Sunday, April 02, 2006


Truth and Criticisms

Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette ruffled some anti-war and anti-military feathers with a short post referring to positive retention results experienced by a Texas Guard Unit.

Greyhawk's original post was this simple: a link to an article on the Texas unit, and the following commentary:
We're 3+ years into Iraq; most of the privates, specialists, and lieutenants (and equivalent ranks in other branches) joined post-invasion. Many E5's and O3's joined post-9/11. And retention - those signing on for additional tours - is high. In fact, there are damn few enlisted troops serving in any branch of the military now that didn't either enlist or re-enlist post 9/11.

Of course, these annoying facts won't stop some folks from insisting morale is low, the Army is broken, etc etc etc...
That's it. Nothing too inflammatory, in my view, and certainly consistent with what I see and hear within the National Guard, despite our location with die-hard Blue State "why would anyone join the military" New York.

Yet, in comments, rabid anti-war (and anti-military) bloggers IRR Soldier and Kevin from The Command T.O.C. blast away at Greyhawk as a liar, propagandist,

For example, IRR Soldier says of Greyhawk:
You are a propagandist that repeatedly refuses to see the true state of our personnel readiness for what it is - precarious. The fact is that our military is entirely too small. We are barely able to "make existing mission" with lowered standards and are incapable of expanding the force. The USAR and ARNG have been mostly "blown through" and the remaining nondeployed forces are individuals - not units. They are human spackle to fill gaping force structure holes.

As an officer, why do you lie to the American people?
Kevin also beats his propaganda drum:
Mudville is a liar and a manipulator.
I'm running on two hours sleep, Little Manly (at 10) has been doing his first play as a Von Trapp in Sound of Music, I had to come in to work at my client site at 6:00 am for a move to production. Waiting for the technical work to progress, I have to read this garbage, and see a fellow MILBLOGGER -- germinus of MILBLOGS at that -- insulted and slandered. By such as these.

Here was my bleary eyed response (with typographical corrections):
IRR Soldier and Kevin, both stridently on the other side of just about any issue with Greyhawk, can no doubt selectively quote any number of individual data points and cry, "the sky is falling!"

They wanted to serve, but with caveats and conditions. Only if, I didn't think that meant, why do they come after me, this was the only way I could pay for college, I didn't volunteer for perpetual indenture...

The facts are, that if the situation was as bleak as either of these carpers maintain, there would be open mutiny, mass desertions, and units would be unable to operate.

Meanwhile, those of us in the Guard and Reserves continue to see large numbers of our troops re-up and reenlist, knowing what the added years of service almost certainly bring in deployments overseas.

Yes, some of us older NCOs are punching our clocks. After more than 20 years in, and with regular civilian careers, our families, doing another 3 or 6 years with a likely deployment is a lot to ask. So many opt out.

Greyhawk's point of view matches that of commanders throughout the military, and the majority of soldiers.

He does not create that sentiment; he is popular with military because we recognize the truth and reality behind what he says.

Gentlemen, you served, perhaps reluctantly, perhaps defiantly, and maybe you felt it was more than should have been asked of you.

We still appreciate and honor your service. Why can't you honor ours? Perhaps if you find new interests or areas of life to explore, you won't need to spend so much time looking on from the sidelines, and bitching out those still on the field.
Willy Shake at Unconsidered Trifles was similarly offended by IRR and Kevin, and was nice enough to post my comments in their entirety. (Always happy to stumble across new and interesting blogs, all the more when they are kind enough to link.)

Links: Basil's Blog, bRight & Early, Don Surber, Blackfive, Just Barking Mad

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