How you really support the troops

So I’m listening to public radio the other day, you know, the place where you can increase your I.Q. 5 points just by tuning in. Anyway, I’m listening to this discussion about the troops, and the “slow bleed” approach to cutting funding. And I hear this lady in the background saying that the democrats want to cut funding, stranding our troops, not supporting them. Have you ever noticed that those in Congress who’ve served in the military want to bring troops home, or limit further buildup, while those who have never worn the uniform are so quick to send in more troops as it’s their only answer? Why is it that all these military hawks usually are the ones that have never served in uniform? Probably from watching too many John Wayne movies I guess. Well, here’s a note to you, not only do soldiers die, their families are changed forever, and rarely for the better, especially the children.

Now don’t get me wrong, I consider myself a hawk, I’m a veteran, combat deployment, and I understand the importance and the reservation of committing troops. Warfare is always a last resort, when all, and I mean all options have been exhausted, and the threat to our security is imminent. When we commit to war, we have admitted that we have lost our civility and humanity, if even only temporarily. Our resolve has now been set to kill, destroy, and yes if I may say…murder, when civilians are affected. Smart bombs are not that smart.

So, back to this supporting the troops thing. Sorry for getting off track. You owe a soldier three things:

  1. training – how to soldier, how to fight, how to live, 8 weeks of basic training and four weeks in an MOS won’t do it
  2. resources – equipment, functional equipment, and lots of it. Also, the RIGHT equipment for the mission
  3. mission – what EXACTLY they are there for, what will they be doing
  4. timetable – how long will it last, of course it cannot be totally predicted, but provide one.

None of these have been provided for Iraq. Rep John Murtha is a combat veteran and has seen the horrors of war and the results of when civility breaks down. He is the LAST person that would abandon our troops. What he is say though, is that if you commit more troops, you MUST support them. That includes the four items above. Proper rotations, one year tour followed by one year “downtime” followed by one year of training. That’s the cycle for equipment, should apply to troops. Next, resources, the right equipment, not silly string to set off bombs, homemade armor for a HUMV, or other absurdities. Yes, we’re in a quagmire, but if we continue this war, then we truly need to support our troops, besides hanging ribbons, waving flags, and dumping more money at resources that are not targeted to the troops’ mission.

The president wants an additional twenty thousand plus troops. Where are they coming from? For every one combat troop, at least four support role troops are needed. And where are these combat troops coming from? New recruits, highly trained in insurgent gorilla warfare amongst warring factions? Wow, where is that military school at.

So in closing, if you truly want to support the troops, support them properly or bring them home and accept the failure, or claim that you support them as you watch the C141’s fly into Dover, Delaware bring our silent troops back home.

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