The Globe today carries the story of Specialist Lisa Hayes of the New Hampshire National Guard.
Ms. Hayes signed up with the Guard to get medical training to become a registered nurse. She served one tour in Iraq guarding ‘dignitaries’ (who may likely be defined as Republicans who never go outside the now not-so-safe Green Zone without a hundred armed soldiers and five helicopters). She started a second tour as a guard at a POW compound, and that was when her troubles began.
The upshot was a custody battle for her seven-year-old daughter between Hayes and her former husband back home. The military extended her leave three times, then sent her back to Iraq. She couldn’t leave in the middle of the court battles, and was then charged with being AWOL and a month later with desertion.
Pretty much a standard story in today’s military, which has been busted up, broken, and savaged by the Bush administration and its crew of sociopaths and incompetents. The military says Hayes will probably be discharged, rather than jailed and/or shot. Kind of them.
I think the point that many people who sign up for the military fail to realize, having been brainwashed by the sanitized commercials about an Army of One, and so forth, and challenges to manhood, is that when you sign up for military duty, your life is forfeit. It belongs to the government. They can pretty much do what they want with you, and your life frankly means nothing. You are expendable. You are not on a career path. You are not in college. You are raw, trained meat, available to be thrown to whatever lions may fill the delusions an insane President.
Lisa Hayes was granted an honorable discharge. She should not have had to go through what the military put her through to get it.