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How Many Tours in Iraq are Enough for a Soldier?

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I just read about the story of a young Army Sergeant by the name of Erik Botta. Botta is 26 years old and hails from Port St. Lucie. Erik is like most 1st generation Americans, he wants to work hard and make something of himself and he feels lucky to be in the United States and to have the ability to advance himself.


But young Sergeant Botta, an Army reservist, has a slight problem. It seems as if every time that he gets comfortable and gets moving on all eight cylinders, he gets sent to Iraq. Sure, many guys have been sent to Iraq. They have to make due, right? Well this would be true for most, but Botta is getting tired of it, after all he has served in Afghanistan and Iraq on four other tours, this will be his fifth!


Come on, enough is enough! How many times can a guy kiss his wife and kids goodbye and go to a foreign land and kill people? What’s that done for his marriage? What’s that done to his head? Would you feel comfortable being around a guy that spent five tours in a combat zone in less than six years? I’m a retired Army Sergeant myself, and I’ll tell you point blank, I wouldn’t. He could flashback and make a grab at someone’s throat at the slightest provocation! Of course I’m exaggerating here, and I don’t believe that Erik would do any such thing, but really, what’s it done to his head? Enough is enough. You can’t tell someone to do five hardship tours back to back. Think of this also, this guy is a Reservist! He’s not even on active duty!


Erik has done his share of the fighting. If Bush wants to send this guy on another tour, then he should go with him. This is too much. According to those around him, he could lose his home, and his job at Sikorsky, where he works on the Black Hawk military helicopter. Even that could be on the line. He's halfway to his electrical engineering degree, planning a career in defense work, but his professors say he'll suffer a significant setback if he is deployed. He doesn't mention the danger another deployment would bring, but his wife and parents do.


So Erik is suing the Army. Good for him. This is craziness. We need a plan to get rid of Bush and Cheney. They have had too much time in office already. Their track record warrants their removal. These so-called legislators we have sitting in the capitol building with their thumbs up their ass need to do something before this country erupts into violence. Erik, I’m with you my boy. Sue the hell out of them.

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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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