Saturday, July 21, 2007

One weekend a month, Two weeks a year my ass

I was saddened, nay, sickened, to read a story on, which is my homepage. I usually check up each morning on the stories going around. That story, of twenty soldiers from one town in Ohio all dying within two days over in Iraq, is daunting. Something I noticed in the story was that fourteen of the twenty were reservists. These are men and women whom are only supposed to be used as a last-ditch resort, in the direst of circumstances.

This brought my thoughts to another arm of our military - The National Guard. These people are only supposed to be serving within the united states, guarding our nation at home. It was determined in 1889 that the President had no right to send the National Guard outside of the United States to fight in a war; in this case the Spanish-American War. Of course, we all know that they have done so througought our history since then; three quarters of the first troops to fight in the Phillipines were National Guards, and they also played an important role in World War One, to name a couple of instances.

But if one were to review the advertising machinery that is the main recruiting force for the National Guard, one sees that the image presented is not one of a branch that travels all over the globe, fighting insurgencies in foreign countries. No, if one were to watch the advertisements, you get the idea that the National Guard has little to do with the actual fighting. I remember, during my time as a member of the U.S. Air Force, being in Germany and seeing the picture of the C-130 cargo/transport plane that the Guardsmen in Iraq had written on. It said, in bright paint on the side, "Two Weeks a Year Our Asses!"

I always wondered what happened to them as far as disciplinary action went, but I'm sure it was worth it.

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