From Steve Gillard's blog...and I orginally read this on The Liberal Journal (always a fine read)
"My parents live in a gated condo complex in the DC area, and are friendly with the gatehouse guard, a Vietnam vet who served in the Navy Seals and in the Marines. The fellow, who is in his early 60's, was in special units that had lifetime call-up provisions.
Well, now the Marines have called him up. For combat operations. In Fallujah.
So it's come to this. Our nation is now so desparate for recruits that we're not only forcing recent enlistees back for another tour, we are now forcing grandfathers back onto the battlefield?
This is what losing nations do when desperate, what happens when military adventures go so bad that all the healthy soldiers are killed. Maybe next we will be sending 14 year-olds and amputees as well?"
Reading this I thought back to growing up with my dad, an Army, Army Reserve, and finally New Mexico State Defense Force veteran. He was a great man, and every Saturday morning we would sit together and watch Bugs Bunny cartoons and he would polish his Army boots, just to be ready. Anytime there was a skirmish, a coup, a "world situation" that looked like it could blow Dad would get the boots out again and polish them, in the event he would be called up. I remember how silly we thought it was, a man of his age...40, 45, 50...thinking he would be called up to serve in combat, and how we giggled a little bit at his efforts. That thought makes me sad now because we lost him 17 years ago at just 53. Today he would be 70, and I am sure that he would have started polishing his boots like mad on 9/11, but I don't think today I would be giggling, for tomorrow he could be fighting in Fallujah.