Martin C. Evans

Archive for the ‘Deployments’ Category

America’s sacrifice-free wars

In Deployments on December 17, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Soldiers at basic training

A former Army Ranger who taught at West Point says Americans talk a good game about supporting the war, but shamefully are willing to allow a tiny few to bear war’s burdens.

“The lie is that the U.S. armed forces have sufficient men and women to do their job, that morale is high, and burdens and pains negligible,” wrote Adrian Lewis, now a professor of history at the University of Kansas, in the current issue of Military Review.

Military Review is published by the Combined Arms Center, a U.S. Army leadership training institute at Ft. Leavenworth, Ks.

“Constant deployments are wearing out Soldiers, Marines, and their families physically, psychologically and emotionally,” Lewis wrote. “….The only way to do this in the current political, social and economic climate is to reinstitute the draft.”

But Lewis’ solution appears to be a non-starter.

Less than 1 percent of Americans serve in the U.S. military. And even avowed fiscal watchdogs, including Republican hawks, have refused to support a tax to pay for the cost of the two ongoing wars. The U.S has already spent more than a trillion (a thousand billion) dollars on the two wars since president George W. Bush first sent troops to Afghanistan eight years ago.

With few Americans doing the fighting, and a tax-free war that hits no one’s pocketbook, Lewis argues, politicians can continue war spending and troop deployments without fear of anti-war resistance.

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Gov: Guard Troops to get pre-deployment guidance

In Deployments, Uncategorized on December 5, 2009 at 6:03 pm

N.Y. Governor David Paterson told members of the 442nd Military Police Company that they and all future National Guard units about to be deployed will receive pre-departure orientations to help them avoid family strife, financial troubles, psychological stress and other deployment-related problems.

“This is going to be policy,” said Paterson, who said America has “turned the corner” in achieving an increased appreciation for its debt to U.S. troops.

Paterson addressed about 170 soldiers plus wives, lovers and family members at a Guard-organized seminar Saturday morning at a hotel conference center in Tarrytown, N.Y.

An article and photographs covering the event will appear in tomorrow’s Newsday, as well as on the Newsday.com website.

Military officials say lack of pre-deployment planning can cause stresses among soldiers that undermines mission-readiness, and can lead to higher rates of stress-related psychological problems.

The 442nd will leave for Iraq in April to help train the Iraqi police force.

442nd MP getting ready for Iraq

In Deployments on December 4, 2009 at 1:21 pm

The National Guard is hoping to better prepare about-to-be-deployed troops — including members of the 442nd Military Police Company — for their long time away from wives, kids and the luxury of not getting shot at.

The Guard has begun implementing pre-deployment orientations for departing troops, including one for the 442nd beginning 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Westchester Marriott. The Marriott is at 670 White Plains Rd. Tarrytown, N.Y. 10591.

Soldiers and their family members will get face-to-face advice on tax -free combat pay, financial planning, child care, psychological services (yes, you need ’em), TRICARE benefits, legal advice and other things they should get squared away before they say goodbye.

Newsday will report about the event in Sunday’s newspaper, so look for pictures and interviews of soldiers there.

“It’s a big thing, especially for the families,” said Staff Sergeant Jason Diaz, of Hicksville, who has a wife and three kids. “They’re putting out a lot of information.”

The 442nd Military Police Company, which is based at the Jamaica, Queens Armory and which draws personnel from Long Island, the five boroughs, and upstate, also deployed to Iraq in 2003. But they had no pre-deployment orientation that time, and some guys got pretty distracted by the messes they had left back home.

That’s not a good thing when you work in a rowdy neighborhood like, say, Tikrit. War is no video game. If a pipe breaks in your basement while you’re out hunting bad guys, or your wife is sick and has no one to care for the kids, you can’t hit the pause button while you get things fixed.

The 442nd will head back to Iraq sometime in the first three months of next year. That plumber had better stick to plumbing.

View from Lejeune

In Deployments on December 3, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune will be among the first to be sent to Afghanistan as part of the president’s 30,000 troop surge.

A Centereach mother of a Lejeune grunt, Claudia Gervais, was visiting her son Matthew at the 40,000-troop Marine base in North Carolina Tuesday night when the word came down.

She says Matthew, 23, a Lance Corporal who graduated from Centereach High School,  is not stressing about the surge. He just got back from Afghanistan the day before the president’s announcement, and expects to have to go back after a few months.

But she is not happy.

“I’m still trying to figure out what we’re trying to accomplish there,” she said. “The number of casualties and deaths are outstanding to me, and I don’t know what we will accomplish by staying there.”

Keep your weapon handy

In Deployments on December 3, 2009 at 12:26 pm

The Obama Surge in Afghanistan means the war in Iraq is pretty much done, right?

Ummmmm, not so much!

More of our guys from the NY-Long Island area are heading that way. The 442nd Military Police Company based in Jamaica, Queens, which includes lots of Long Islanders, will be sending about 200 soldiers to Iraq in the first part of next year, according to Eric Durr, a spokesman for the N.Y. Army National Guard.

One of the first things President Barack Obama did after being sworn last January was set an Aug. 31, 2010 deadline for withdrawing all combat troops from Iraq.

But he plans to leave 50,000 uniformed “advisors” to help the Iraqis train their police, build a credible army, and to avoid having all hell break loose while they try.

My advice to the “advisors” who will be stationed in post-combat Iraq?

Keep your weapon handy.