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I Want to Fight

I was looking at my BBC News ticker this morning, trying to keep up with the newest and freshest information about the world when I came across the most interesting of articles.

Frustration from US soldiers who never went to war.

...[M]uch to the surprise of many civilians, when his service came to an end in 2006 and he hadn't served in a combat zone, Mr Agg was sorely disappointed.

But in an all-volunteer military, those who sign up are steeled for their possible fate, so missing out on a battlefield tour can be a source of frustration, disgruntlement and, for some, shame.

Many in the armed forces feel that too few civilians fully appreciate the drive to serve in combat.

"The root cause of the misunderstanding is that the average person wouldn't actually want to volunteer for the military, so they don't understand that motivation to fight in war zone in the first place," Mr Agg,

Okay, first of all, let my qualify myself by saying that I hardly think I am the average civilian. I have a brother and a husband who have both been to Iraq. I have five more brother-in-laws and a father-in-law that have served in the military (the majority of which have seen combat). I have a two star banner hanging on my wall... that would be next to the flag Ralexwin received for his service.


In my jewelry box I have a shell from the gun salute Ralexwin's father recieved at his funeral.

My qualifications for having an opinion on this are not 'average.' 

There's a mentality within the military, only exacerbated by media coverage such as this, that you should want to go to war. That anything less than a full desire to join in combat is unpatriotic and unmanly.

Ugh.

Last time I checked war wasn't something to be glorified or desired. I've seen both ends of a wartime deployment, I've seen perfectly good people come back angry and traumatized by what they've seen. It may well be something that soldiers 'think' they want, but it turns out to be something else entirely.

In fact military retention post-deployment drops significantly. Soldiers get out as fast as they can after going to war.

I wanted to share with you some of Ralexwin's letters to me, to show you exactly what he dealt with,  I wanted to show you the descriptions he had of places like Fallujah...but I can't find them (I'll keep looking).

There is a blog I've become enamored with recently called PTSD: A Love Story. It's the daily struggles of a woman whose husband is suffering from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was deployed to the Middle-East twice and began showing the signs of trauma. When he approached his commanding officers about the problem they gave him a choice--You can go home now or you can wait out the last two months.

I think it is wrong, fundamentally wrong to require a man in such a state to make that sort of choice. In reality the underlying options were a)go home like a weakling b)stick it out cause it's not that bad.

That is WRONG!

When the war in Iraq first started Ralexwin said to me "I think I should volunteer to go." My immediate response was.... "You already volunteered."

That's the problem! Signing up for the armed services doesn't seem to be enough. Never mind that you're at the whim of the powers that be, you have to WANT to shoot people. You have to be the first person in the line to step forward... and if you aren't then people like Mr. Agg make you feel bad.

Okay... that's all I can get out of my head. The kids won't let me have five seconds to myself so if it all seems jumbled and unedited it's because it is!

Tomorrow I'll be blog swapping with Evelyn again.... so be nice. :)

Comments

Ivy said…
I agree that war is insanely glorified sometimes. I grew up with a mom that had uncles, cousins and friends that went off to WWII and then Korea. She described how many of them would find a way to sign up when they were too young to get in because they thought they were off to some glorious day in the making of history. Then they would come home with the reality and sadness of it all.

I am all about defending ourselves and I believe that war is unavoidable sometimes. Having said that, I would never try to or want someone else to try to portray it as anything other than the horrifying sadness that it is.

I was very surprised at my husband about a month ago. He told me that he believed they should have instituted the draft for Iraq. His reason why was that it isn't fair for the guys who have had to go over there several times and for such a long time. He also felt that there are not enough people in this country that realize the cost of our freedom and this would certainly wake a few people up.

I agree with his reasons but not much would scare me more than to see it happen.

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