From an archives lurker

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Mar 24 10:26:06 MST 2003

I assume that CBS is not on the regular watch of your subscribers, so I
am sending this.

These are not warriors. They are regular people trying to make a better
life for themselves. The mother of one of them says: "her son joined the
Army to have a good future, not to fight ... he is a mechanic who
specializes in fixing trucks." His brother repeats the point that he did
it to help his family. The half-brother of another captive says that his
brother "has a 4-year-old son and and 7-month-old dayghter. [He] was a
welder before joining the military last summer to help pay student loans."

Even in this volunteer army, the poor are sent to fight the poor. What
greater indictment can there be of the richest country in the world that
her sons and daughters are reduced to joining the armed forces in order
to get support a family and pay student loans. I used to think that this
was the mentality of the youth in the "Third World." I should have known
better. I did a two-year stint as an ROTC officer from 1957 to 1959.
There was a deep recession during that period, and I saw many officers
and enlisted men who had been in the reserves who came in for the income
and bonus pay that airborne and ranger courses gave them.


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