Books. Bikes. Boomsticks.
"What fresh hell is this?"
Infrastructure is always the red headed stepchild of the military. It's the same in armies the world over. In times of peace, no one pays the military much attention; mostly they just tolerate it and wonder what in the world we spend so much public treasure on. When we're at war we get all kinds of money, but it's for, well, go-to-war stuff.Go to any military installation anywhere and you'll see the nicest, best-kept and best-maintained slum you've ever seen in your life. Ft. McCoy WI, for example, is a largish Reserve and Nat'l Guard training base, now one of the largest mobilization sites for the war. It's barracks and service buildings are WWII vintage, constantly being maintained and upgraded as best they can, but they're still more than a bit shabby.Transient barracks, like those used for schools and those rotating through training, are quite shabby indeed. I assure you that there's no maid service and no mint on the pillow, but it's the Army ferchrissakes!Most soldiers who've been around awhile accomodate themselves to this. You've got better things to gripe about and in the end, all you really need is a place to sleep and maybe read a book, write a letter or listen to music.It's generally the same at every post I've ever been to--barracks and other buildings are a priority, and we do the best we can, but the money has to go other places as well.I haven't followed the Walter Reed story that much, but I'm willing to bet that the officer got sacked, not because things were that much worse, but because he permitted the Army to be embarrased on his watch. It's kind of a shame. Not only do you have to do your job, and do it well, but your Public Affairs staff must also defend you against mistruths and overblown nuisances blared by the nosy, dumb-as-a-post jackals in the press.gvi
I think that a lot of people defending the Walter Reed mess and the army are missing the point.The returning wounded face an incomprehensible system designed to save their budget by under-designating their disabilty. Read the RAO Bulletin for a few months, and you get a pretty good picture of what returning vets face.We laud these troops while in the field and give them shabby treatment when they return. "I support our troops" doesn't seem to include "I support our vets.""but it's the army fercrissakes" is no defense and a poor excuse.
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