Sunday, March 18, 2012

Angst at home for those serving in Afghanistan

Jessie at Rurally Screwed writes that she finally got a word from her husband, serving in Afghanistan.

I have been considering the story. Apparently the sergeant accused of the shootings was on his fourth tour, after twice being wounded, once a severe traumatic head injury.

One report I read cited some percentage, slim but noticeable, of such injury survivors that go on to commit violent acts.

While we wait to find if the father of two now ensconced in Ft. Leavenworth, KS, was in his right mind at the time, I have questions.

I know that the National Guard has been tasked for deployment more in the last decade or so than previously. And that there is an element in the government that treasures our troops serving in the Mid-East, as that gives our military infrastructure and core cadre experience and skill under fire, making them more effective for many years.

So -- was this sergeant returned to combat because of errant priorities on the part of medical, supervisory, or Department of Defense policies? Is this a consequence of budget and political strategy from the White House? If it turns out that sending that man into combat, again, was a blunder -- who needs their desk vacated to protect the rest of our service people from similar abuses?

I cannot imagine having to be the one to inform that sergeant's family of what he was accused of. If this was a lone act, that is horrible. If this was a preventable failure of a heartless policy -- that needs to be fixed.

I am not advocating discharges for anyone that fit any kind of "been injured, might go haywire" pattern. What I am advocating is assuring that service people are not misused when they haven't fully recovered from injury, and that treatment for injuries received under fire is competent.

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