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Sacrificing To Serve

This week, the JOURNAL followed several members of the New Jersey National Guard as they prepared to leave their homes and family for deployment in Iraq, some for their second or even third tours of duty.

Citizen soldier Sergeant Beverley Curl, who has been with the National Guard for nearly twenty years, said:

“[The National Guard] paid for school. The Guard has been good to me. I mean, I’ve had no problem with the Guard and I tell my friends all the time ‘I totally believe that everybody should serve some time in the military’... I’m not gonna say ‘oh yes, I want to go, I want to go.’ I don’t want to go. I don’t want to leave my husband, my family...

We’re supposed to stay in Jersey. The regular army is to take care of things that happen worldwide. And I understand that the regular army is stressed and they’re pulled at the seams or whatever. But then what happens, God forbid, if something happens to New Jersey? You’ve taken most of the troops out of the state, so what happens then? So, no, I don’t think the guard should be there – simple, I don’t. I believe they should be in the state to do what they’re supposed to do for this state. But you gotta go, you gotta go.”

According to the Department of Defense, there are 84,820 members of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve as of September 3rd, 2008.

Do you know anyone serving in the wars abroad? How has their absence affected their families, friends, and communities?


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Comments

For Bush to start a war in Iraq off lies and not be held accountable, furthermore then getting RE-elected after all his lies, corruption, and ever embarrassingly stupid speeches, is truly beyond comprehension and a warped sense of Patriotism. A true insult to the service of veterans especially the vets who never returned home.

Bush pulled the majority of our troops out of Afghanistan-the forgotten REAL war- to start his corrupt war in Iraq which he LIED about, hence, CORRUPT war. At what point does a CORRUPT war like Iraq become honorable? - Never, corrupt is corrupt, there will NEVER be an honorable win in Iraq. I'd rather see our troops alive and out of Iraq than any stupid 'win' title. In a civilized world, it should not be acceptable to start a war off lies!

I am sure ALL GOP's, who supported Bush's corrupt war in Iraq, made their children join the military. Otherwise, I can't imagine how disappointed Bushwackers must be in their children who decided to go to college and not join the military.

If we are short of troops, thanks to Bush, a draft needs to get started. First ones drafted should be those who support Bush's corrupt war in Iraq which he started off lies. Second ones to be drafted are all family members of those who support Iraq. And those fore mentioned to be drafted need to head to the front lines, anything less would be inappropriate.

Nice coverage. My son is currently in Afghanistan with the NY National Guard, so this really hit home.

I am retired Air Force and was a recruiter for 18 years. Personally I believe the “War on Terror” is a farce – especially in Iraq. I think the Guard is being used as a back door draft and it is wrong. This mess started with Bush 41 and then continued by Clinton and the so called "peace dividend" we were promised by drawing down the military after the end of the Cold War. At that time I though that policy was naive and short-sighted and I was proven right. Throw in Rumsfeld’s idiotic “transformation” policies and this is what we have left. A military stretched to the breaking point.

We need to increase the size of the active duty Army combat brigades by 1/3 to 1/2. Something to think about why that is so difficult is the fact that we have destroyed 50 MILLION children in the womb in the name of “choice”, and these Guard deployments is partially a result of those choices..

I'm retired from the National Guard after 32 years. My unit, the 30th Brigade, was one of the first National Guard Brigades sent to Iraq in 2004. The Brigade will be returning to Iraq for a second tour in 2009. Many of the brigade's soldiers have already made second tours with other units. One of the soldiers in my platoon was killed there this year. He was a good man, a police officer, an active member of his church, and a pillar of his community.

I would like to see this needless war ended before more of our brightest and best give their lives.

As the wife of an officer in the Washington National Guard who is leaving for his second deployment to Iraq, I thank you for telling the story of what so many national guard and reservists give up for their country. Yes, my husband knew exactly what he was doing when he joined the guard, but I think it is irresponsible to ask so few to bear the burden of war. Many national guard families live far from military posts in communities where few people know anyone who in the military. It is hard enough to have your husband be gone for a year without constantly explaning to people what the national guard is. There is so much we as individuals can do for the men and women who selflessly serve us, yet it seems like we would rather put a bumper sticker on our car and ignore it.

