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KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf
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Friday, August 24, 2007

Cannon Fodder

My only nephew, 19 and newly married (way too young, I think), is in the Marine Corps Reserve. Because of Bush, rubber-stamp Republicans, and wimpy Democrats, it's highly unlikely that the Iraq war will end anytime soon. It's very likely I'll end up with no nephew at all, or at least a severely wounded one, after the end of September. That's when he finishes basic training and heads to Iraq. What a waste of a child.




7 comments:

libhom said...

I can understand your frustrations, but we have to keep opposing the war and trying to bring our troops home. This will mean getting in the faces of politicians in both the Democratic and Republican Parties.

I hope your nephew survives the war unharmed.

KathyF said...

My nephew went over twice, as did his brother (Navy pilot, a little safer) and both times came home, once with a Purple Heart and a piece of shrapnel embedded in his helmet.

I hope yours has the same luck.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Thank you, Kathy.

RogerF said...

My father told me about a news article that said after almost 2 years, the Iraq security forces still haven't been trained well enough to handle their own security.

Yet our brave men and women are pushed through 8 to 16 WEEKS of basic training, put on a plane and flown to Iraq to do the very same thing the Iraqi people can’t “or won’t” do??

I see something seriously wrong with this picture!!

Rest assured Congress is hearing my voice.

I hope Congress comeS to their senses and begin an immediate withdraw and your nephew NEVER has to go. If, unfortunately he must go, I’ll hope and pray that he will have a safe and unharmed return.

“SUPPORT OUR TROUPS..STOP THIS WAR”

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Roger! My brother-in-law! Good to know that you're speaking up to Congress. I've been faxing my senators and representative every weekday about ending the Iraq war.

Jim said...

Ran across your site while just killing a little bit of free time on-line. I’m a little bit distressed at your characterization of the decision undertaken by your nephew to enlist in the Marine Corps Reserve as a “waste of a child.” First, just a bit of my background…I’m a Chief Petty Officer in the Coast Guard and have been in the service for close to twenty years (I spent four years in the Navy before switching over to the Coast Guard). It has been a great ride, full of ups and downs of course, but I owe everything that I’ve earned in this life to the fact that I visited a recruiter many years ago (finished college courtesy of the American taxpayer, met my wonderful wife and have enjoyed a very productive career). I have worked with many Marines throughout the years I’ve spent in uniform and I have found them to be nothing less than completely professional. Moreover, they exude an invigorating esprit d’ corps that I often find lacking in some of the other branches (and certainly within the civilian sector). I’m certain that your nephew will find what he’s looking for in the Corps…he will be inculcated with the self-discipline required to follow-through on his aspirations and dreams. Let’s put it another way…had I not enlisted “way back when,” I in all likelihood would have never followed through with earning an undergraduate degree. It’s also unlikely that I would never have had the opportunity to visit some twenty different countries. I certainly wouldn’t have witnessed both the best as well as the worst in terms of the overall human condition (if nothing else makes one appreciate being born an American, a stint recovering Haitian migrants in the Windward Pass will certainly accomplish that). Insofar as Iraq is concerned, I have my own opinion regarding that particular evolution (which would probably rather surprise you), but as an active duty member of the Armed Forces I follow the dictates as handed-down by those who’ve been duly elected (and, yes, the Coast Guard has a large contingent of folks serving in the Persian Gulf…there’s also a possibility that I could be sent there next year myself since I’m up for transfer shortly). In other words, my political opinions are not germane to the discussion. What is germane, however, is my firm belief that service in any branch of the Armed Forces most definitely does NOT reflect a “waste” of time or effort. It has been my utmost privilege to have served with some of the most honorable, hard-working, decent and sincere people while I’ve worn the uniform and I wouldn’t change a thing. If nothing else, you can be proud of your nephew. I doubt if anything I’ve written will change your mind, but I hope you’re open enough to perhaps consider that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes down to what your nephew has opted to do with his life. Best of luck to him and best regards to you.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Jim, your opinion is welcome here, because you expressed it respectfully. Thank you for writing.

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