Monday, January 15, 2007

Pioneer Press letters

Two of many LTE's in the Pioneer Press. One very good...

Send politicians to Iraq

In response to retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark's
column, "Problems are political, not military" (Jan. 9), I have a

President Bush is sending an additional 20,000 soldiers to Iraq to
help bring peace to that country.

Instead of soldiers, send politicians!

Each state would send 100 politicians (total=5,000). Each politician would be
responsible for securing peace for an area of 34 square miles (170,000 square
miles divided by 5,000) and have dialogue with 5,400 Iraqis (27,000,000 divided
by 5,000).

Our efforts have not been successful to date in securing the
peace; maybe the politicians with their expertise in solving problems can get
the job done. (Note — the concept of fewer politicians in each state would be
supported by many.)

I like it! Congresswoman Bachmann, you take the Anbar Province with Reps Olson and Emmer. Fix it now!

Politicians are so quick to heap financial benefits and tax breaks on those
in the military. But let's make a distinction. Those who are in harm's way
deserve everything. Some guy fixing planes 100 miles behind the lines deserves
nothing extra. Simply being in the military does not make you a hero.

If you are not in a combat zone, you are not equal to a grunt. My concern is that only the soldier being shot at is receiving the best benefits. The rest deserve nothing more. I served four years in the Navy and believe I deserved nothing

I have problems with this one. I served 11 years and just because I saw not extra financial support as an Infantryman, does not mean that your service is any less valuable.

At one point in my military career, I saw anyone other than a grunt, an infantryman, as inferior. I was a grunt. I slept on the frozen ground of South Korea, slept in the rocky terrain of Fort Irwin California and many other places. Blood and sweat were common amongst us infantryman.

As I moved up in ranks, Staff Sergeant serving on a Colonel's battle staff, I saw the intricate nature of what the "soft skill" MOS's did in the Army. I could out march and out shoot the majority of those in a non-combat arms job. But, I could not a get personnel matters processed, could not make major repairs to the engine of my Bradley Fighting Vehicle, or stitch together a wound on a comrade.

None of us ever did it for the money. We did it, because we loved it. I loved it for 11 years, and do miss it from time to time. The letter is merely a selfish act that I would have supported years ago, before I could see the bigger picture.

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