On absence

Sue was gone on business for a week and returned Thursday. We’ve been married two years, this was the first time we’d been apart that long, and I missed her a lot.

Imagine what it must be like for newlyweds in the Armed Forces and Reserves when a spouse gets shipped to Iraq for a year. Not only is it a long separation, it’s dangerous over there, with the real chance the spouse could come back maimed, in a body bag, or waking at night screaming in terror from nightmares.

For reservists, they may lose their home or car, as the microscopic pay they get won’t hardly make the mortgage or rent. Maxed Out talks about this, and about how US soldiers often have huge amounts of credit card debt, much more than the citizenry at large. That’s because they can’t make it on what they’re paid.

Spousal abuse increases when a spouse comes back from a war zone. Often, who comes back isn’t the person who left. They’re colder, tenser, more violent.

No one ever really recovers from war. And now the Bushies are sending ever increasing numbers to Iraq to stay there even longer, more cannon fodder from their insane wars.

“Just another poor boy / off to fight a rich man’s war” –Steve Earle

  • dj

    “Fate makes demands of flesh and blood. And what does it demand most? Flesh and Blood.” –Russian proverb.
    “Forward he cried from the rear, and the front rank died.” –Pink Floyd.
    “Some folks inherit star spangled eyes– Ooh, they send you down to war, and when you ask them, “How much should we give?” They only answer More! more! more!” –Creedence Clearwater Revival

    Our local guard unit is the 222, which spent a lengthy time in Iraq. When one of them gets killed, all of the flags in town– even at Home Depot– goes to half mast. The county is rightly proud of their service.

    OTOH I have seen war myself, for a short time and not in a military capacity, and I wholeheartedly agree that war changes you. Even after my short exposure, I have never been the same.

    The best way to ensure that some yo-yo doesn’t send your kids off to war is to make sure their kids have an equal chance of going. That means a draft– and not one where the fortunate sons get a pass, but one with real teeth. As long as the men making the decisions (and yes, they are all men) do not take the risk, they’ll be sending cannon fodder anywhere it suits them (or is profitable).

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