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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Capitol Times LTE: How about some help for military families?

An impassioned yet cogent Letter to the Editor published in today's Capitol Times out of Madison, WI.

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Dear Editor: The political posturing over troop withdrawals in Iraq totally ignores the people who are making all the sacrifices for the war in Iraq: the U.S. military and their families. What the Republicans call "cut and run" the Democrats call "pandering for votes." Why not find a fair way to start withdrawing troops from Iraq?

Our president and defense secretary say we don't need a military draft, but the military is deploying, redeploying and then sending the same person back to yet another tour of war. No one is asking, "How much war before someone is physically or emotionally destroyed?" Did we learn nothing from Vietnam?

When looking at plans for troop withdrawal, why not set a limit on the number of times the same person is deployed and remove those who have served the longest first? And Congress should call for an immediate end to "stop loss," the military's version of slavery. We have a voluntary military. However, when someone enlists, honorably serves and then wants to go home to family when his or her commitment is finished, instead of thanks from a grateful country, they are issued stop loss orders for another year or more in a war zone. If military families complain, the military may be "hard" on their loved one. I'm not sure what's worse than another year of roadside bombs, but also don't want to find out.

Congress and the president talk a lot about family values. How about some help for military families? Divorce and suicide rates are up, and there is a major increase in post-traumatic stress. Why isn't someone fighting for them the way they are fighting for all of us?

Lee and Mary Erickson

If you'd like to respond to this LTE, please use the Capitol Times online feedback form.

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