Bill Moyers you should be ashamed. First of all let me say, I’m just an every day average blue collar worker who has never posted to a blog before. But things are getting so deep, I had to put my rubber boots on and jump in.

I do agree, there are many very far right extremist who I disagree with. But the format in which you presented your recent program was un-nerving. You used the far right to build a crescendo, and then you and your two guests were like wolves slipping into a sheep costume.

As far as I am concerned you appear to be just as much of a problem as the many of the right are.

Ms. Gladstone and you continually hit the experience button about Gov. Palin. What about Sen. Obama? She after all is a Governor, and has been running in an executive position for longer than Sen. Obama has been in office. Question: What has Sen. Obama done in the field of national defense? Oh, and by the way, the real race should be between Sen. Obama, and Sen. McCain and where they stand. Please get back on track.

By the way Mr. Moyers, can you please address the running mates as they should be. Governor Palin and Senator McCain. I spent 21 years in the USN, and I kind of take offence when people don’t address government officials by the designation, it’s just down right rude.

It’s too bad that the right and left can’t shake hands once again. It’s working folks like me that get hurt and left out in the end. I do agree on one thing that Ms. Gladstone said, and I am now in search of a fair and balanced web site to find out the facts. So much fecal matter has been thrown around from both sides, I’m ready to burn all of my televisions.

Lee

koolmuse, Sept. 8 3:25AM
You are against the GOP ticket--that's clear. Are you for the DNP? Obama first voted against Florida's voters rights before he voted for them (after he had locked up the nomination), and do you think he will protect your views?
He was raised by the white 1\2 of his family in Hawaii and angered Jesse Jackson so much that Jesse wanted to remove his man- hood. Obama got over 95% of the black votes, but people that don't vote for him are racist?

Maybe this over states your views, but you left out what you are for-so, I surmised.

Do you want the government to control the ability of unmarried females to conceive a child? Or, do you wnat the government to support unmarried mothers?

What do you want from your government?

Obama has the least experience of ALL of this years crop of serious presidential candidates.

You just want a black man to be president? So, why not Colin Powell, or Bill Cosby? Of course Oprah has far more executive experience than Obama, but she is not a good ole BOY.

I feel the National Guard should expect to be involved in combat.
BUT, the rotation for regular military and National Guard is over the top!

During Vietnam, you had to be back in the USA for 6 mths. before you could volunteer to return and you would not be called back for at least 12 mths. & many went to long tours in Europe after 12 mths. in Nam.

Billy Bob, Florida where the DNP now wants our vote!

Good post koolmuse,
The Republican Party is so out of touch with reality.
It is more like a nightmare than a party.
If the whole thing does not give you fear and trembling; it probably means you have suicidal tendencies and look forward to hell and damnation.
On the subject of support the troops; It is cruel and unecessary punishment sending our National Guaard to Iraq. Most of the people in the national Guard have families and are not prepared for combat duty. If they do survive Iraq; many returnees have trauma problems and can not take advantage of enlistment enticements.
We need to support our troops by bringing them home where they can protect the nation not support big oil ventures.

The National Guards 'mandate' which is to "DEFEND the Constittion of the US" has been severly compromised by this administation who have thrown the Constitution out the window under the auspices of National Security. The reserve forces do not get the same medical or any other funding that regular military personnell recieve,never mind soldiers having to PROVE their injuries were sustained in combat,like they have time to take notes. More soldiers need to get in touch with Veterens United for Truth(VUFT) and see what this group is trying to accomplish and how they actually support the troops and NOT WITH LIP SERVICE.

Stanley-If you love KHJ so much, why don't you marry her?

Putting a label of patriotism on our twin occupations (Opiumstan and Oilraq) is like putting lipstick on a pitbull's anus, but isn't that the "Ahmeerikan wey?" I'd sooner hunt polar bears with Sarah the Impaler than go fight in the middle east. She'd probably pull a Cheney on me though.

