My Letter Featured in the Marine Corps Times

 Last week I found myself even more frustrated that our country is more informed about the Earthquakes than the current situations in Iraq and Afghanistan –> affecting our country, citizens, and military directly. Most people can tell you how many deaths resulted from the earthquakes but are completely unaware of how many casualties have occurred within our military since January (79 by the way, according to iCasualties). I don’t mean to disregard or minimize what has happened, however I don’t agree with our Military being so involved when there are bigger issues that need to be dealt with regarding our country. I wrote a Letter to the Marine Corps Times stating my opinion and it is now featured in this weeks (March 8th, 2010) edition.

You can click the title for the direct link to the letter, but here is what it says:

END QUAKE RELIEF NOW

At what point did our US Military become the world’s first aid kit?

It is truly sad and devastating what has happened in Haiti and Chile. Two countries in less than two months that have been hit by destructive earthquakes which have left millions of people displaced and homeless and thousands dead.

However, I do not understand President Obama’s decision to send out our military to Haiti with such force and for this long. With the most recent earthquake in Chile, our President promised to send out our troops if we are needed – but how long can our country do this for?

Our military already is stretched thin with the current events happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. There just aren’t enough of them to go around. 

Troops with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit and Sailors on the amphibious ship Bataan, one of the first ships to arrive in the wake of the earthquake, had only been home for some weeks from a seven month deployment prior to receiving 24 hour notice to deploy again. Those Marines and Sailors are also still out there with no return date in sight.  Not only is this strenuous on our service members, but also to their families as well.

Our country has agencies, such as the American Red Cross, that are funded and prepared to assist in these kinds of natural disasters. Our military should not be obligated to take upon the task of humanitarian relief for extensive periods of time. I can very well see how this deployment can be a noble and dignified one, but it is not enough to justify a mission so costly, both monetarily and physically, on a military that already is having difficulty sustaining the current tempo of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. They have a larger role to play and a truly more important one that relates directly to our country’s citizens, safety, and freedom.

Of course that is the edited version. This is my entire original letter:

END QUAKE RELIEF NOW

At what point did our military become the world’s first aid kit?

It is truly sad and devastating what has happened in Haiti and Chile. Two countries in less than two months that have been hit by destructive earthquakes which have left millions of people displaced and homeless and thousands dead.

However, I do not understand President Obama’s decision to send out our military to Haiti with such force and for this long. Neither was I surprised with the most recent earthquake in Chile that our President promised to send out our troops if we are needed – but how long can our country do this for?

Our military is already stretched thin with the current events happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. There just aren’t enough of them to go around.  The Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit and Sailors on the USS Bataan, one of the first ships to arrive in the wake of the earthquake, had only been home for some weeks from a seven month deployment prior to receiving 24 hour notice to deploy again. Those Marines and Sailors are also still out there with no return date in sight.  Not only is this strenuous on our military but to their families as well.

It is understandable to send out our military to assist in security and stabilization but it has to come to a point we need to say “you welcome and goodbye”. It is well over 40 days now that Haiti has a military presence even though the earthquake has faded from news headlines and just about all the media that was out there reporting, blogging, and tweeting daily have returned home as well. I find it difficult to swallow that we can be in another country so long but when Katrina hit New Orleans– our military, the USS Bataan specifically, was given orders to pull out after only spending 19 days providing humanitarian relief.

It is time we get the military home and back to focusing on issues that affect our country directly. Our military along with their families have been on a consistent deployment cycle for a couple years and now is not the time to take upon unnecessary duties.

Our country has agencies, such as the American Red Cross, that are funded and prepared to assist in these kinds of natural disasters. Our military should not be obligated to take upon the task of humanitarian relief for extensive periods of time. I can very well see how this deployment can be a ‘noble’ and ‘dignified’ one but even so it is not enough to justify a mission so costly, both monetarily and physically, on a military that already is having difficulty sustaining the current tempo of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. The bottom line is they have a larger role to play and a truly more important one that relates directly to our country’s citizens, safety, and freedom.

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2 Responses

  1. i agree.

  2. I agree!
    I have been upset for weeks now with the amount of attention everything else seems to receive except troops. I am glad you spoke on it and it drew some attention.
    Great Job!

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