Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Why they stay

Mudville Gazette provides some info on reenlistment rates and adds the reasons why soldiers are staying or leaving. Here is the best one:

..."because as I look around at the state of this nation and see all of the weak little pampered candy-asses that are whining about this or protesting that, I'd be afraid to leave the fate of this nation entirely up to them."

From my time as a young LT to my current reserve association with the military, I have found that our young American soldiers want good leadership and tough challenges. Some will talk about money or being away from their families or spartan conditions, but the soldiers we want to keep do not want to be pampered. They need a test to prove who they are inside, and they need to look up to their leaders and know that those in command are just as brave and dedicated and tough as they are. Then they will reenlist.

If the view of the anti-war left was true (our soldiers all want to come home now because conditions are tough), then we would not be seeing the overwhelming number of volunteers for areas like Special Forces. The problem in perceptions is that the guy who couldn't make it as a soldier will return and quickly find a sympathetic reporter and an even more willing editor to put his story on the front page.

The young hero going through Special Forces training, on the other hand, is focused on building his technical competence so he can deploy and work as an integral part of his team. That young man doesn't have time for the majority of the MSM, and probably feels some disdain for the institution. But he does have faith that the American people will overcome the daily prattle they are hearing and support the soldier as he brings freedom to yet another corner of the world and brings safety to the American people.