July 31, 2005

DISSENT

Smink has a post on his views on women in the military (He's fer it). No one in the comments section brought up the touchy and delicate issue I would like to address. Any candid discussion of women in the military must focus on some key problems.

What about the barracks rooms designated for anonymous sex where females can try to get knocked up so they don't have to deploy? What about the females in Iraq who are running prostitution rings, charging money for sex with the male soldiers? What about the females who are making pornography and posting it on the internet? What about the females who have boasted that their goal is to sleep with every officer on the FOB? What about the females who lure married men to their beds and then threaten to expose their adultery? What about the frightening power a junior enlisted soldier has when she's sleeping with the first sergeant?

All of these scenarios I describe have happened in our brigade. I know of families that have been destroyed because of both real and imagined infidelities during a deployment. I've heard stories about ruthless female soldiers that make me ashamed of my gender. If we are going to discuss the effects of women in combat, we do need to discuss all that Smink brought up: performance, sexual harrassment, etc. But we also need to address the nasty effects of taking thousands of males away from their families and bunking them with a handful of women for a year. Yeah, I bet a lot of times it's the males' fault, but I've heard enough stories to make me wonder if the females haven't brought some of it on themselves.

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July 29, 2005

BRAC

The husband and I watched Vice Chief of Staff Cody's briefing on the Pentagon channel two days ago, and I looked for an article on it yesterday to no avail. But it's out today: Army identifies locations for units in new, brigade-centric force structure. If anyone's interested in base realignment, this graphic is informative. The presence in Germany will be significantly reduced. What an exciting time for the military!

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July 17, 2005

RE-UP

An interesting side note that no one mentions when they talk about military recruiting these days, via this Stars and Stripes article:

pnw17reenlist.gif

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July 06, 2005

HOMEFRONT

I went to our neighbor's change of command today, where he said something that struck me: he thanked the families for their support during OIF and told his soldiers that they can't understand what it was like to be left behind. I remember I got a taste of this when my husband was home on R&R and CPT Sims was killed. My husband was quite taken aback by everything we wives knew about life insurance and death gratuity. He was surprised that I knew things like how long I would be able to stay in quarters, and he was surprised at the string of phone calls we wives began to send. He said that he had never thought about things from the family end; he had never realized the worrying we did, because he always knew if he and his men were safe.

My job during the deployment was significantly different from his. Mine was nowhere near as hard (though I imagine wives who stayed back with three or four kids might think otherwise), but it was something he couldn't quite grasp. And unless you've lived the homefront lifestyle, you just don't quite know what it's like. Soldiers don't know what the homefront feels like.


(I was mulling over what my neighbor said when I realized we're back to the chickenhawk garbage. I think the two thoughts are related. I don't think you have to live through something to have an opinion on it, though I think it helps to know someone who has gone through it so you can talk about it and learn more. But not everyone can live every experience; the chickenhawk argument is bogus.)

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July 05, 2005

PROMOTION

One time at a military ball, we sat across from a MAJ Hook. My husband leaned over and whispered, "I bet it was a long seven years as CPT Hook." I nearly spit my wine across the table.

Some names and ranks just go together. And some you just get so used to hearing that it feels weird when they change. But a promotion is a wonderful thing, even if we have to learn a new title. So I guess we'll just have to get used to calling the sweetest woman on the planet MAJ Patti now.

Congrats on your promotion, MAJ Patti!

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