So many Guardspeople signed up for an "education". They sure got one if they make it back. Here's to using what they've learned on fixing our leadership.

In defense of Kathleen Hall Jamieson, any representation is just that- a re- presentation. To be a representation, something is included and something must be left out. No map can be to an actual size scale. News outlets represent what they choose. And that is where the bias comes in, in the choice of what to represent and in the representation itself. Bias consists of each individual representation slanting towards a given preference in choice/ order/ priority of what is represented as well as how something is represented (what is left out as well as what is included). Palin is re-presented by most outlets as a mother, McCain is not re-presented as a father, Joe Biden is, etc. I think Ms. Jamieson is always rather clear about that (that these are representations) and speaks to the workings of that methodology within the context of our own political process. I look forward to hearing more from her in the future.
Stanley Wrzyszczynski

McCain's age should be a huge issue in the election. The biggest issue really. The mental health of the president is of the utmost importance. He can't do anything right without a sound mind, and could be a serious threat to national/world security. You must have an intelligent bright sound-minded statesman running the country. Not an old confused ex-POW who endured absolute trauma and horror for 6 years as few people have, besides growing feeble-minded in his old age as many people do.
His mental health is already suspect by my reckoning. He constantly confuses facts, mumbles and truth be told he's doesn't seem much better off, or remember any more, than Reagan did after he was shot and napped at NSC meetings.

AS FOR Palin's daughter's pregnancy, it too should be a huge issue. The GOP plank on birth-control and sex education is family values and abstinence.
Yet this VP candidate who is being touted as a GOP woman pro-family prolifer could not control her own daughter (family you might say), and evidently her daughter's instruction in abstinence also failed.
Palin and her daughter are lucky they have the money and resources to deal with the accidental child; but they face nothing like the prospects millions of unfortunate girls.

It should be always pointed out that Plain does not support other young pregnant girls who lack any resources at all. Her GOP-party believes that they should be forced to give birth and abandoned by a defunded government.

These are serious issues of national/world security in McCain's age case, and GOP hypocrisy and failure in Palin's case.

About Palin:

While I think that abortion is an issue that is a distraction to real issues (such as curbing poverty -- which would prevent more abortions than any law), there was a notable discrepancy of logic in the praise for Palin's carrying a child with down syndrome to term. That Palin had a test that determined she had a child with down syndrome at all seems disingenious. If her mind had been made up never to have an abortion, why even have the test? She had no more conflict of decision than my grandmother who didn't find out she had a child with downs until after its birth. Rather, I view her use of her child for political gain as a type of abuse. As a politician, she will not even spend much time raising that child either, unlike my grandmother, now in her 80s, who has been caring for my aunt day in and day out for the last 40 years.

Dear Mr. Moyers,
Kathleen Hall Jamieson really brings your show down. She lacks discrimination for truth. She is scary. Does she represent a squimish side of yourself? You can be so strident like a Nader, Goodman, Klein, Zinn, Chomsky or Hightower. And then again you can be so lost and afraid to take sides like Jamieson. I wish you would risk becoming your true self. Let it out as I've seen you do once in a while. Thank you for all your great efforts!

I admire the work of Kathleen Hall Jamieson very much. I approve of her belief that, whatever our politics, we benefit from non-partisan analysis, even if the aim isn't to render us all neutral. I do think, however, that she harms her own credibility with this business of putting Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, CNN, and NPR in to the same category as biased media that can't be entirely trusted. This is not because I, as a usually Democratic voter, am naive enough to think that liberal news media are simply much more truthful. Rather it's because the generalized comments she made at the end of the September 5 interview come perilously close to exactly the kind of under-analyzed assumptions of which she is so critical. If Fox News has failed to be truthful, give us a specific instance. And, as a listener to NPR, it is even more important to me to know: if NPR has failed to be truthful, tell us exactly how. Without this information, these closing comments sound more like an attempt to prove how neutral she is than a responsible position about media bias around political contests. After all, the ads she rightly accuses of subliminally making an issue of McCain's age weren't made by NPR; they are presumably the work of the Obama campaign. Perhaps I didn't understand her, but I think my critique is fair. Thank you for this opportunity to comment.

