AIN'T IT THE TRUTH |
October 06, 2006
This Doonesbury series is the kind of shit that pisses me off.
And it's sad because what I thought was just a team problem is apparently so widespread that it has become a comic. I remember one of the briefings that we received when coming back stateside. It was, "Don't try to compare who has had a more difficult time." And in a way he is right. Each person has a different opinion as to what "difficult" is. And from my lane I think it is the Soldier. So here it goes (you all have just lost five minutes of your day):
The Soldier volunteered for the job. There is an official contract that says the Army owns their ass for X number of years. So it's no surprise when Uncle Sam comes to collect. The Soldier's commitment to his job, his country, and his mission is paramount to everything. There is nothing more important than what he is doing. Most people live their day at the risk of losing only money or their time. A Soldier lives his day to ready to lose his life. Do you really want to distract him? If you do, then you are a murderer. That goes for spouses that want to divorce service members in theater.
I've seen the people that have been "distance abused." Spouses and significant others don't relate to what the Soldier is going through. They want the text message, phone calls, digital pictures, letters, and hell some probably even want sky writing. They think that just because it is available, then the Soldier should jump through every hoop there is to meet their expectations.
Scenario: Female wants to talk at 6:00 pm because that is when she gets off work. Okay, now add eight time zones, and it's 2:00 am Iraq time. The Soldier may have to wait 30 minutes to an hour to get on the computer because of the lines, the people that refuse to get off them, the net going down, the MWR getting mortared, or the net being so damn slow that you can't get to your email in the time allotted. All just to hear about how you are doing fine and you have "met a lot of nice people at work." The other popular conversation is about money. One person is spending more than another. I'm here to tell you folks, living in the desert isn't cheap. Everybody and their brother wants you to send them something Hajji-ish. You buy DVDs to pass the time. You buy your own food so you don't have to walk a mile to the DEFAC when you come off mission. You buy your own gear because the old gear sucks, is inadequate, or breaks.
So I have done a lot of bitching. I am just trying to put a fine point on these comics, because they are true. And you can retract and pull back and say, "I never would have thought" or "Who would do such a thing" but the fact is it does happen. And it happens a lot. Personally I think if you take out the IMs and go back to getting a letter once every three months, people would be grateful for that. People really need to ease up on Soldiers and let them do their jobs. Killing people is what Soldiers do. Very simple. Let Uncle Sam have his killers. And when he is done being a Soldier he can come back and be whatever it is that you want him to be.
So let me boil it down. You don't want your husband to be a killer when he is with you. So why would you want him to be a husband when he is supposed to be a killer. Because if he is, then he won't be for long. The only thing he will be is filling for an aluminum box.