The weakened warrior

A post by Facebook group ROE (Rules of Engagement) on contractor fraud waste and abuse as told by former Halliburton employees living and playing in luxury while soldiers in the field lived in tents and waited long hours for meals or drank and bathed in contaminated water (that’s actually a well-documented truth). There are two sides to every coin and like all dilemmas what the eye sees up front appears to be one thing turns out to be another. Reality is perception. I’m not saying that complaints addressed here were not legitimate in the beginning but my question is why is this an issue again many years later? For every former employee who speaks out 7 years after the fact I’d like to ask: “What did you do to stop it?” Everyone is a volunteer in this war.  Think about civilians augmenting what military people do

That goes way back to the beginning of the war. There are still some problems but overall there is more oversight now. One sad perspective here is that military higher-ups are just as involved in frad as anyone else. Power and resources gone unchecked will tempt many into misconduct. Soldiers, with the exception of some bases, have their own rooms with showers, internet, phones, and other amenities I find far too comfy for a war zone; but here it is. We’ve become so soft that we expect to get a meal served in ten minutes not thinking of how that food got there. They’ve been desensitized to reality. PXs, MWRs, you name it. When I deployed for the gulf war and before that, most of us expected to live in GP tents which we did. It was a blessing to have the Seabees hook up power so that we could have electricity and running water for showers. There were no parents demanding that tents have ACs because it’s hot in the desert. No shit, you think? No one who served in the field or deployed anywhere expected these comforts; that’s because there was a standard of living and we all expected it without further inquiry. Not today.

This is a symptom of a bigger problem and it is within us; comfort comes before duty. I’ve known of the process that keeps the war machine going with few glitches, trash pick-up, laundry, meals, fixing that doorkbob that keeps breaking. You name it, it’s done by some civilian. Sometimes they become part of the background in such a way they become invisible. When civilians or even soldiers complain about not getting enough apples they clearly dismiss the concept that the food isn’t bought or grown locally; it has to be transported. This isn’t you and mom driving to Safeway to get groceries.

Bad guys love to hit convoys, which means that someone’s going to die just so we can get food and other needed supplies. That’s the nature of warfare; destroy the enemy’s lifeline (fuel also, look at those NATO fuel attacks in Afghanistan) and paralize them before they get you. Few people view this issue of fraud waste and abuse any deeper than contractors (well, actually the executives) and without direct accountability yeah, we’re going to have fraud. Here’s another side of the coin no one sees; your kid writes home complaining it’s hot or cold or favorite snacks not available at the PX or the food service is slow. There should be no cafeterias, no Greenbeans or Cinnabon, or Taco Bell or salsa night (no, I don’t make this up) which is actually stuff the military demands AFEES or contractors to provide!

Stop your complaining. How about we look at other chronic fraud waste and abuse within the Pentagon or how the current administration has helped Iraqi politicians perpetuate a culture of cronyism? You all know our taxes paid for these people to run a dishonest government of spending out of control. Sounds familiar? I don’t hear much outrage. The president heads to India to experience the Festival of Lights while many in America wonder how they’ll feed themselves, soldiers wage fierce battle in Afghanistan and face unknown peril while downsizing in Iraq. Our enemies are watching and studying our mistakes and waiting for that opening. Hell, the hole is getting larger by the minute. We’re broke. We’re headed for a state of weakness to permeate our culture, national pride and honor and our future.

You know what? When someone tells you ‘do it and look the other way’ you’re one of the bad guys. These are people who are disgruntled and want to exact some revenge for their own reasons. Those who stepped up to the plate and at least screamed bloody hell and pointed at the injustice get my sincere respect. Those who have known nothing but comfort in your lives only to sign up for a career in the military you should know or try to know this isn’t a resort. Why have we become so dependent on perks? Every clogged toilet, broken door handle, road we drive on, clothes washed and dried; there are civilians making that happen. It is the great machine keeping the war going. Hardly anyone pays attention to that except those in the top leadership.

Never mind. You’d have to experience life in a war zone to understand it before making general statements about what goes on.

Contractors are not military. They are not trained to function in the same way as soldiers do. Wake up. We’ve become dependant on perks and creature comforts and totally disregarded the loss of our courage and resolve.

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