How can you let Kathleen Hall Jamieson get away with saying NPR and Rush Limbaugh are similarly misinforming voters? Jamieson sounded like a condensed version of all the other corporate talk shows providing both sides of an argument as though they are equally valid without question.

I have mixed feelings about this deployment, My 21yr old son is going to iraq very soon, and I am scared to death for him. But, I was raised in a military household, my father did two tours of duty in Vietnam as a corpman taking care of the Marines in his camp, so I am also very proud that my son is serving. I really just want every soldier to come home safe on both sides and for the world to be a peace, I know it is a great dream.

Is Senator John McCain just republican fish bait to lure votes? I'm hear to tell you, and make no mistake about it. The real prize is the Governor of Alaska, big oil, big profits,but for who? A man in his 70's not knowing how many houses he owns deserves a closer look, especially after nominating Governor Sara Palin for vice president, who in her own words describes herself as a pit bull with lipstick! Now the cry is foul play and she hides from the media. How about this? Display her views and ask her questions using infomercials, an excellent way to control the conversation thus portraying who she really is. I have read her husband is a member of the steel workers union sounds great. Don't mention he works for British Petroleum though that's a no, no. Right now V P Cheney and B P in Georgia stoking the fire. He's not delivering balloons.The power of the vice president is no illusion. George Bush elected president but Don Cheney his choice for vice president came to power, we know the rest. The reform platform is empty air, just balloons. How mesmerizing those balloons are, add in the hype and it's HI HO, HI HO, OFF TO WAR WE GO! Now the most important question is who gets sent to do the dirty work? The true hero's of our wars are at rest in there graves. Rather than balloons and hype why not cheer the real hero's. I know many etched on a wall in Washington D C that truly deserve a visit. I'm just a combat veteran of Vietnam that served in 67-68 a mere 0311 grunt. I have no houses. Out in the bush common on the back of our flack jackets was the Fraze written in black magic marker " shot at and missed shit at and hit. "
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb arguing over what's for lunch. Ben Franklin

As we slept the foxes set up a “RESTORATION PLAN” to make sure the “Chicken coop” is clean!
“The Treasury Department said it will immediately inject $1 billion in each of the companies... and could boost its investment to as much as $100 billion each over time if the funds are needed to keep the companies afloat as losses... mount. In exchange, the government will receive WARRANTS – (WORTHLESS PAPER) entitling it to purchase ownership stakes of 79.9 percent in each”.
“Officials defended this approach... the importance of waste paper of the trillions in mortgage debt that each company... guarantees... the need to make sure that investors in this country and overseas keep buying this debt - (worthless papers)”!
“The Federal Reserve and other federal banking regulators said in a joint statement Sunday that "a limited number of smaller institutions" have significant holdings of common or preferred stock shares in Fannie and Freddie, and that regulators were "prepared to work with these institutions to develop capital-restoration plans."
Four more years of the same “The McCain-Palin administration will make (sure more of the same) they are smaller and smarter and more effective for homeowners who need help."
“YOU WANT CHANGE”!THIS IS FOR YOU”! DEPRESSION, CONFISCATION, EVICTION by a “PRINTING PRESS INSURANCE” as our men and women are sent to WAR!
WAKE UP AMERICA!
A real “CHANGE” is when people SET UP A
“CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION”
to

“AMEND THE CONSTITUTION”!
EMPOWER the PEOPLE TO “EXPRES THEIR WILL” on ALL ISUES! EMPOWER the PEOPLE to “FREEDOM of POWER to PARTICIPATE'!
THE POWER SHOULD BE IN the “WILL OF THE PEOPLE”! It is our live, our destiny our COUNTRY and IT should be decided by OUR WILL - the “WILL OF THE PEOPLE”, and NOT by the dysfunctional CONGRESS, SENAT, EXECUTIVE ORDERS or corrupt JUSTICE SYSTEM!
“WE SHOULD DECIDE” our DEMOCRACY by “FREEDOM to PARTICIPATE to POWER”, FREEDOM to “EXPRES OUR WILL on ALL ISSUES”!
“THE TRUTH AS ALWAYS IT HURTS”

