Saturday, September 17, 2005

I don't know about that, Cindy....

I was watching an episode of "Big Idea Town Hall" hosted by Donnie Deutsch. On this episode they featured the families of fallen service members talking about their loss. They also had notable family members such as Cindy Sheehan, and Tammy Pruitt, as well as some other fathers. The common meme was that we all support the troops, however, there were some differing positions on whether or not we should be in the war. She said that the war was based on a bunch of lies, she further stated that besides the WMD, and AL Quaeda Link issues, she said that her recruiter lied to him about a litany of things when he entered the service.

  • "The recruiter said that he was going to get a $20,000 bonus but he only received $4,000.

When you are offered a bonus, you usually receive a portion, sometimes half, up front, and the remainder further into your enlistment. If he was actually offered $20,000 and the only money he receive was $4,000, then it must have been an increment of the total.

  • "He wanted to be a chaplain's assistant, but when he got to basic, his drill sergeants said that field was all filled up, so he had a choice of being either a mechanic or a cook."

If the Army cannot fulfill its part of a contract, you have a choice of either getting released from your contract, or selecting something else to do. Also, Drill Sergeants don't make choices in what jobs that Recruits go into.

  • "His recruiter told him that he could finish college, but they wouldn't let him take any classes."

This could be true, but they only tell you such things when you are "on the bubble" for deploying. The reason is that you will not be there long enough to finish, and there are mandatory skill sets that every soldier and unit must be signed off on. To try and do other academic things would be a distraction.

  • "His recruiter said he would never be in combat because his ASVAB score was so high."

I seriously doubt that any recruiter would make such a statement. To me, this sounds like something that a kid would tell an uneasy parent when they announce they have already enlisted in the service. Certainly any person, regardless of their experience with the military should know you cannot guarantee where and when our military forces will be attacked.

One statement she made caused me to raise my eyebrows.

  • "My son was raised in a gentle non-violent home. He didn't want to go to Iraq."

This could very well be true, but when you join the military you don't simply raise your hand and mutter a few words. You sign a contract that states what you are getting and what you are giving. Essentially you are giving yourself to the greater good of the country.

Let me say that I am indeed sympathetic to Mrs. Sheehan for the amazing loss she has suffered. I have three children of my own, and I cannot imagine outliving any of them. But, I have to say that perhaps she may be speaking to some things on behalf of her son that he may or may not agree with. I can't be sure of this, but I think that this could have something to do with it. I am not saying that she is being disingenuous, but sometimes emotions make us see things in a certain way. Cindy Sheehan has lost a lot. Nothing can refut that, but in the end I have to ask, "What would Casey have wanted?"

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