Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pandagon gets an email from a soldier

Which mentions a word I've been using to describe the stop-loss program: Slavery.

I am a soldier serving at Fort Hood. I signed up in 2003 for a 5 year contract (I should ETS on 1/15/08). I joined at 32 years old to serve my country. I have been to Iraq twice already and was looking forward to start terminal leave in Dec of 2007.

Now after my unit returned we were told our company was being moved and that all the soldiers had to go to another company. This new company has not deployed in over a year so on paper it looks like we have been home longer.

I asked not to be sent here since I knew I would be stop lossed. Basically the answer was no and too bad.

You see they no longer care about soldiers serving honorably and doing right by us. What they are doing is finding a loophole to extend soldiers in their contracts for a year or more. This in turn makes it look like the army is not short of soldiers.

Let me give you the truth. The army is scrambling to find soldiers ad morale is getting worse. Not as much due to the deployments (that’s part of it) but also to the knowledge that when our time comes the army can keep us as long as they want.

When I joined the stop loss was not explained to me. Had it been I would never have signed. What they are doing is a form of slavery that we the soldiers can do nothing about. If they needed to stay so badly they could ask me to extend and as a patriot I probably would have but to be forced to with threat of jail and the loss of my freedom then I have no choice.

Finally, I should note that I have never had any discipline problems and even volunteered for my second deployment becuase the company I went with needed soldiers. While in Iraq I served honorably and have seen combat on several occasions. I even volunteered to go in January so I would not be stop lossed but was denied.

The command cares little for the soldiers here and has a policy in place that is wrong in a supposedly volunteer army.

Update: Reminds me to bring up this journal which was written by a soldier while in Afghanistan and then at home.

No comments: