Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Startribune Walter Reed editorial

From today's Strib.

The bargain is quite simple: You risk your life for us, and we will see to it that if you are wounded you will be cared for, and if you die, your family will be cared for.

That's what should happen, but not always what does happen. Instead, as Priest and Hull document, some wounded soldiers and veterans are forced to live in neglect and filth. Their families frequently are impoverished, living on handouts and castoffs. All must deal with bureaucracies that seem determined to make life as frustrating as possible.

Correct. As a soldier, we give up liberties while in defense of them. Kind of counter-intuitive, but as a soldier, we are limited in our abilities to speak out.

The bargain with our soldiers is seldom kept, at least to the standard I held my end of the bargain up.

4 times. That's how many times I took an oath of enlistment. Swore to uphold the Constitution, against all enemies foreign and domestic. To obey the orders of the officers appointed over me and the President of the United States.

Every time, I took it serious. I had the faith that:

1. Our government would take care of me if something happened to me.
2. My leaders, including the President, would not put us in harms way over some bullshit. That we would have a well defined mission, with tangible objectives and means to evaluate our success.

I do not have faith that either of those two simple yet important measures could be attained at this time.

And that, is utterly pathetic.

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