Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Stop, Hey, What's That Sound?

Everybody look
what's going down.

The storms that tore through the DC area were the perfect portents for the rest of this week.

I've tried, at times, to understand the rabid pro-war side. I still don't get it.

In November 2005 the Army claimed that they were no longer calling people up off of Inactive Ready Reserve.

For those not aware, IRR is like the reserve for the Reserve. When you sign a military contract, it's typically for four years Active duty and four years IRR.

When they pull people off IRR, it means that the military is overstressed and needs to augment its forces to minimize deployments. They first began calling up IRR in 2004.

My brother-in-law had received notice that he would be activated. We couldn't figure out why they would need him. He was Motor T - he repaired and drove vehicles. That kind of job doesn't usually have shortfalls that would require pulling people off IRR.

My brother-in-law was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He's well over Army weight limits. He has a one-year-old son, my nephew, Thomas. He and my sister work opposite schedules so that someone can be at home with Thomas; They can't afford child care.

He appealed his orders.

They rejected his appeal. He leaves on July 30. My sister has to quit her job so she can stay at home with Thomas. And worry.

Tell me: When you send an emotionally-unstable, out-of-shape soldier into harm's way, tear him away from the life he was building after the Army and send him to Iraq to kill or die, how does that help anyone?

Tell me: How bad is it that the Army has to call up the IRR?

Tell me: Why can't I find any reference to continued IRR callbacks from the Pentagon or on any news sites?

Tell me: Is this what it looks like when the mission is accomplished?

This is what happens when a leader of our nation can't admit his own errors.

I'm beyond angry at this point.

And to add to that, my grandmother-in-law has been diagnosed with a tumor in her lung. They're pretty sure it's benign, but they want to do treatment anyway. At her age (93 years old), any procedure is bound to be risky.

This has been one ugly week.


Thomas said...

My condolences, of course.

Patrick Dugan said...

I'm amazed that they would publicly announce a discontinuance of IRR activiation when they're clearly still doing so nine months later. You should go public with this somehow, its fairly newsworthy considering.

I'd hope such action would alleviate this anger your feeling.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear such news :-(

It's difficult to channel one's anger when the people making such destructive decisions have isolated themselves so completely from the general population. I hope you will find a way.

Josh said...

That's horrible.

Reading stuff like this makes me hate to hear the standard platitudes like "staying the course" or "you can't cut and run" or whatnot even more.

My feelings on the wars are mixed. I never thought we should go into Iraq and we've blundered into a horrible situation. I just wish the public discourse knew specifics like this rather than the diatribes our politicians spit out.