I had hoped to retire this blog, it served it's function at the time, yet, I have not lived easily knowing that the potential for another Bush administration was a possibility. While with every fiber of my soul and being, I worked against such an outcome, knowing it would mean more war in Iraq, more war in other countries, it looks like we have four more years with Bush at the controls. My kids, who already served in Iraq, will be sent again, I feared, and this blog has not yet seen it's end time.
I left it, rather unattended, to serve as a placemark and prayed never have to pick it up again and resume entries into this blog. It is a tragedy that I have to keep it going, as my loved ones are being sent back to Iraq for 2nd deployments.
My dear son-in-law, the mainstay and backbone of his family which are my daughter and their three children, my grandchildren....he's just received orders for redeployment to Iraq. On top of a second deployment, he also now is under Stop Loss orders. He was due to have his enlistment completed in 2005 and now with Stop Loss he would not be able to get out of military as scheduled. He has already served in Iraq 2003-2004 in a 15 month tour, 1st Armored, and was caught up as was all of the 1st Armored troops in a last-minute extension in April 04, at exactly the time he was scheduled to come home. NOT. Another three months in Iraq.
His cousin, my nephew, is awaiting orders now and is himself a husband, a father and they are expecting their second child. He also served 15 months in Iraq, 1st Armored, and was extended at same time as my son-in-law. He has served previously in Bosnia. He is awaitng his own orders for a 2nd tour in Iraq. Another tour in Iraq, and this is more war and combat than a young person should have to see or bear.
Both will do their mission, and I do not speak for them but I do speak up on their behalf and not necessarily with their permission yet they do know I have been doing all in my limited power as a military family, a mother, a civilian, to do what I can to halt the carnage and destruction that are the features of collateral damage, words used so impersonally to describe the stink and death of war.
What is appalling besides everything about how the troops needs are under-met, and how badly they are being exploited is that his choices now look like this:
Re-enlist in March. No, you don't want to re-enlist? Well you already have orders to redeploy to Iraq and you are already under Stop Loss orders so you won't be getting out any time soon anyway. If you don't re-enlist, you'll be serving anyway and in Iraq, while the rest of the guys get their bonus for re-enlisting, you won't be getting yours and will be serving beside them anyway.
What limited choices are these and does our public know that the all-volunteer military has fallen through trickery and deceit, misleading to even false information into an entrapment. They can't get out! That, friends, is a long way from "volunteer".
The troops cannot be recycled over and over again to Iraq without grotesque expense to themselves and their families which seemingly, if I am to judge by the civilian response in our country, is just fine so long as no one else in our country but the military families and troops have to bear the burden. That argument, "well they volunteered didn't they" doesn't carry water anymore. It may have started out that way, but so much has changed along the course, that this is a long, long way from anything resembling an "all volunteer military".
Not unlike the Iraqis themselves, our troops are trapped in a war-torn country in a war ordered and sustained by our own government and seemingly a majority of this country's citizens. Please, please tell me, WHAT is the reason now?
Having lived through almost 3 years of lies and deception spouted by the administration, I have endured listening to the citizens catch hold of propaganda and repeat it ad-nauseum with little thought to the words they are gleefully repeating . I have seen our mainstream news turn itself away from it's origins as news reporting to become more of the propaganda, lies, deception and treachery which keeps our kids (and our old men hauled back into active duty) in Iraq. But one by one the lies have come to light, yet our citizenry champions the newest and latest excuses for why we are there and why the troops must stay.
I had hoped to retire this blog when my son-in-law and nephew came home from Iraq. I built it only to give them a record to look at when they returned. Now they will be returning to Iraq in second deployments, in large part, thanks to the deliberate ignorance and willfulness of our own citizenry, my fellow countrymen, my neighbors. I do not thank you or excuse you for your part in casting the death warrant vote but I also know the singular accountability and responsibility lies at the hands of our own President and Commander-in-Chief, George W. Bush.
So picking up where this blog left off, I will be recording again the conditions in our country, in our politics, in our citizen mindset, as our two loved ones are marched back to Iraq. To those so willing for this war, and the wars yet coming, as promised by the President in his Inauguration speech, I say, send your own if you are so committed to this man you cheer as your President, and bring mine home.