Patterico's Pontifications


Battling it out on the Home Front

Filed under: General — Badger 6 @ 7:28 am

Assume if you will for the duration of this post that everything Bush Administration said in 2002 and 2003 in the run up to the Iraq War turned out to be true and more. What would have happened differently here in Iraq? Well maybe the President might have felt he had more political capital to spend and might have sent more troops sooner. That would have been nice, but it would really have depended on the number of troops. To put the number of troops GEN Shinseki suggested back in 2002 would have required most of the US Armed Forces and/or a much larger coalition commitment.

In any event it would have required the large commitment of Reserve and National Guard personnel we have seen. The Armed Forces bank on a relatively large group of readily available personnel that do not need to draw a full time paycheck unless they deploy. This has many consequences, far too many for one blog post, but what interests me most is the family members, particularly spouses (and some prospective spouse) and children that are left at home to deal with this separation.

This contrasts with the active duty experience. Sometimes an active duty spouse will return home to be with parents and family during the time of separation, but that is not the norm. The families remain at the service members permanent station. In doing so they are bonded together in a community that is having a common experience, the separation, the communications challenges, the day to day problems that cannot get resolved 7,000 miles away, and yes when injury and death come to a unit they are there to support each other. In the reserve community it is much more problematic. Sometimes they go through this alone, and almost always with people that do not really understand the struggle.

My Army Reserve unit is Headquartered in Boise, Idaho. I estimate 60% of the company is actually from that area. I have large numbers of Soldiers from the Seattle, Washington and Ogden, Utah areas. I have the odd Pennsylvanian, New Yorker, and Ohioan. I myself am from St. Louis, Missouri. Many of not most of us are out right volunteers for this specific deployment, but as you can see that has left a large number of people in Communities across the land trying to figure out how to deal with this.

ArmyWifeToddlerMom has quickly become a classic in the genre of blogs by Spouses. Her husband has already done one tour here and probably anticipates another.

The Life and Times of a Butterfly Wife document the travails, life challenges, and victories of the spouse of a deployed Soldier from “Middleville.”

Cool, Calm and Collected is the blog of the finace’ of one of my Soldiers, SGT James Holtom. Unfortunately SGT Holtom was killed on February 8, 2007.

Regardless of the rightness or wrongness of the War in Iraq, for the foreseeable future, the template of conflicts will require extensive use of the Guard and Reserve. We will continue to have these stories and it is something I believe to consider as we look at how our armed forces are structured.

There are more mi-spouse blogs (and a few parents) listed on my blogroll at Badgers Forward.

4 Responses to “Battling it out on the Home Front”

  1. About the new uniforms. Nobody wants to feel like a toy/ or toy soldier. The patches should stick to sewing for sentimental and traditional reasons. I can appreciate someone from field duty being less concerned with shining their boots and more with keeping them laced properly, still CO’s and some NCO’s need to show some class, you know, I don’t want an ugly superior representing me. If those boots aren’t taken care of then I’ll do it.

    Jeffrey Rivard (dbd61a)

  2. Good job, as always, Badger 6.

    Jo Ann Ross (b08c80)

  3. Yes, it IS different being out here in middle America as a military (national guard) wife. The greater civilian world is curious about us, some days I feel like an exhibit at the zoo –[ oooh look, the army wife… see how she paces the floor waiting for the phone to ring.. look at the care packages she’s packing….] But the internet is a great “connector” SpouseBuzz is a fantastic resource too. A superb place to get questions answered and to realize that you aren’t alone. Because many of us feel alone out here.

    Silly thing to say, but be safe. Keep your ass down, and your helmet on.



    Liberal Army Wife (fc7c50)

  4. Well done Sir, just know we respect you and your men for what you are doing for us. You know I am a regular reader at your place and love that Teflon Don, the superstar. You guys do great work and from my point of view you are all great American, stay safe, live long, your grandkids will love and respect you for the the stories you can tell, I know, mine do.

    sarge charlie (69c923)

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