I just viewed “Sacrificing to Serve” – about the deployment of the New Jersey Army National Guard’s 50th Brigade Combat Team to Iraq – and as an active duty Army National Guard officer, wish to thank you for your coverage. Your story highlights some of the family and other issues facing both mobilized Guardsmen and Reservists.
Pay equity, medical, financial security, and other mobilization-related issues have been a priority for National Guard leaders since at least 1910, and Congress has gradually met these concerns with the passage of appropriate legislation, generally during or immediately following periods of crisis (WWI, WWII, Korean War, Berlin Crisis, Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and now OIF/OEF). Your story highlights the fact that there is much more work for Congress to do in this area.
I would like to point out two areas, though, that I felt deserved more explanation than was given in the story. The first concerns the mission of the National Guard, and the second concerns the availability of the National Guard for state service.
Your story suggested that the National Guard’s primary purpose is for state service. The reality, though, is that the National Guard (both Army and Air) is a dual-mission force, unlike the active or other reserve components, in that it has a state mission as well as a federal mission. Every National Guardsman swears two oaths upon their enlistment: one to uphold and defend the constitution of their state or territory; and one to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. A federal mobilization takes precedence over a governor’s authority over his/her National Guard. Significant to the issue of state service is the fact that the National Guard is organized and equipped for its federal mission, not its state mission. If a governor needs specific capabilities beyond what is available in its federally recognized National Guard, the state or territory pays for it (but this is another discussion beyond the immediate scope of your story).
Your story also suggested that federal mobilizations are impacting upon the ability of the National Guard to respond to domestic emergencies. Although a technically correct statement, it is not the whole story, for it did not make any reference to the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) or any explicit reference to the National Guard Bureau’s efforts to ensure that at least half of a state or territory’s National Guard is available for state/domestic service at all times.
First, the short story about EMAC is that it is an agreement for mutual support between governors dating from the mid-1990s that is overseen and coordinated by the National Emergency Management Association, or NEMA (no connection to FEMA). Prior to Katrina, EMACs were generally regional in nature, but now all governors have pledged assistance to each other. EMAC impacts the National Guard because there is a section on military support to other states too – so the reality for a governor is that if he/she needs immediate military assistance, it will be available from another state.
In addition, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau helps ensure that a governor has forces available in two ways: the first is coordinating the allocation of units so that key types of units (medical, aviation, engineer, etc.) are spread out amongst the states; the second is to spread mobilization requirements amongst states whenever possible to ensure the governor has at least half of his/her military force available.
So because the 50th Brigade Combat Team constitutes half of the New Jersey Army National Guard, it is unlikely that more New Jersey units will be mobilized until the 50th BCT’s soldiers return from Iraq. In the meantime, Governor Corzine has most of the New Jersey Army National Guard’s support units available for state service, as well as military support from other governors through EMAC.
As a historical aside that highlights the dual state-federal aspect of the National Guard, prior to WWII, the Guard’s primary state role prior to WWII was to provide support to law enforcement (two major exceptions being flood relief in New York and New England in 1927; and disaster relief after the San Francisco Fire in 1906). It was not until the post-WWII reorganization of the National Guard, which allocated the states units with significant support capabilities (medical, aviation, transportation, engineer, etc.) that the Guard was capable of rendering effective support during domestic emergencies.
Critical to effective state response, though, was Federal legislation passed in 1946 that allowed a governor to use his federally equipped National Guard, with appropriate reimbursement to the federal government for operating costs, in state service. Since that time, state/territorial call-ups of the National Guard for state/territorial service have averaged between 300 and 350 a year for the 54 National Guards of the states, territories, and DC.

In the end, the state-federal duality of the National Guard is a complex legal subject with a lot of human interest in the mix. An understanding of how the National Guard works, and why it is what it has become, begins to get at the larger questions of how we as Americans govern themselves and how we have chosen to defend the United States.

Respectfully,

Major Jeffrey Larrabee
Army National Guard Student Detachment
US Army Command & General Staff College
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

Mary
You are right that there has been too much talk and not enough action.

But you are wrong to say we can debate the morality of the war later. Over one million people have died in Iraq. Thousands of US soldiers. The war needs to end. NOW.

When we send them to fight and die for greed and power, we are NOT supporting them. We are instead supporting Dick Cheney. and Lockheed Martin. And GE.

To help the troops the most we need to tell them the truth and do everything we can to end the war. They need to understand that Iraq had no ties to 9/11. And Bush knew that from the beginning. They need to know that there has never been a legitimate investigation into 9/11. They need to know that there is no evidence Osama Bin Laden was even involved. They need to know about the military industrial complex.

If you lived in Germany during the 1930's and 40's, would you say, we need to support the troops and debate the morality of the war later? I hope not, but sadly a lot of people did just that. Sending these young men and women to fight is destroying Iraq, is destroying the USA, and is destroying these young men and women.

How many more have to die? When will it end? When will we say enough is enough? Or will we just go on saying, support the troops.

The same old Republicans are using the same old Republican tactics. Bait and switch. When you have got nothing in the way of accomplishments to campaign on, attack the character of the opposition. We Democrats have fallen for this one too many times. Forgetaboutit!

This is where we need the Dynamic Duo (the Clinton's) to go to bat for us once again. Remember? It's about the before and after of the last 8 years.

If the August economic numbers aren't bad enough for you, just wait until the September stats come out in the beginning of October.

Don't let the Alaskan lightning rod distract us from the issues. For example; the deregulation of the Mortgage Industry (on the Republican watch) is what started the decline in the economy.

John McCain, Bush and the other Republican's greed, got us into this economic mess. We need to point that out and the way to get us out of it; repetition, repetition, repetition.

It is truly sad when I have to rely on The Daily Show, to show the hypocrisy of the transformation of the old John McCain and the new John McCain.

Is it possible to resist sending National Guard units abroad? Who's leading that fight?

The Sunday following the nomination of a vice presidential candidate, he or she should be on Meet the Press and all the other interview shows. You know if it was Romney or Pawlenty that is who we would be watching tomorrow. Doesn't the fact that this is not going to happen show people Palin's unreadiness to be vice president. I am not comforted by being told she is a "quick study." As if it takes a few days' coaching to catch up with Obama's, Biden's, and McCain's grasp of national and international affairs.

Mary, I believe this has everything to do with the Republican Convention. Sen. McCain has been voting against bills that would address these soldiers' issues.

What's patriotic about thousands of delegates cheering wildly every time war and soldiers are mentioned while they boo just as loudly every time they hear "Obama wants to raise your taxes!" It's going to cost some money to support these troops.

Sen. Obama has recalled JFK by likening the goal to achieve energy independence in 10 years to putting a man on the moon. I'd like to hear him recall another of JFK's famous challenges: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

Whether we believe we should be in this war or not, we owe these men and women! And I don't see it as any act of patriotism to pass the bill along to future generations. Do what's right, patriots!

Bill Moyers, beware of the balloons. Beware of the hype. They news hour is lost in the balloons. That leaves you, the journal and NOW with David to stand for democracy. Kathleen Hall Jamieson I disagree with for the first time. A man in his 70's not knowing how many houses he owns deserves a closer look, especially after nominating Governor Sara Palin for vice president, who in her own words describes herself as a pit bull with lipstick! Now the cry is foul play and she hides from the media. I have read her husband is a member of the steel workers union sounds great. Don't mention British Petroleum though that's a no no. The power of the vice president is no illusion, as you stated about V P Cheney and B P in Georgia stoking the fire. He wasn't delivering balloons. i'm a combat vet, vietnam 67-68 and own 0 houses. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb arguing over what's for lunch. Ben Franklin

Why did the army permit PBS to film a national guard unit? Was it because near the end we were told that the one soldier with the depressed sister was released from duty and the other featured soldier was discharged? I didn't like the usual "the system works" politics: it only promotes more wars, just as feeling sorry for any soldiers ultimately, as payback, promotes the next group of murderers to volunteer.

