General News and Politics By Jim Barber, Camp Verde, Arizona Current news and political discussion
Sunday, February 16, 2014
MISFIT OR NOT, THEY SERVE
The Barber Shop
The Associated Press has reported data showing that the number of soldiers being forced out of the military has increased due to "misconduct." Is this really a shock? Over the last 13-14 years two wars have demanded an increase in the size of our services. Because of our refusal to share the burden of our nation's defense via a selective service system - the draft - it has been necessary to lower some standards to maintain an all-volunteer military. This has necessitated multiple and continuous redeployments of weary troops and the resulting drug use, alcohol abuse, mental stress and other misconduct follows. Until the current wind-down in operations, some conduct issues shrank in importance. As General Odierno put it, "...in the past we've overlooked character issues because of competence and commitment." In other words, "They wanted to be there and they were good at it."
Those leaving might not be a good fit for service in less dangerous times. But don't count their service as a loss. They stood while others sat back. Be thankful for them. As Orwell is quoted, "We sleep safely in our beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf."