Biloxi (or thereabouts) Blues

Help me here, because I really don’t know, but is there a precedent for the military giving a brigade a free ride to wherever it goes on leave? Is that normal? Maybe there is. But if not, why would anyone expect it?

I realize that a soldier or sailor here or there might catch a ride on a transport plane on a standby basis, or back in the day, he might have been able to catch a troop train going in the right direction.

And there is a long-standing tradition that uniformed service personnel get priority treatment at airports, train stations, etc. At least, there used to be — I don’t hear much about that any more when I travel. Airlines seem more concerned about their first-class passengers.

But the military providing a free ride for a whole brigade? Where does that expectation come from? Is this a departure, or the norm?

Anyway, if it’s a widespread problem that soldiers can’t get home on leave, that would be an excellent charity for those of us in the private sector to kick in for, as the story suggests. But if the Army has the money, I’d rather see it going to bullets and body armor.

16 thoughts on “Biloxi (or thereabouts) Blues

  1. bud

    Brad, given your prominent position in the community and steadfast support for our troops why don’t you start this troop transport charity. You could promote it through the blog and the newspaper. I’m sure you could easily raise enough money to have on hand whenever a needy soldier requires a ride home. Here’s your chance to make a significant contribution to our military efforts.

  2. Brad Warthen

    That would be good. Anybody else interested in contributing? If there are, we could probably get somebody over at the Guard to take the money.
    But there needs to be some significant interest before they’ll do that, I’m sure.
    I’ll do a separate post on it.

  3. Brad Warthen

    There was nothing wrong with the comment I just deleted, except it was signed “Mary Rosh,” and that fictional individual has been banned from this blog.
    Go ahead and say it, but under another name — preferably your own. Since that was a fairly innocuous one, why not?

  4. Ready to Hurl

    Brad’s post above has to be a slam dunk for the most petty and ridiculous post I’ve read on this blog.
    Read this one quickly. Brad will disappear it, also.

  5. bill

    Twelve Steps To Blog Addiction Recovery (BAR)
    There is no cure for Blog Addiction. But there is recovery. We call this process Blog Recovery Basics (BRB) fueled by our unique 12 step program:
    1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our blogs had become unmanageable
    2. Came to believe that a Sys Admin greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
    3. Made a decision to turn our blogs, logins and passwords over to a trusted third party
    4. Made a searching and fearless content inventory of our blogs
    5. Admitted to Bloglines, to Feedburner and Technorati being the exact nature of our overposting
    6. Were entirely ready to have the RSS and Atom feeds removed from our sites
    7. Humbly asked our blogroll to remove links to us
    8. Made a list of all blogs we had linked, and became willing to delete them all
    9. Made chmods to our directories wherever possible
    10. Continued to take content inventory and when we were tempted to blog, promptly admitted it
    11. Sought through coffee and Tivo to improve our time offline and resolved to not check our Technorati rankings more than once a day
    12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

  6. Dave

    Ary Mosh could cure anyone of blogging given the time. I took a break from it simply because of that thing’s hateful posts.

  7. kc

    There was nothing wrong with the comment I just deleted, except it was signed “Mary Rosh,” and that fictional individual has been banned from this blog.
    BOOOOO! Hissss!

  8. Brad Warthen

    Apparently kc, who’s been gone awhile, is reading that out of context. Here’s what I wrote, just minutes before that, on another post:

    bud, I’m made it extremely, excruciatingly, repetitively clear that Mary can make all the points she wants as long as she leaves off the completely superfluous personal garbage (here’s how that is done, just to remind you how much trouble I’ve gone to on this) — or at least, she COULD have, up until the point she had thumbed her nose at that offer a couple of dozen times.

    Mary is out (and she can keep posting the same stuff over and over, and it will last until the next sweep, and be deleted). Mary can come back under another name (as he/she has done before), and will still be banned as long as she engages in the same behavior. If she comes back in a sufficiently unrecognizable guise, however — one without all the garbage — that will be great, because the problem will be gone.

    It’s entirely up to Mary.

    If that explanation doesn’t satisfy you, that’s too bad. After months of trying to encourage a decent exchange through polite means, only to have her repeatedly flipping the bird in response, I’ve had it with Mary. If you like what she does, this is obviously not the blog for you.

  9. bud

    Brad, it’s interesting that you provided a link to a discussion that occurred exactly one month ago. We were discussing the proposed “surge” and the nonsensical claim by you and others that this was a major change from “stay-the-course”. Since that time things are pretty much the same. Over 1500 Iraqi civilians killed since then. American soldiers are still dying at about 3 per day. We continue to squander a billion $ a week. The world continues to scorn our imperialistic ambitions.
    Again I ask, how long do you give this war before you decide it can’t be won? It’s a fair question that DEMANDS an answer. None of this BS about continuing until the job is done. That’s simply not an answer at all.

  10. Brad Warthen

    The standards you suggest for judging the success of a process that has just begun are rather odd.
    Advocates of the surge told you to expect MORE violence, not less, in the short term — in other words, in the coming months. And yet you suggest continuing violence as an indication of failure.
    And set aside your prejudicial use of the term “squander” when you mean “spend,” and let’s just address the bizarre suggestion that something is wrong and a failure just because we’re spending money on it. You sound like those people who want to shut down public schools: “They’re a failure! Look at all the money we’re squandering on them! It’s just too hard! Let’s quit!”
    Ask me in about five years whether this particular development (the reinforcement of combat infantry in Baghdad and Anbar province) in our continuing commitment to Iraq contributed to success or failure. That’s assuming, of course, that the folks who think as you do haven’t finally succeeded in forcing whoever is president to GUARANTEE failure by quitting. Then, don’t bother talking to ME, because it will be in your hands.

  11. bud

    Brad writes this gem:
    Advocates of the surge told you to expect MORE violence, not less, in the short term — in other words, in the coming months. And yet you suggest continuing violence as an indication of failure.
    Brad, are you kidding????? What do you mean the proponents of the surge suggested there would be more, not less violence? If that’s the case this plan is utterly ridiculous. If a policy is going to bring more violence then by definition we shouldn’t do it. Isn’t the goal to try and REDUCE the violence? After nearly 4 years is the best we can come up with a plan that INCREASES the violence? Use your head, man. This whole thing is crazy.
    If all decisions were made this way we’d have this:
    A law enforcement plan that increases the murder rate.
    An environmental plan that increases air pollution.
    A public health plan that reduces life expectancy.
    A highway safety plan that increases the number of people killed on our highways.
    The warmongers have simply lost their way. They can’t even come up with anything remotely coherent. Nothing even makes one scintilla’s worth of sense in addressing the issues in this never-ending quagmire.
    After 4 years the Federals defeated the Confederates in the Civil War. After 4 years in Iraq we’re asked to buy into a plan that promises MORE violence. The good news is the latest polls show only about 23 percent of the American people are buying it.

  12. bud

    I must say Brad’s “expect more violence” statement has me quit shaken. I can barely hit the keys on the keyboard I’m so mad. He’s advocating a policy that he claims will INCREASE the number of Iraqi civilian casualties. More old men will die. More pregnant women will be shot. More babies will be burned. That’s what Brad is suggesting will happen if this policy is adopted. How craven can you get? This really is a monsterous plan.

  13. bill

    “Man has such a predilection for systems and abstract deductions that he is ready to distort the truth intentionally, he is ready to deny the evidence of his senses only to justify his logic.”

  14. bud

    Wow, I never thought I’d see this day. Mary is defending Brad. Ok, so I’ll give Brad the benefit of the doubt, even though that’s not the way his “increase in violence” paragraph reads. The proponents of the surge are actually suggesting only that combat soldiers, on both sides, will suffer more instances of violence, but attacks against civilians were expected to remain the same or decline even in the short term.
    Even so, that’s still pretty craven in my book. Why don’t we seek a policy that will reduce ALL types of violence.

  15. bud

    Well Brad according to your “expectations” about the surge it must be working. Jan-March American troop deaths for the past 4 years (with 25 days to go in 2007):
    2004 – 119
    2005 – 200
    2006 – 148
    2007 – 184
    How much more blood must be spilled on this pointless and immoral excercise? How many more Americans have to suffer with permanent disabilities with treatments at under-funded VA hospitals? How many more Iraqi refugees are we going to create? It’s time to stop this madness. Bring our troops home. Reach out for a diplomatic solution. Enlist the help of other nations to end the violence. The Decider has created this monster but refuses to end it. It’s time for congress to do the right thing and cut off funding. That’s what the voters wanted and the voters should demand that it be done.

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