Cactus at Angry Bear states that the Military is actually attempting to do something about the Mental Health of Our Troops in the field. What Command is doing consists solely of trying to avoid Public Incidents which reflect badly on them. The actual health of the Troops receive little consideration. I will delve into Hypothetical situation here, while Some in the Military will understand why: The average Soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is 5-7 years older than Troops in Vietnam; crossing a spectrum of Age consistent with WWII service. The average Soldier in Iraq and Afghan is married with 1-2 children which they still support. They are shot at by the Enemy approximately 9 times per Tour, and respond with Fire about 7 times. They find themselves in the Target Zone of the Enemy (could potentially be hit) about 14-16 per Tour. They are uncomfortable in their Role in Iraq and Afghanistan for which they have received insufficient Training, and are actually under-supplied with basic equipment. Adventure is not High on their personal list of entertainments.
Command utilized the venue of increasing the number of Tours in these areas per Soldier, and lengthened their Tours, in order to calm the Nerves of their Troops. They add to the calming effect by insisting the Troops leave their equipment to Incoming troops upon finishing a Tour, and being refused full equipage before returning Tour. They are most definitely ‘Happy Campers’, and ‘Are WE there yet?’
The only fully-equipped military units in Iraq and Afghanistan are the Medical Units, Command deeply fearing any Public charge of insufficient Medical Care for the Troops; though any returning Wounded find that adequate Medical Care ends when the wheels of the Freedom Bird leaves the Runways of Iraq and Afghanistan. Equipment shortages of Troops going to Iraq and Afghanistan have started to be re-routed to State National Guard units, due to the political clout of State Governors; who are increasingly insistent on re-storage of Fire and Disaster equipment to their States; all This inside a Administration which will not reallocate Weapon Development funds to fulfill the Needs of Troops in the Field under fire.
Politicians are quick to assert American Homefront response has altered drastically since the Vietnam era. Patriotic Americans are admittedly far Warmer and sympathetic to American troops in the field. Command Staff officers, though, have remained as consistently inSensitive as they have been since WWI. Pentagon High Command stands more sympathetic to Corporate Profits inside the Military/Industrial complex, than they are to valid Complaints of Troops under fire. Troops must respond to Orders from a ‘Lame Duck’ Administration more concerned with refusal to admit Strategic mistakes, than Protection of Troops under fire. I personally would have chosen Vietnam, if a Soldier serving in the field had a Choice, over Iraq. Afghanistan would be physically safer, and no more physically rigorous. lgl