Sergeant James Connolly actually did what thousands wanted to do on 09/11/01, he joined the U.S. Army that afternoon after watching planes crash into the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon, watching the towers fall and few dozen people sacrifice their own lives to save thousands of other. Connolly served a year in Iraq and was part of the operation that killed Saddam Hussein’s sons in July 2003.
Now that he and 14,000 of his fellow soldiers in the 101st Airbourne have been given stop-loss orders (which means they can’t leave the Army even after their tour is up) and are looking at another deployment to Iraq, he wants out. Connolly’s commitment was up last December but the military extented his entire division until 01/31/07. Talk about a raw deal. You think you are joining up until 12/04 and chicken-hawk Rumsfeld and the Bush crime family tell you that you can’t leave until 2007.
In an interview with Reuters, Connolly’s mother says she thinks a couple other parents kids should join her son. “If Bush feels it’s such a noble cause, maybe he should talk to his own daughters about making a commitment” she said. The Connolly’s are a growing number of people unhappy with Iraq operations. In a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Wednesday, 53% thought the war was not worth fighting and 68% called the number of U.S. casualties unacceptable.
I think back to Sen. Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention. James Connolly is all that any of us might hope for in a child. But are we serving him as well as he has served us? Think of the nearly 1,900 men and women – sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, who won’t be returning to their own hometowns. Think of the families who were struggling to get by without a loved one’s full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were Reservists.
Sen. Obama said it best at the DNC when he said, “When we send our young men and women into harm’s way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they’re going, to care for their families while they’re gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.”
That’s my view from the left.