Let's Talk About the Military!
caught my eye today. I have, in fact been wondering when this shoe would drop. Funny how once again, it's a non-US paper talking about issues that vitally concern US citizens, but those issues aren't being addressed by our own media.
Active duty military folks have always understood that when the Country says "go fight", they go where they're told, do what has to be done and stay as long as neccessary. That is part of the deal, and it doesn't matter whether a soldier or sailor agrees with the reasons or not. They go. Period.
The National Guard has always had a different implication
. These folks are the "weekend warriors" who work at the hardware store, or in the office next to yours. One weekend a month, they train to be soldiers, usually at the reserve facility in your town. Once a year, they do "active duty" training for two weeks, often at a military base within a couple hundred miles of their home. If there's a natural disaster, they help with sandbags, relocation, police patrols and stuff like that. If there's a riot or civil insurrection, they help out at the direction of their State government.
Things have changed.
These folks never had any reasonable expection that they would be sent halfway around the world to fight a preemptive war. They never had any reason to believe that they would spend 12, and now 13 or 14 or more months in a hostile foreign country, with obsolete equipment
(good for floods and demonstrations
, not for war), stunned, unprepared families and impatient employers waiting at home.
Oh, and the best part: if they should happen to get injured or wounded over there, they don't have the same priority and access
to military hospitals and doctors that the "active duty" folks do.
So let me ask you a question: Are you or any of your relatives, friends or acquaintances planning on joining the National Guard? Didn't think so. Do you think the Guard might be having a bit of a recruiting problem soon? The Pentagon has temporarily solved their "retention problem" with active duty personnel by imposing "stop loss" orders
(you can't leave when your enlistment is up). Can/will the Guard do the same thing?
What will happen a couple years from now when the need for troops is as large or larger
, but recruiting has been zilch? Let me spell it for you: D. R. A. F. T.