I typically try to stay away from politics or anything overly controversial on our blog since I like to keep our blog family friendly. But these are two topics that have my mind working overtime the past couple days. On both topics, I have been one with an unpopular opinion, which I don't mind because after all, I, like everyone else, is certainly entitled to my opinions.
The first topic is that of those killed and wounded in the Fort Hood shooting should receive Purple Hearts. I do not agree with this. I am the first to say this was a tragedy (one I feel could have been prevented but that's another blog entry). This is not the first account of Soldiers killing Soldiers and not even the first one where someone of Muslim faith was involved and disagreed with their role in the War on Terror. I am not belittling any of these deaths, but in these previous incidents, Soldiers were not awarded Purple Hearts. I do think that it's sad but I think it's a political move. In one article I read that it was being proposed so that the families could receive the max insurance. Regardless they would still receive the max insurance, with or without the Purple Heart.
I love the Army, I care about Soldiers, I was blown away by the incident at Fort Hood, (that was our home for 5 years, I have been in the very building the shootings took place). But I think it will be an injustice for those who have received a Purple Heart in combat. As it is, I think they already hand out the Purple Heart too easily in some cases.
The second topic would be the young Soldier who refused to deploy to Afghanistan because she didn't have anyone to take care of her baby. I say discharge. I know the media is having a great time with this story, poor girl being stripped from her child. Well let me tell you how this works. When that young Soldier found out she was pregnant, she was called in by her commander and counseled. During that counseling she was given the option to stay in the Army or to get out. Obviously her choice was to stay in the Army. She was counseled then that she would need to have a Family Care Plan in place and failure to have one could result in discharge. So it's not like this is a shock. I get that her mom said she was overwhelmed...I can't say I understand it since she takes care of other people's kids all day and would turn away her own flesh and blood (oh, was that judgmental?). So, yes..it sucks that she would have to leave her child and it's a tough situation I know. But here's the bottom line. She had options, she had choices, and now she is going back on her obligation. So no, I do not feel sorry for her because she created this situation. I say discharge and move on. I think the Army has been playing the nice game too long. We have people trying hard to get in the Army who can't, so let's get rid of dead weight and bring in someone who will fulfill their obligation.
And for the record, I had all 3 of my kids in the Army, never missed movement and left my children behind when duty called. I fulfilled my obligation and chose to ETS (finish my term) and get out when I felt I could no longer be a good Soldier and a good mother. I have no regrets for my time in uniform.