The cost of the war

From the inbox. Identifying details removed for obvious reasons.

I just wanted to send you a quick thank you note and beg you to keep up the good work.

Normally I would think this would be a meaningless, empty statement, but hopefully it will be a bit more for you than that. I am a soldier. I serve in __ Co __ Infantry. I am a National Guardsman.

I finished my training in June of 2001. I returned home to live a civilian life (except for that one weekend a month, two weeks a year lie the commercials tell you) that came to a premature end 3 months later.

Since September 11, I have gone on high alert at least a dozen times and have even been shipped off for pre-deployment once. It seems every month when at the armory another alert is given to us about how we may be shipping out for anothe rpart of the world soon.

I have been unable to live a truly stable life in the last two years. After getting off my active duty training I completed my degree, but have been unable to find steady work. I blame the economy in part, but I can tell there are other reasons behind that “We’ll let you know” I seem to get at the end of every interview after I mention I’m in the Guard and I watch my interviewer’s eyes go cloudy because they know I could get shipped off at any moment.

Compound with that the fact that I take my orders from an illegitimate president who himself went AWOL for 16 months. Were I to do that, Tom, I would be discharged from the military in a less than honorable manner and have a black mark on my name that would last the rest of my life.

And now, every day I turn on the news and see that another one of my brothers is dead fighting in a war to reelect Bush. They’re killed because of the lies he told, the exaggerations he pushed, and the war he wanted. They’re dying for Haliburton, they’re dying so other people can get richer and keep the power they have.

I may be in a minority in the military, but I am not alone. Keep up the hard work for those who have no voice. Keep pushing for those who are forced to be the fist for an illegitimate cause, who feel like murderers for doing it, and who are angry because their comrades are being killed, even after the “hostilities” are over, for a cause in which they do not believe.

I know, some of you will say, what did he expect, he signed up to serve, didn’t he? But he didn’t sign up to put his life on indefinite hold, which is what’s happened to all the Guardsmen who are being used as the military equivalent of temp workers, except without the ability to walk off the job when the boss is an ass.