Monday :: Dec 13, 2004

You're Never Too Old To Join The Oil Crusade

by pessimist

As I pointed out in my post on Sunday's Meet The Press, the officer corps of the US military knows - and more importantly, is admitting openly - that they do not have enough people in uniform to keep up with the insane demands of George Warmonger Bu$h and the BFEE/PNAC Petroleum Pirate Posse. While neither the Bu$h nor the Cheney daughters (Nor the mothers, come to think of it) have yet been called up, and Louisiana is registering 15-year-old males, one does have to wonder how long it is going to be when the First and Second daughters 'voluntarily' enlist. Especially when one reads this:

Retired Army colonel, 70, sent to Afghanistan

Dr. John Caulfield thought it had to be a mistake when the Army asked him to return to active duty. After all, he's 70 years old and had already retired - twice. He left the Army in 1980 and private practice two years ago.

"My first reaction was disbelief," Caulfield said. "It never occurred to me that they would call a 70-year-old."

In fact, he was so sure it was an error that he ignored the postcards and telephone messages asking if he would be willing to volunteer for active duty to "backfill" somewhere on the East Coast, Europe or Hawaii. That would be OK, he thought. It would release active duty oral surgeons from those areas to go to combat zones in Iraq or Afghanistan.

But then the orders came for him to go to Afghanistan.

At least they didn't make you a cook, Doc!

Today, Caulfield, a colonel from Satellite Beach, Fla., is an example of how the continuing demands of keeping ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq are forcing the military to go to extraordinary measures to keep its ranks filled. He's attending to patients - U.S. troops, Afghan soldiers and civilians - at the Army's 325th Field Hospital in Bagram, Afghanistan. Caulfield has much-needed experience in gunshot and fragmentation injuries.

Getting ready involved updating his medical credentials and re-establishing military security clearances. His pre-deployment preparation at Fort Benning, Ga., included making sure he was physically fit and could use a gun. Caulfield carries a gun in a holster strapped to his side, sometimes under his scrubs. "Getting used to wearing boots and carrying a gun is a little unusual," he said.

His wife of 47 years, Patricia, said she thought a cruise through the Panama Canal they took after he gave up his private practice would be the most adventurous experience they would have after retirement. "I feel a lot more comfortable than when he was in Vietnam," she said. "This is a great way to finish his career."

Let's hope he doesn't come home in an aluminum tube. That WOULDN'T be such a good way to end his career.

Col. Dr. Caulfield is hardly the only Geriatric GI Joe - just one of the oldest:

He is one of about 100 over the age of 60 known to be serving. The Department of Defense couldn't provide exact figures.

Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, an Army spokesman, said the service has taken back some 350 soldiers who had already retired from the military. But some of those could have done 20 years of duty and still be only in their late 30s. He did not know how many of the returning retirees are 60 or older. The reason, he said, is clear: "It's the continuing demand in the service."

The Navy has 36 medical personnel and 16 chaplains who are over 60. There is one Marine between 60 and 65 currently serving. The Air Force has 12 chaplains over 60 and 32 medical personnel between 60 and 65.

"The rules say it's at 60 years of age when people retire," said Dov Schwartz, an Army spokesman. The Army will issue waivers allowing people who are older to serve if they have needed skills.

Returning, though, is "totally voluntary," Schwartz said.

Say WHAT??? Let's spin the disc backwards a moment:

... he was so sure it was an error that he ignored the postcards and telephone messages asking if he would be willing to volunteer for active duty ... then the orders came for him to go to Afghanistan.

I'm a bit fuzzy in the recollect, but I don't ever recall orders ever asking that something be done. Seems to me that no question is allowed when an order is given.

So - is Dov Schwartz one of those deep cover Israeli-mole Pentagon neocons who blithely tell blatant whoppers to the American people despite of the known facts?

Sure looks that way to me!

Makes you wonder who's really in charge at the Pentagon. Somehow, I doubt it's Rumsfeld.

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pessimist :: 3:59 PM :: Comments (13) :: Digg It!