Calls to local recruiter, or any military personnel brings the same answer "You'll know as soon as we do. We'll call you as soon as we know. Hold strong, we're doing everything we can." I have heard it said that when there are casualties in a unit that there is a two week blackout for the unit, no calls in or out. Guess it gives the military time to re-screw their heads, so that they don't say the wrong thing to the suckers back home.
Every vehicle that passes along the road before our house, causes a scramble to the windows to see if it might be a government vehicle bringing the dreaded news.
My wife loses sleep and weight every time there is mention of fighting in the area of Iraq where our son is, she sleeps with the phone and cell phone, just in case he might call. Me I just write and cuss a little at a stupid president who could not find his way out of a paper bag with a pair of scissors.
And now we hear 21,500 more troops are being sent over, 43,000 additional parents are going to go through what we go through. But this is only half the picture, these new reinforcements do not include the necessary support troops and personnel that are required. The true figure will approach 48,000.
According to ThinkProgress, Peter R. Orszag, Director of the Congressional Budget Office, has prepared a report about the potential costs of Bush's escalation at the request of John M. Spratt, Chairman of the House Committee on the Budget.
Thus far, the Department of Defense (DoD) has identified only combat units for deployment. However, U.S. military operations also require substantial support forces, including personnel to staff headquarters, serve as military police, and provide communications, contracting, engineering, intelligence, medical, and other services. Over the past few years , DoD's practice has been to deploy a total of about 9,500 personnel per combat brigade to the Iraq theater, including about 4,000 combat troops and about 5,500 supporting troops. DoD has not yet indicated which support units will be deployed along with the added combat forces, or how many additional troops will be involved.
Army and DoD officials have indicated that it will be both possible and desirable to deploy fewer additional support units than historical practice would indicate. CBO expects that, even if the additional brigades required fewer support units than historical practice suggests, those units would still represent a significant additional number of military personnel.
The military used to take care of it's members needs. They no longer do so. These soldiers have to pay for everything, including their uniforms, haircuts, boots, socks, laundry and any extra food, even when they are at war. Yet they have no choices as to where, when they go, or for how long or how much all this crap costs.
While we at home can't send them military clothing or equipment we do what we can in our case it's the weekly care packages she has put together to ship overseas so he can have "a little of home". Things like homemade apple butter, beef jerky, chewing gum, tobacco, cookies, cake baked in jars, candy, games, DVD's, and so on and so forth. Things that are available from the PX or Commissary on his base, but mothers know that he isn't getting what he needs so off goes another care package.
Friends, mobilize school children to write letters and send cards to selected soldiers, then if they don't get an answer right away, begin calling and asking is he ok?
How the heck should we know, they see the same television programs we do, of course one can't say that. Instead we relate the last time we heard from him, yes he was fine, no he isn't having homesick problems, maybe he will visit when he gets to come home....
It makes me mad that these same friends and neighbors won't pickup the phone and call their congressmen or senators, they won't take time to write a letter to the editor, or to sign a petition. They don't want to get involved, why stir up trouble when its not going to accomplish anything they mutter.
"Well if not you, who?" I ask, meanwhile Marie is in background waving her hands and shaking her head (muttering about another friend lost), "where would we be in this country if our founding fathers had said 'I don't want to get involved, why stir up trouble'." Of course I have lost a few friends as things sometimes get heated, but at other times I get an "ok, what do you want me to do" and that makes my heart jump, and I layout a plan for them to get involved, being careful not to give them a lot to do in the beginning, but let them get their feet wet in local politics.
Now all of them won't remain as volunteers, but if I can get 1 out of 4 to come back for a second round of activities then they are hooked, and will become not only a volunteer, but usually an advocate for grassroots and maybe, just maybe a County or State Coordinator.
How simple it is to start a conversation and lead it around to politics, how simple it is to plant a seed of activism, that might grow into a home grown candidate, one who you not only can support, but is a close friend to boot.
Each one of you can help, its as simple as signing up at www.WeDemocrats.org, joining cost you nothing, you are not required to do anything if you don't want, but if you do we have the tools and training to make your efforts return results.
In the mean time you can sign the petition to Impeach Cheney, the first step in our Master Plan for taking back the Whitehouse. The petition is to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:, Titled: "FREE WORLD From VP Cheney's Tyranny" hosted on the web by PetitionOnline.com, the free online petition service, at: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/WD13007/
See How Simple it is?
Founder & Chairman
Publisher of WE! The People online magazine
Ron McBride is founder, chairman and regular contributor of, by and for www.wedemocrats.org. He is the author of numerous articles on Democracy. His writings can be found at www.WeDemocrats.org, at mytown.ca/mcbride plus blogs such as www.dailykos.com, at OpEdNews and www.mydd.com