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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 8/15/2002 8:22:55 AM EST
Hi all, My son James is now in the 101st at Ft. Campbell. He's infantry, a real soldier. You may remember that I asked last year (October) about encouraging words for boot camp. Thanks again for the many responses I got. I've been following the Iraq situation, and James has been calling home regularly. He's doing well, he's in a weapons squad. He's adjusted well, and he's told me that joining the Army has been the best thing he's ever done. Before he joined (we had to consent because he was under 18 when he signed) I reminded him of the movie [i]Saving Private Ryan[/i] and that's what battle is really like. I didn't want to dissuade him, but I wanted him to realize and be sure of what he was doing. I remember telling him that some night he'd be getting into a helicopter to go in country, and he'd have to live with the consequences. So I have an easy conscience that he didn't join with a lot of false/stupid notions in his head. [b]I AM PROUD OF MY SON.[/b] I can't say that enough. The Army has been no cake walk, but its done him a lot of good. [b]Now it looks very much that he's going over there.[/b] I won't go into details, but if you think that there's some chance the the US won't go to war with Iraq, you've got yer head in a hole. I'm having a hard time with this. I'm fully persuaded that Sadam is a madman of the Hitler/Stalin/Amin type. The world should be rid of him. At the same time, the cynical part of me believes that GWB is a politician first and foremost, and his motives for doing this might not be pure as the driven snow. I support the military, and getting rid of Sadam, and I support 100% whatever my son has to do. No backing away, no equivocating. But to be honest, this is very tough. There are conservatives whose opinions I respect that question whether this is a good idea. It's one thing to debate the merits of 7.62x39 vs. 5.56NATO, and whether Sadam really has any nukes or not. Its great to sit on the sidelines and cheer the boys on from your armchair. Its a whole different thing when you're wondering who might be in the body bags. I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts on the matter. My best friend is my wife, and she doesn't really like to talk about this at all. If you're a soldier, I'd like to hear from you too, at least it'll give me a chance to say thanks.
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 8:33:50 AM EST
I was in the "Gulf", and when I got the word to go, there was no question. Your son will do what he has to. You should be proud. Tell him to take his cold weather gear and keep his head down. M. Mason (KD7SET)
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 11:44:55 AM EST
Hi Carbine Man, My son was in the 101st until a year ago. He was an Apache helicopter mechanic, though, not an infantryman. He deployed into Kosovo for the peacekeeping operatins there. I was a USAF officer and had three commands, in Turkey, Korea, and the US. Many young airmen worked for me, most far from home. I did lots of counseling, sending letters home to moms and dads, supporting the wives and kids of deployed personnel, etc., so I hope I can give you some thoughts to set your mind at ease. First, your son will do fine job and, a year or so from now, you'll be even more proud of him. He will have served with men doing the most important of all jobs: keeping all of us safe. You will see an inner confidence emerge in him because he will know, within himself, that he overcame all the BS, discomfort, long hours, and uncertainty to help his unit perform it's mission. Second, he is not alone. He will have a drove of junior NCOs, senior NCOs, and officers looking out for him. Since you apparently watch war movies, I presume youve seen Blackhawk Down. The lesson of that movie is that soldiers always take care of one another. Your son will both give and receive that benefit. Third, US military power is awesome to behold. The infantry will go in last, after the Air Force has bombed the dickens out of everything. Is there still danger? You bet! But there will be armor, air cover, artillery support, and as much other support as the US can muster. Unit commanders do not like to lose their troops, so everything will be done that is reasonably possible to prevent injury. I do think there is a substantial chance we will not attack Saddam. We may not like him, he may be a madman, and he is probably developing weapons of mass destruction, but it is still a giant step to attack a country just to remove a leader we don't like. In 1972, I had orders to Vietnam, had my shipping date set, and was dating my present wife with the idea it was just for fun. My orders were cancelled two weeks before I was to leave. I married the woman six months later! We're still married after almost 30 years. Are you ready for a Daughter-in-Law?
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 12:22:18 PM EST
My family is getting a little rattled also. My bro is in West Point and they talked about sending them to 6 month officer training immediately, with academics to resume after any war. Looks like they need officers and they are really preparing for an all out slug fest. Then there's his desire to go Ranger when he graduates... needless to say, I've got the brains in the family. [;)]
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 2:23:19 PM EST
As a fellow soldier I can tell you that your son will be well taken care of by his NCO's. Troops lookout for each other. Especially in hostile/potentialy hostile situations. My Senior Enlisted got a call from our old division officer. His son is is Asscrackistan right now as a buck private. Makes me proud just to have known the Col. Both he and his son are on active duty at the same time! I too believe that action in Iraq is inevitable, but we just have to wait until it's time to roll. When that time comes training will takeover and we will all have to accomplish our part of the mission. GOD bless you and your son. HOOAH! PONY_DRIVER
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 3:04:57 PM EST
Hi, I'm a newly commisioned LT, right now I am at my Officer Basic Course for MP. We have been told to expect not to be home for Christmas and that War with Iraq will begin in the winter. As for me my duty station is Vicenza, Italy so I do not know if my company would go or not. My wife and I are expecting our first child in October so this is definitly on our minds. Right now here at FT Leanorwood there is a conference going on with 150 experts of urban warfare and how we the US Army will conduct it with combined combat arms. This conference we have been told is because of Iraq. Anyway that is the word around here. Death from Above
Link Posted: 8/15/2002 6:42:37 PM EST
Carbine_Man My son is USMC Reserve. We had the same talk you had with your son (I had to sign also as my son was 17 at the time). Even though he's reserve it is still something that's on my mind. After 9/11 happened, his unit, like many others was put on alert. For the first few weeks he was on 24 hour notice and I have to say that every time the damn phone rang my heart skipped a beat. I'm as proud as can be of my son and I know that no matter what happens that won't change. But it would be hard as hell to sit here and watch him leave to go fight in another country and then wonder every minute of every day if he's ok. All us parents can do when ([i]not if[/i]) that time comes is pray that our sons and daughters will come home safely.
Link Posted: 8/27/2002 10:55:31 AM EST
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