Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Common Coves Like Us: A Rebuttal

I was pleased with the post I wrote on Monday regarding the military's 'fit to serve' policy, but that means little since I am, by nature, heavily self-congratulatory; until Victor came back home for this 'weekend', and I happened to mention the post. I had assumed he would support my conclusion, but it seems he had a much different opinion from what I had expected. After a protracted lesson on military policy, I figured I would get a former soldier's opinion on the matter, but it comes with a heavy language warning. Vic can get pretty saucy about military matters. ("Well, I didn't realize you would be quoting me!")

"See this is what I don't like, when civilians try to give their opinion about stuff they don't know"
I asked whether he had any personal experience with the circumstances the news article had spoken of, soldiers who had been injured on the job and the army's response;
"They won't just kick you out. They'll try and help you first, but if you're an absolutely useless person...They should try, but the army can only do so much."
 I was surprised to find he supported the military service policy, talking about the policy like a tool the military could use to get rid of people that were 'untrainable' or 'useless'.
"They won't just kick you out for no reason. I mean they should try to find a job for them, but if the guy's a useless fuck, you have to remember, people's lives are on the line in jobs like military intelligence. Giving the position to a retard could cost more lives."

We moved away from the notion of people that had been injured in the line of duty, and on to people that hid preexisting conditions, then exploited the military for medical support and a steady income.
He remembered a solider with a chit bag - medical chits excusing him from heavy service, etc. - that he would shuffle through to avoid doing work or other unpleasant taskings, and another that only worked until noon, but was paid the same full wage as other soldiers. 
"Occasionally people get in, then go on permanent category." (This means permanently unfit to service) "The military has to wait out to the end of their contract. You have to remember we need capable people in important positions."

I asked if he remembered any specific soldiers and he spoke of Mcpl. Franklin, who lost both legs in Kandahar and was accommodated, but eventually left to further advocate for soldiers who had been injured in the service. He spoke of how valued the former Mcpl. was for lecturing while he had been in, and was certain that the departure had been his own choice. He was of the opinion that this was the norm, and that soldiers being forced out didn't relate the full story to the media.

As for soldiers that joined with pre-existing conditions?
"Personally, I think they should kick out every one of those useless fucks."

1 comment:

Michael said...

I agree with Victor. I'm not a military man, but I have been a union man and this is EXACTLY what is wrong with Unions. Soldiers are required to maintain combat readiness That Is What Makes Them Soldiers.

In this day and age there are a great many tasks in combat scenarios that are not simply dragging a rifle around, and many of them can be done by Soldiers who may be injured or physically ill. No task can be done by someone who is deliberately useless. Continuing to pay them with my taxes to endanger others and leech off the services needed by actual Soldiers is offensive.