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28 September 2010

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William R. Cumming

PL! I have met members of the Armed Services with four tours between Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact a former sister-in-law served one year in Iraq as civilan DOD and now looks like a third tour in Afghanistan as DOD contractor.

During the Viet Name war I met a US ARMY MAJOR who had served four tours in RVN. He was 24 years old.

What records for tours are being set now by active duty types?

Patrick Lang

WRC

Different people have different limits in different circumstances. My impression has been that young soldiers are more prone to this, especially in large groups like infantry or armor units. pl

dh

Well at least these guys aren't in the checkout line at Safeway. Not yet.

Norbert N, Salamon

Slightly off topic, though Iran's view on Iraq is also mentioned,

Interview of President Ahmadinejad by Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich Public Diplomacy graduate student while attending USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism posing questions as suggested by profs. and students from various USA universities [2.5 GB 90sec wait until download starts]. Continuation of this interview as second part will b forwarded to participating universities.

http://www.4shared.com/get/dgNdNIkK/Full__Interview_with_Ahmadinej.html

approx 50 minutes long

euclidcreek

Meanwhile, back in the States, the carnage continues with citizens (including gang-bangers, vets, ex-husbands et al) shooting and stabbing other folks over real or perceived issues. This morning in Oakland a six year old girl was wounded in bed; the bullets missing her gang affiliated brother. Stranded in the jungle..

Nightsticker

Colonel Lang,

My son is an officer in one of the JSOC units. He is currently on his 6th tour; not counting another tour in the 1st Gulf War. He and his family put a brave face on it but it has taken a toll. They are tired. I hope this neocon/zionist/imperialist madness ends soon.

Nighsticker
USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96

Fred

Our billionaires are on their tenth year of their five tax cuts. Some politicians still find theirs to be the greatest burden, what with '"Health-care costs are eating the Defense Department alive," U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates .
http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4617597

walrus

The Australian term for le Cafard is "Going Troppo" (too much tropics)

Norbert N, Salamon

Is it not amazing how much the DoD powers to be care for the welfare of the grunts, especially those injured in the Iraq Afghanistan fiascoes. We need more toys, more bodies, but please reduce their pay and entitlement. So much more fun to have F-35 at 2-300 million[or more] than to have soliders getting decent health care!

These spokesmen should all be fired for derogating the poor soldier, naval person or air force person. They are not concerned with the well being of the citizens, only worry is the well being of the military industrial cabal.

Bought&Sold

Recently,We had a Marine shown on a local Tv station who was on his ninth tour! I know they serve shorter tours,but he must transper back and forth between units.

Medicine Man

@Fred -

I realize that I'm making observations from a shallow gully of ignorance, but that defense budget article you linked made me quite uncomfortable.

Reading the author's assertion that the deal veterans get on their healthcare is going to cut into development and procurement, I could readily imagine some bean counter tallying up how much the people doing the work were imperiling the smooth operation of the glorious gravy train (tm) — you can't have that happen!

The author's frustration with the veteran's lobbies was the ironic cherry on top of the diarrhea sunday, given that he's advocating on the behalf of defense spenders and their army of advocates in DC.

Grimgrin

Medicine Man: Your use of the future conditional tense is optimistic. A Member of Obama's deficit commission floated this trial balloon:

"The system that automatically awards disability benefits to some veterans because of concerns about Agent Orange seems contrary to efforts to control federal spending, the Republican co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s deficit commission said Tuesday.

...

"The irony (is) that the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess," said Simpson, an Army veteran who was once chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee."

VietnamVet

Colonel,

I can only comment on the past since the only recent active duty personnel I’ve met are on this site.

There is a profound difference between those who served at the beginning of the Vietnam War and those like me who served at the end. We, Tail End Charlies, questioned orders and our only goal was to survive a year. At LZ English we always had locked and loaded M-16s at hand. One had to be careful about what one said and did. But, there never was a problem with the line troops. The fraggings of officers were in the support units. That is why Army support functions were privatized; besides fattening defense contractors’ wallets.

Now that the Iraq War is “officially” ended, the troopers there are showing the same symptoms of soldiers from other wars that can’t be won but they can’t escape from.

Medicine Man

Grimgrin:

Wow, those are some fine, fine weasel words those congressmen are using. They really are looking around for anyone to screw other than their wealthy donors, aren't they?

Carl O.

the leaders of our Army are loath to admit it, but in fact our Army is broken, as broken as it was at the end of the Vietnam fiasco. THis is what long, useless wars do to armies and the people in them.

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