Saturday, December 9, 2006

On the homefront ...

Seems the extended deployment of Guard and Reserve troops is having an effect* on more people than just their immediate families:

WASHINGTON - The deployment of thousands of police officers to Iraq, Afghanistan and other military reserve posts is costing local law enforcement agencies up to $1.2 billion per year, according to a new analysis of Justice Department data.

The review, prepared for a law enforcement trade journal by Justice Department statistician Matthew Hickman, found that the number of military call-ups is outstripping the pace of new hires at a time when agencies are struggling to find new recruits, and as crime is ticking upward after several years of historically low crime rates.


I did 2 years Active Reserve duty once my active-duty hitch was over and I know the part the Guard and Reserves play in their local communities. As you see with the cops, this hurts people who have no direct connection to the military and the war.


The problem is particularly acute in small police agencies, which often have struggled to fill gaps in patrol coverage left by cops who have been called to military duty, according to Hickman's analysis, just published in Police Chief magazine.


It's also tough on employers* who are obligated to keep a Reservist's job for them while on active duty. While I support the law, it does cause hardship when the Guard and Reserve are used interchangably with active duty troops.

WASHINGTON - The number of reservists and National Guard members who say they have been reassigned, lost benefits or been fired from civilian jobs after returning from duty has increased by more than 70% over the past six years.


Retired Marine lieutenant general Dennis McCarthy, executive director of the Reserve Officers Association, a private advocacy group, acknowledged the deployments can be difficult for employers, particularly small companies. "That burden is an acceptable cost when it's compared to the value of reserve service to our country," he said.

What will happen, is Guardsmen and Reservists will be denied employment in the future because of their military commitment and obligation. I can't run a business if I know one or more of my people will be gone for up to 18 months, come home for 6, and then leave for another year and a half.

This is what you get when you put incompetents, amateurs, and morons in charge of the world's strongest military. I dare anyone to tell me our military isn't broken. Like the underreporting of the violence in Iraq, I'll bet you anything they're hiding the fact our Army and Marine Corps are worse off than any of us expect.

*Great thanks to the lovely Pam Spaulding for the links.

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