Despite living in a state with a heavy military economy, the closest I’ve come to knowing the sacrifices of Iraq War service personnel is through my ScienceBlogs colleague, Mike Dunford, of The Questionable Authority. While his wife is delpoyed in Iraq, Mike is in grad school looking after their two kids. The latest slap in the face to my friend was his learning about the three-month extension of his wife’s deployment…not through the unit Family Readiness Group…but on CNN streaming in his campus center.
Mike has posted a letter to his congressional representatives thanking them for their support thus far and asking for us all to share in the sacrifice of families like his through a tax increase to be sure the troops are taken care of now and, more importantly in the long run, when they return.
This brings me to one of the reasons that I am asking that you attach a tax increase to any further war spending – sacrifice. Last night, when my wife called from the FOB she’s stationed at, I mentioned that I had learned about the decision to extend Army tours through the media instead of through Army channels, but that it was nowhere near the top story of the night. A radio DJ getting fired for making insensitive and racist comments, the (criminal) innocence of college athletes, and the implications of the Anna Nicole paternity test were all apparently much more newsworthy events. My wife was surprised that this surprised me. Her response was, “Of course it isn’t. Why would most people care about this.”
Perhaps this isn’t a popular stance, but we’re going to have to pay for it somehow and it just seems wrong to pass the costs on to our kids. Mike’s letter is very well-written and infers that if all Americans had to make sacrifices for this continuing debacle, it would be resolved more quickly. If you are so moved, I encourage you to write a similar request to your representatives.