Aug 27, 2007

From Prom to Platoon

I come from a military family. My father fought in Korea, my Uncles in Vietnam, and my brother served four years as a Marine. They've all told me War is hell and the military is not too kind to brown or black soliders. I think many other Americans have been given these words of advice, because, the U.S. Army is hemorrhaging! During the past two months the Army has fallen short of it's recruitment goals.

This wound is opening further with the increasing number of deaths and soldiers maimed by the war. Another blackeye on the situation is reports of the men and women already in Iraq and Afghanistan burning-out from prolonged and multiple deployments. And the final slap across the face is the GUNG-HO attitude of the majority Americans has been replaced by call for the soliders to COME HOME.

The Pentagon is faced with the question: How then can the beast called War continue to be fed? Well, the U.S. Army is now offering what they call "quick ship" bonuses of $20,000 to new recruits. This incentive gets young fresh bodies to agree to go to boot camp up to six months sooner than the date given to them when they were signed up. It is now possible for a new recruit to end up in Iraq 3 months after entering bootcamp. I'm reminded of an animated clip from the Pink Floyd movie "The Wall." Where a menancing old man pushed children into a meat grinder.

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