"Long tours put stress on soldiers and families"
Those are the words of Army Secretary Pete Geren today, via USA Today;
Army Secretary Pete Geren on Thursday ruled out extending troop deployments beyond the current 15 months, saying that longer tours in Iraq put stress on soldiers and their families, and have contributed to an increase in suicides.
As we have covered, Vito Fossella recently voted against a bill that would extend the time in between troop deployment to equal the time they are serving away from home. Fossella voted NO on that. If you have to go reread that quote above that says our troops are deployed for up to 15 months at a time and Vito Fossella has the audacity to say they do not need more down time and rest time with their families.
The conflict, with its lengthy and repeated deployments that have relied largely on the Army's more than 500,000 soldiers, has stressed the all-volunteer force, its families, its health care system and its recruiting efforts.
An Army report last week showed that repeated and ever-longer war-zone tours have helped to push soldier suicides to a record rate. There were 99 Army suicides last year — nearly half of them soldiers who hadn't reached their 25th birthdays, about a third of them serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
When presented with the chance to vote for extended 'dwell' time, as Geren puts it, or time not fighting in war 24 hrs a day, Vito Fossella confidently voted NO asserting that a soldiers place is on the front line of a misguided war and not at home with their families.