Reading these comments made me think that most of you are missing the point. We can sit here & debate whether the war is "wrong" or "justified". And how this devolved in to a debate about Sarah Palin & Dick Cheney, I'll never know.

What's important here is the soldiers & their families!! Instead of sitting in the comfort of your home blaming Bush, get off your butts and do something about it! Complaining is easy - doing something is hard. What I got out of this is the urgent message to stand up & support these soldiers & their families. We can debate the morality of the war later.

I intend to contact ARMS & offer to volunteer. We're all busy & we're all cutting back, but the LEAST I can do is buy some extra food the next time I go to Costco & donate it to their food bank. While I'm at it, I'll be reminding my children to be grateful that we're not dependent on a food bank to eat.

Everybody SAYS they support the troops. Here's the opportunity to prove it.

Anyone who watches this segment and still volunteers for the National Guard has to be crazy. We need strict legislation that the Guard cannot be deployed beyond territorial waters.

Sure it's good to help those left behind by Guardspersons, but it is just as good to help anyone in need. These people who volunteered for indentured servitude with greater things in mind are no better in the eyes of our elite exploiters than Byrider car buyers, payday loan applicants, student loan slaves or fraudulent mortgage payers. I am putting a new bumpersticker on my whooptee car: "Save the Chumps!" We've been chumps too, and most people have. Such is the result of wealth and income disparity, that results from conspiracy within a disparity of power. (beecham is correct about big conspiracy, can't see the actors for the smoke, seems too pervasive and horrible to be true.)

For those who responded to Sacrifice to Serve with a wish to help Soldiers and families, I encourage you to contact your local National Guard and/or Reserve unit's Family Readiness Group. These groups provide support forr families of Soldiers and are especially important with the tempo of deployments. FRGs boost morale of both Soldiers and families with activities, referrals and just being there. No matter your view of the war, this is a wonderful way to support or Soldiers and their families.

The national Guard guy with the wife and kid story left me with one unanswered question. After doing the math 2 times I couldn't help but wonder how a family that is working 5 jobs could be broke. Too much house,cars,lifestyle or some hidden "vice". What gives Moyers? Keep up the good work. Thank You!!!.....KARL

I love Bill Moyers and the Journal; I almost always learn a great deal from watching. However, I was greatly disappointed by what seemed a one dimensional set of comments by Kathleen Hall Jamieson last night; I had expected that Moyers would provide some enlightenment to a country stunned and amazed at the anti-democratic antics of the Republican party, especially with respect to the bizarre saga of the Sarah Palin choice for VP. On many occasions, the Journal looks behind our apparent "democracy" to reveal the corruption and manipulation that lurk in the shadows. It was dispiriting to hear this lengthy, trite interview, that seemed to accept our "horse race" at face value. For so many reasons, what is happening now is frightening; others have pointed out that repeated and unabashed lying, appeal to raw and divisive resentment, and whipping up a crowd with "red meat" are tactics relied on by fascists. There are so many wonderful thinkers the Journal could be interviewing at this perilous time!

Now, more than ever before, I am angry at the Bush Administration for prosecuting this illegitimate war! It was knowing that neither their family, or any one of their friend's families would be going to Iraq made this decision that much easier for them!
The GOP and its supporter's are SO selfish and focused on themselves, that they STILL won't recognise the harm this idiot of a president gas caused!
They're ready to vote another jerk into office, even though it's really against their own personal interest's in the long run.
I can only hope that these, elite, racist fools will soon realise the folly of their ways...

I am all for the willing suspension of disbelief and therefore enjoyed the Republican Convention as compelling theater. But, Hypocracy and a short skirt is not the same as expertise or executive experience. Kathleen Hall Jamieson’s statement that Sarah Palin was an oil and gas expert is just plain wrong. You don’t have to be Deep Throat to know that awarding a PTA mom and small town mayor (who needed a city administrator to avoid recall in a town of 6000) $122,400/yr, to be chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has a lot more to do with unjustified/unvetted entitlement than expertise. We can only hope that Palin will run from the Presidency faster than the Commission.

the true master mind behind the pretty face/mask Sarah Plain is Joe LIEbermann and people like Kissinger.
Former US secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, has stated that a future with a nuclear armed Iran would represent a change in the world order.

