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Stars and Stripes

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Well-known member
Jul 4, 2005
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Entire article; more letters at the link.
“My unit is tired.” “Let us go home.” Shame on Bush for treating our military this way.

What he learned downrange
During my prolonged adventure in redeployment I’ve come to realize many things:
 Army vs. Marines. The Marines deploy for seven months or less to Anbar province, the most dangerous area of Iraq. The Army (with the exception of the four-month deploying paratroops) stays for a year in all other parts of the country and sections of Anbar, as well. Every unit thinks everyone else is screwed up because they do things differently.
 The salute. I recently read in Stars and Stripes about a Marine officer saying something about being saluted, so she must be in Army country, the implication being that the Army stupidly points out our officers to snipers. An old platoon sergeant said, “If you got your gear on, don’t salute.” So, if you are in your cammies, utilities, or even your pajamas, with a cleared weapon, I doubt snipers are the problem. Officers, please return the courtesy afforded you by soldiers doing their duty.
 Eye protection. “Eye-pro” was worn when needed for handling fuel, working around aircraft, or by exposed vehicle crewmembers. Now, units demand eye-pro be worn all the time. These requirements soldiers understand on patrol, but on the way to the chow hall?
 Out-of-touch leadership. An officer told me he talked with a sergeant major of another unit. This sergeant major told him that “in his day” soldiers would not be lying around doing nothing. In his day, there were no 12-month deployments, except to Korea … and that can hardly be compared to Iraq. In his day there were enlisted clubs where soldiers could go to unwind. In my day, all of that is outlawed, especially in Kuwait.
My unit is tired. We have done our training, our missions. Leave us alone and let us go home.

Sgt. 1st Class Dwayne C. Thacker
Camp Victory, Kuwait"


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