I’m typing as fast as I can
You would think, with all of their curbside flag-waving and “we support our troops” huzzahing, that when the 101st Fighting Keyboarders read something like this:
Digging deeper for help in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army is recalling to active duty about 5,600 people who recently left the service and still have a reserve obligation.
In a new sign of the strain the insurgency in Iraq has put on the U.S. military, Army officials said Tuesday the involuntary callups will begin in July and run through December. It is the first sizable activation of the Individual Ready Reserve since the 1991 Gulf War, though several hundred people have voluntarily returned to service since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Unlike members of the National Guard and Reserve, individual reservists do not perform regularly scheduled training and receive no pay unless they are called up. The Army is targeting its recall at those who recently left the service and thus have the most up-to-date skills.
“This was inevitable when it became clear that we would have to maintain significant combat forces in Iraq for a period of years,” said Dan Goure, a military analyst at the Lexington Institute, a think tank.
The Army is pinpointing certain skills in short supply, like medical specialists, military police, engineers, transportation specialists and logistics experts. Those selected for recall will be given at least 30 days’ notice to report for training, an Army statement said.
Vietnam veteran Chuck Luczynski said in an interview Tuesday that he fears his son, Matt, who is getting out of the Army after four years, will be called back to active duty as part of the individual reserves. The son returned home in March after a one-year tour in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division, and he’s planning to start a computer programming business.
“I think that’s on everybody’s mind right now, that they took their turn and they would hope everybody took a turn so that a few don’t carry the many,” said the elder Luczynski, of Omaha, Neb.
The Army is so stretched for manpower that in April it broke a promise to some active-duty units, including the 1st Armored Division, that they would not have to serve more than 12 months in Iraq. It also has extended the tours of other units, including some in Afghanistan.
…well, they would say to themselves, “Jeez, those poor guys. Maybe I should disrupt my comfortable life and pitch in to fight Islamofacism. I’m gonna run right down to my local recruiters office and see how I can help bring democracy to the Middle East.”
You would think they would do that, right?
Okay. I’m just kidding. Of course they wouldn’t. In fact, one of them (one who isn’t even gainfully employed at the moment) thinks we need to do a ” little sabre-rattling” on yet another front:
Tell them to knock if off or theyâ€™re next. If they call our bluff we donâ€™t have to bomb the capital or change the regime. Just a few pinprick strikes on military targets at night would let them know weâ€™re serious. Donâ€™t think for a minute that wouldnâ€™t scare the pants off â€™em.
Just as long as someone else is doing the heavy sabre-rattling, since we all know a smug and superior look is only a weapon of mass destruction in your own mind when you’re sitting alone in your home office nursing a Mountain Dew.
(Added): A correction. Michael is gainfully employed as a writer now, for which he should be congratulated. Either way, I’m sticking by Mountain Dew scenario…