Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Hidden Cost Of Iraq

In a further demonstration of the useless stupidity that is the Iraqi invasion, a 43 year old single mother has been recalled to active duty.

link


The single mother from Medford has been unexpectedly pulled from the inactive Army reserve and ordered to report for active duty by Feb. 5.  


As Christmas nears, Arndt, 43, is trying to sell the Medford home she says she will not be able to keep on an Army salary of approximately $60,000 a year, and is searching for someone to care for her 13-year-old son, Shane. She expects to train for an 18-month tour of duty that could take her to Iraq or Afghanistan.


She said she never saw her return to active duty as a possibility.  "Never in a million years," she said.


And the reason that this was so unexpected?  Ms.Arndt has been out of active duty since the 1980s.


Arndt, a respiratory therapist at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center and a small-business owner, has been called back to active status after 20 years as a reservist. She spent four years of active duty in the Army in the 1980s based in Germany prior to becoming "an individual mobilization augmentee reservist" -- which eequired her to fill in for regular duty soldiers called to overseas duty.


This was "necessitated" by the increasingly difficult task of recruiting as opinion continues to turn against the war.  (Or illegal invasion, as I prefer to say.)


But it is her 13 year old son who will bear the unseen price here.


Her return to active duty will leave her teenage son without a parent for 18 months, she said, and cost her more than $100,000 in income during that time. ...


Arndt, who is also appealing her orders, is far from alone. Almost 8 percent of all current Army personnel -- and 13.8 percent of female soldiers -- are single parents, the officials said.


Arndt, who never married, at first arranged to have Shane live with her sister. But those plans are in danger of falling through, she said, because of family problems. She said her son's emotional well-being

worries her the most.


"He says, 'My father's not here, you're not here, why should I be here?'" Arndt said. "His life as he knows it is gone."


And related to our presence in Iraq, former President Carter had this to say:


link


WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) Former President Jimmy Carter said he doubts whether the U.S. military will ever completely pull out of Iraq.


Carter's comments came Tuesday during a brief visit at the U.S. Military Academy where he signed copies of his newest book for West Point cadets.  The former president said he believes America will have a major military presence in Iraq for decades to come. ...


``My belief, and it may be erroneous ... is that the top leadership in this country intends 20 years from now, 50 years from now, we'll still have a major military presence in Iraq.''


50 years?!  Or at least until the oil runs out.

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