". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Our Changing Military

Have you heard about this?

Married troops living together in Iraq

My gut tells me this is not a wise change in policy. But I am not a soldier, nor do I have an immediate family member serving overseas right now. I would be interested in hearing from my readers who fit into either of those categories. Do you think this is a good idea?


The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

I think that it is a bad idea that they are there together. I think it is a bad idea that we have women in combat situations. I think it is a bad idea that mothers are leaving their children behind to go fight in wars.

But if they are there together, I think it is probably a good idea that they can quarter together and maintain a married relationship rather than be close to each other and not be able to live as husband and wife.

On the other side of it, officers, especially captains in the navy used to have their wives with them, and before the 20th century, it was very common for wives to follow their husband's militia to where they were encamping and maintain care of their husband as well as some of the other soldiers as well. It was often a blessing to the troops. They were protected under the general ethics of war and often given the opportunity to evacuate even if their troops were in massive retreat or were taken prisoner. This was even the case if the troops were overseas...In the Revolutionary War, many enlisted and officers had their wives there (as I was told by re-enactors and also in my son's favorite show when he was little "Liberty's Kids") and I know the Hessians did as well, even if otherwise they were virtual slaves to their Duke who hired them off as mercenaries.)

I don't think it is bad that the wives are there, I think it it is bad that they are fighting, and that they are in a place where the Geneva Convention and other dignities that they would be given in other stages of war are not respected. Their bodies and their lives are even more at risk there than they would be fighting in many other places.

Nikki Schreiner said...

My hubby is a military man and spent some time in Iraq during our 2nd year of marriage. (He is now a reservist, in school, and planning to go back to active duty as an officer next year.) Anyway, I also still struggle with the idea of women in combat situations at all. It appears one allowance just leads to another and as I am glad for these couple to be able to encourage one another during deployments, I am still disturbed by how little is being done to ease the burden of those separated for up to 18 months at a time. We have some close friends who were both in the military and were together only three months during their first two years of marriage. Things like this do not support strong marriages and certainly does not encourage reenlistment!

Evan said...

In response to the above, I'll reserve my own thoughts on women in the military for now, but I will share that the strongest opposition I've heard within the Army has come -- ironically -- from some of the best female soldiers I've known. I don't know exactly what to make of that fact.

As far as married soldiers living together, I'm mixed. It goes against my gut feelings, but at the same time, it does seem like it could provide significant stability. And considering the wholesale infidelity (on both fronts) that unfortunately accompanies deployments these days, anything the military can do to show respect for the institution of marriage is probably a good thing.