Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Unselfie

Over at the Unknown Soldiers blog, Tom Sileo reminds us that for all the self-absorbed narcissists whose highest aspiration is taking "selfies" (pictures of themselves to put up on the Internet), there are a lot of men and women out there still making the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of a nation that seems to have stopped paying attention.

The April 22, 2014 Detroit News reports on the rapidly shrinking officer corps of the U.S. military:
Fort Bragg, N.C.— After the 9/11 attacks, tens of thousands of young men and women joined the military, heading for the rugged mountains of Afghanistan and dusty deserts of Iraq.

Many of them now are officers in the Army with multiple combat deployments under their belts. But as the wars wind down and Pentagon budgets shrink, a lot of them are being told they have to leave.

It’s painful and frustrating. In quiet conversations at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Eustis in Virginia, captains talk about their new worries after 15-month deployments in which they battled insurgents and saw roadside bombs kill and maim their comrades. They nervously wait as their fates rest in the hands of evaluation boards that may spend only a few minutes reading through service records before making decisions that could end careers.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140422/NATION/304220027#ixzz2ze3WAhk7
If we really don't need men and women with this sort of selflessness and patriotism, that's one thing.  But this is still a very dangerous world, and I would rather see people with this sense of duty on payroll, training and preparing for what is likely to be a confrontation with some pretty nasty enemies.  These weren't people who joined a peacetime military because it was the best job available, and how dangerous could it be?  These were men and women who joined a military engaged in an active war against the most barbarous of enemies.

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