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justin

Awesome post!

The Red Line

Beautifully written

Jamie Jamison

We ought to start a campaign to get Jonah "Chickenhawk" Goldberg to join the National Guard or Army Reserves. They both upped the age you can join to 39, according to Wikipedia Goldberg is only 36. Let's start a campaign, "join, Jonah, join!"

el loco

Mesmerizing, genius!

Linkmeister

I can't remember where I saw it, but my memory is that Inouye received a copy of a letter assuring him and the other recipients that DOD had already taken care of the armoring issue; granted, my senior Senator should know better than to believe them at this point.

Elsie

Wonderful post, Lance.

An Angry Old Broad

Thank You Lance,that was a wonderful essay.This "forgetting"of our kids in the M.E.is simply heinous.Unless you have a family member or friend there,it's like there's not even a war.I am old enough to remember Vietnam,I had three family members there,they all came back alive,but dead inside.My very favorite cousins,reduced to shells of their former selves,addicted to heroin,and pain,these beautiful young men were never truly themselves again.Two committed suicide by addiction.I can't forget those that serve,it's impossible for me and my family.

merlallen

Thanks from and Army brat and Navy vet.

cali dem

Great post. There's a March to Protect Veterans' Benefits at the State Capital Bldg. tomorrow. We're expecting a large turnout. We've been trying to get the word out that it's not an anti-war protest but a pro-veteran march and rally. It's the first time one the organizers I've been working with can remember that vets from all branches of service have unified behind a cause. They don't want this Republican admin and congress to break its promise to vets and troops. Leave no veteran behind!

Dale Patrick

As one of Joey's best friends and someone who served with him for 4 years, I really wish people would stop using his name and what they think he believed in as a dead voice for their cause. If you knew Joey at all he would tell you suck it in not such nice words. He was never someone who appreciated what journalist or politicians said, especially someone who never knew him and still used his name for what they think is right. Although I do agree with some of this article, I know Joey would not be happy that you are putting words in his mouth.

Lawrence Joseph Tremblay Sr

Thank you Dale I couldnt have said it better
We know Joey and if he was here he would have tor this guy up in a debate.LOL

Lance

Dear Dale and Mr Tremblay,

First, I am very sorry about the death of your son and friend. Joey sounded like a good man.

Second, I'm sorry if it sounded as though I was putting words into Joey's mouth. I tried very hard not to do that. Kipling's poem is about all soliders in all times and how, generally, the citizenry that rely on soldiers to protect them take them for granted and even hold them in contempt. The point of my post is that we as a nation are not doing a good job of taking care of the young men and women we are asking to fight and die for us.

The Marine Corps itself estimates that around 60 per cent of the Marines who have died in Iraq would have been saved if they'd been issued the proper, available body armor. The Army has begun to penalize soldiers who provide their own better than government issue body armor. Congress continues to cut benefits for veterans. Stop loss orders are destroying families of soldiers and Guardsmen who have already given far and above the call. Three years on into the war humvees are still patrolling Bagdad that are not sufficiently armored.

This is all part of a general effort to fight a war on the cheap. Somebody has calculated that the lives of our troops aren't worth a few extra dollars.

The blame for this falls on the people who are in charge.

For you and Joey's friends and family the war is a personal tragedy. Of course talking about it in political terms seems to trivialize Joey's life and his sacrifice.

But unfortunately the war is a political matter. It has to be debated about and voted on and in doing so the troops themselves become a part of the debate. This is an important question:

Is the war worth the lives of great young men like your son and your friend?

I don't think it is. But even those who think it is will have to "use" the soldiers to justify their arguments.

I have two young sons. I will be very proud if they both grow up to be the kind of man Joey appears to have been. But if either one decides to join the military I will want our leaders to be careful with their lives, to provide them with the equipment they need to do their jobs as safely as possible, to reward them sufficiently for their sacrifices, and, this especially, not put them in harm's way without a good and real reason and a serious plan.

I know why you think my post was about Joey. But really it is about my sons. My eldest is 12. If the war in Iraq lasts only half as long as the war in Vietnam it will still be going on when he is 18. This is a personal debate for me too.

Again, I am sorry if I violated your sense of privacy or somehow showed disrespect to Joey's memory. I didn't mean to do either.

I meant to, and I believe I did, honor the service and sacrifice of all the men and women serving in Iraq.

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