Monday, February 07, 2005
After having read the psychobabble from the "Teheran Times", reader Sharon emails:
"My son, Allen, a New Hampshire Army National Guardsman, has just returned from eleven months of service in Iraq... After being injured in the face with shrapnel, and having only six months until he receives his college degree, he has agreed to reenlist for another three years. (His original enlistment ended last August.)Thank you for your service, Allen. We're all happy to hear that you're safe and sound. One day, the "Teheran Times" might get it right, too.
"Of course, the Tehran Times could be right that it comes down to my son trying to escape his Christian fundamentalist mother. Although, it is a little hard to believe this when I gingerly asked him if he wanted a party upon his return...and he replied affirmatively because he wanted to thank everyone who prayed for him...
"It seems that my son's re-enlistment was motivated by many things. Of course, there was the $7,500 bonus - tax free if signed before his boots hit American soil, and the monthly pay that will help with rent, and the educational assistance should he decide to pursue a Master's Degree (in Linguistics). However, it also seems there is a great deal of pride and a sense of duty in the decision to reenlist.
"He is no victim. He volunteered for the Army National Guard at the age of eighteen knowing that he could be sent into combat. He reenlisted at the age of twenty-four, seeing in the rear-view mirror more chaos than most will see in a lifetime. And he is willing to do it again. (So much for the 'back door draft!')"