Let me make one thing perfectly clear and let me tell you where my sympathies lie. My heart doesn’t go out to the people that want us to become an anti-military country. My sympathies don’t go out to those that would call our troops baby-killers. The facts are that I spent 21 years with my brothers in uniform and I have made fast friendships and I have bonded with these men, some of these bonds continue to this day. Our military, especially the U.S. Army is one of the greatest institutions that have ever come out of this nation. The Army with all the other services does whatever there superiors ask of them, mostly without question and with a willingness to die to accomplish the mission given to them. We owe the greatest respect to the members of our military. I remember marching to a song that said “Ours is but to do or die” and I believed it. American soldiers from the beginning of our nation have been smarter, braver and more successful than any other Army in the world.
Having said that, I want to write about how this administration is using our Army and other services as cannon fodder for wars that make no sense, have nothing to with the defense of the United States and don’t uphold the Army’s oath to protect and defend the United States and the Constitution of The United States. This administration is putting our men and women in harm’s way for purely monetary gains. Gains that fill the coffers of the Defense Contractors, the contractors that work within the Army that have outsourced jobs traditionally done by the military themselves such as force protection, mess halls, administration, supply and many other jobs. We are also using our military to gain oil for multi-national energy corporations that aren’t even American.
The worst thing we are doing to our military besides using a back-door draft that takes National Guard units and trains them quickly to bring them to a country that is full of resistance fighters that would rather die than accept an American occupation and let’s them loose in a fight they are not trained for, nor do they understand. The Stop-Loss policy of not letting American soldiers get out when their tour of duty is up, exposes them to a death in Iraq long after they should be home with their family. The very worst thing we do to our men and women in uniform is expose them to depleted uranium that bleeds radioactive isotopes that break DNA and cause every type of cancer and enter their reproductive organs and cause birth defects that will surface in the generations to follow.
The Army has a habit of telling American soldiers that substances they are exposed to will not harm them. Soldiers, used to following orders generally trust their commanders because those same men will take them into combat. This degree of trust will not be found in any organization, anywhere else in the world. They trusted the military when they took ships after World War II and ringed Bikini Atoll in the pacific and the men were made to come to the decks of the flotilla and given goggles so they could watch an explosion of an atomic bomb not five miles away. My father, a Marine that had fought in Okinawa and was in the occupation of Japan was there. He died of cancer at 59 that had ravaged his body. Then there was Vietnam when we used the defoliant Agent Orange and told the soldiers that it only hurt plants. I was given a 55 gallon drum of “Dioxin” to put around the fence-line at a missile site fence line in Hazlet New Jersey so that the grass wouldn’t grow where the fence was. We spread it by hand. My son now has three special needs children. I don’t know if I was the cause, but I think of it.
Then there was the F-104 Starfighter where the radar Cyystron was between the knees of the pilot. The pilots had unshielded ionized radiation beaming right into their reproductive organs. It didn’t stop there, the United States had the Nike-Hercules system around every major city in the nation and brigades overseas that had an unshielded Clystron tubes in the radars that emitted ionized radiation and glowed green with over 30,000 volts running through it. I got cancer five years ago under my tongue in the floor of my mouth, along with hundreds of other Air Defenders not only in this country, but in Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Korea and Japan that also used this “system”. I lost my teeth, had my tongue dissected, lost some of my gum and now I take narcotics to dull the pain from the two operations I had and the radiation that made me bleed from my throat.
Think all that is bad? You haven’t seen anything yet. The soldiers of today are walking through deserts and cities in Iraq that are rife with depleted uranium. The uranium has 60% of its radiation with a half life of something like 100,000 years. These guys that came back with Gulf-War syndrome probably came back with radiation sickness. The Army is fully aware of the hazards of depleted uranium, but the mind-set of the Defense Department is to ignore things like this. These are civilians that sit in the Pentagon and make policy that basically says that “soldiers are expendable”. Now in Iraq, soldiers are constantly exposed to ground peppered with DP shells and munitions. These guys and girls are coming home with altered DNA that will in some cases bring them cancer and deformed children.
Think that’s the worst, you haven’t seen anything yet. The people of Afghanistan and Iraq have to live within radioactive land. They have kids with an average life expectancy of six months if they are affected. The cancer rates in some areas that have a high concentration of DP have five or six cases of cancer a day! Bone cancer, leukemia, thyroid cancer and squamous cell cancer like I had, are rife in these nations. These weapons are classified as weapons of mass destruction and we subject our soldiers and the population of our adversaries with it daily.
Look, I know what I went through and I know how I feel about the ones that are still serving, I love them like brothers. When they come back, they could marry your daughter and leave them with deformed children and make them widows at an early age. This is not just an Army problem, it’s an American and international problem. Our government is acting like a criminal enterprise. Talk to your friends, write your Congress people, write the Bush Administration and support the ban on depleted Uranium. It’s for all of us.
That’s the way I see it.