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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Army Fatherhood. Some of the unusual contradictions that military service imposes upon men were illustrated in a story in today's LA Times. The story described how servicemen are persuaded to re-enlist in the Army. One of the soldier's wives said

I don't want to raise our kids on my own. I saw my mom do it. It's not an easy life," Krissy said in the cheery living room of her home in Spanaway, Wash., near Ft. Lewis, a changing table in the corner awaiting the baby who would soon arrive. "It breaks the kids' hearts. It breaks everyone's heart." But Myers has decided to reenlist in November for four more years. A $40,000 bonus cinched the deal. "It all came down to financial stability," he said. He is scheduled to return to Iraq in January for his fourth tour.

Despite all the Army ads about "be all you can be," serving in the military can be disempowering.
The article quotes another wife commenting on her husbands re-enlistment: His wife, Shannon, prays for him. But when considering the civilian options for her husband, a former drywaller with no college degree, she concludes: "It's scary getting out of the Army."
And a soldier comments
"I wish I could say it was the great Army life, but it was the financial stability," Barnes said. "The Army takes you away from your family, but it keeps your family safe."
I think we all agree that we need to have a military and that the men who put their lives on the line are brave. But when a man thinks he is doing his wife and children a favor by volunteering to go overseas and risk his life on the line for questionable cause and when he thinks he is keeping his family "safe" by doing so, something is wrong.

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