Friday, September 23, 2005


With Katrina and now hurricane Rita, somehow much of this loses its urgency but talking about things military shouldn't. We still have soldiers at war and soldiers who are dying. The count is nudging on toward 2000. I see this as a more than difficult time in the entire scenario. Right now, things domestic are on people's minds: the news clips have to do with hurricanes and things right here at home--Americans at all levels are suffering. And, to the average man on the street, fighting a war in Iraq, for whatever reasons the President and his die-hard supporters come up with, it does not resonate as it did before the Hurricanes!


With Katrina, it did seem to suddenly take a different turn when the troops showed up. One guy said, "I thought my country had abandoned me and then I saw the 82d Airborne." Now, that is an indorsement and rightly so. American soldiers like the 82d are the best trained in the world and could have alleviated much suffering in the first 72 hours of Katrina.

However, with all the Fauntleroy of supporting the troops, it is a sham; I want to say "what sort of show are people putting on?" Support the troops while at the same time headlines like "schools opt out" What this means is that schools are opting out of recruiters being allowed to talk to students. Does this speak volumes or what! NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). One mother said, "I don't want the military recruiters contacting her teenage daughters but she wants the teens to hear about college scholarships and job opportunities from other organizations." NIMBY! What she is all shook up about is the federal law, No Child Left Behind Act which requires that military recruiters have the same access to student information as educational recruiters. Schools that do not let the recruiters have at the students risk access to federal funds.


After Vietnam, vets got no sympathy mainly because the prevailing attitude was that if we weren't so stupid, we could have avoided Vietnam like most everybody else. What is the attitude now? Iraqnam? Maybe or maybe those hollow concepts of "support the troops" are really a mask for "my kids are too good for the military." I don't know and doubt anybody would admit it if they felt that way. And, until we have some sort of equitable AllServe, those troops who show up in New Orleans or Houston or wherever will come from a small segment of our culture. It ain't fair.

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