! Reality isn’t want you want it to be, it is only what it is, with no regard for your personal feelings.

And you know what bites my ass the most? If my husband was doing the same job he is now but for Halliburton, he’d be make almost quadruple what he does as a soldier. How’s that for showing loyalty and support to our nation's finest? Come, join the military; you can work for less money, with fewer options, more constraints and harder conditions than your civilian counterparts. Doesn’t that just sound wonderful? That should be put on all military recruiting posters. There should be truth in advertising after all.


At 9:28 AM, Blogger Karim said...

Enough with the "cut-and-run" vs. "stay-the-course"! Bring them home now.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Karim said...

Bring them home now!

At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

she spoke, we listen

stick a fork in Iraq, it's done.

State's national guard units need to be on US soil protecting homelands, not agressively beating up Middle Easterners away from home.
The system SOMEBODY set up to support the branches of regular military with national guardsmen sucks. I don't care who did it politically, or when, it's broken now, and it sucks.
I hope Dems in congress have the balls to fix issues like that one.
Keep National Guardsmen on US Soil. It's that simple.

As for a pre-emptive war, whoa, what a backward step that has been for democracy and US citizens.

At 12:54 PM, Blogger TSop said...

A powerful and poignant statement. You could feel her seething with anger.

"I’m tired of a family support network that doesn’t support. I’m tired of the military and their ass-backwards way of doing things. I’m tired of people not being competent enough to do their jobs, I’m tired of the runaround, I’m tired of hoops that must be jumped to salve someone’s ego to get something done. I’M DONE!"

John Kerry screws up a joke and he is browbeaten by the bs media to apologize for "insulting the troops" - Commander Codpiece and Rummy put thousands in the position of this woman and they shrug and say "job well done". Hopefully tomorrow America says, "I'M DONE!"

At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm current in the Army myself and have been for 21 years. My husband has spent the best part of his Military life on Active service. My job is to accept, love and support him.
We have options. Leave or Stay and work through it.

I choose to stay because I believe the most important people in the world are, the children, & the Soldiers that protect them.


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