Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Little too Close

I received word today that my nephew's helicopter "went down" in Al Anbar in the past day or two. He apparently emailed his father that he is "okay" but, as you all can imagine, I had a mini meltdown.

He also told his father - and let me emphasize that I'm getting this secondhand - that a friend of his (and others in his unit) rotated out for a two week leave with their families. When they arrived at the base on U.S. soil where they are attached, before they could even get off the bus, their CO came on the bus and told them they that would NOT be going home. Why? Because the soldiers who have been stationed at the base have been working HARDER THAN THEY and needed time off. So they would be filling in for them.

I don't care if those soldiers were sitting on their butts in Iraq every day. The stateside soldiers weren't getting shot at, weren't dodging mortars, weren't driving around IEDs. I cannot come up with words strong enough to express my outrage. My nephew's friend was planning to re-enlist. He said no way now. When his times up, he's out of there.

My nephew is suppose to get a two week leave at the end of the month. We're just holding on to hope that we'll be able to see him. If they hold him at his home base, we'll do what we have to do to get his wife and two children down there.

I also want you to know that I'm withholding names to protect the innocent. The military monitor the soldiers' email and personal phone calls. If you are caught not toeing the party line, you will be ostracized. Things are bad enough over there without losing the support of your fellow soldiers.



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