"Nuclear weapons in Iran will change the international situation fundamentally," Kissinger said in an interview with Fox News.

"It means that proliferation is likely to be unchecked after that, that there would be many more countries that have nuclear weapons that might be used against each other and against us, and that terrorists might be protected by countries that have nuclear weapons. That is the fundamental change that comes about," he added.

"So, therefore, what America needs to do is to determine, together with its allies, if at all possible, when the point of no return is reached, secondly, what non-military measures can be taken to induce Iran to enter a meaningful negotiation, and, third, then to face the question of what other means have to be used," Kissinger said.

Tehran's has been repeating for years now that its nuclear program aims at civilian ends.

The US is the only country in the world that has used nuclear weapons against another state.

US president Harry S. Truman ordered the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, at the tail end of World War II.

In response to a question on criticisms about Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin, the newly appointed Republican vice presidential candidate and the fact that she has no experience in foreign policy, Kissinger said that "you can also say that Harry Truman had no experience in foreign policy when he became president, and he turned out one of our great foreign policy presidents."

Here the ironic arrogance of the US statesman is in full bloom: first he voices concern about proliferation of nuclear weapons in the world and then hails the sole historical personality to have ordered nuclear bombings and refers to him as a "great president."

Kissinger is wanted for questioning in a number of states for his alleged crimes in the late 1960s through the 1970s while US secretary of state in Southeast Asia, East Timor, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. He is reported as a consequence of the numerous legal actions against him to be very careful of which countries he visits or passes through.

Sarah Palin revolts and disgusts me. She is a female Dick Cheyney, a total manipulative bully, completely full of herself. A dangerous person to ever be given any power. A calculating b----. She may take on and clear out existing corruption, but she will replace it with her own which will be even worse. I already am hitting the mute button because I can't stand the sound of her voice, how much longer will I tolerate even looking at her and her finger pointing. McCain, you sure showed your true colors with this choice. Disgusting, Horrifying. Revolting. And she made three more. About these wars--somebody remind me what we're doing over there.

The ways in which the government uses the people in the National Guard deploying them to Iraq, and essentially hangs them out to dry financially, is reminiscent of its appalling behavior towards the many people who rushed to help after 9/11 and are still suffering the effects of the caustic dust they inhaled--and are left on their own to cover the costs of whatever medical treatment can ease their much-shortened lives. And yet, throughout the run-up to the presidential campaign and especially at the Republican convention there is so much talk about the importance of the family in America. All talk, no action, I guess, after I've seen the terrible impacts on individuals and families of the requests the government makes on these individuals, with no support during or following their courageous work.

I hope that your program next week (which is, after all, September 12) will address the issues of those many people still suffering alone (well, without financial support from the government and little or no reimbursement from their insurers) the terrible pain of breathing, of living with the 9/11 induced cancers and other illnesses. Mr. Bush (with the help of Mr. Guiliani) has been so good at asking people to take on sacrificial duties after 9/11; they, and others, have been so irresponsible and callous in his willingness to let these good responsible citizens suffer so. With the exception of thoughtful discussion on a program such as yours, I find little cause to feel good, let alone optimistic, about America.

Gerri Michalska

You are right we must help them. And we can help them the most by telling them the truth. The truth is the war in Iraq, and Afghanistan had nothing to do with 9/11 or making American safe. They had to do with greed and power. The truth is there has never been a legitimate investigation into 9/11. The real criminals are still at large.

Investigate 9/11. Expose the real terrorists.

Thousands of people across New Jersey signed paper petitions and over five hundred signed an on-line petition calling on NJ Governor Corzine to step up, be true to his values, and not send the half of the NJ National Guard to Iraq. (See "www.njpetition.org)

Gov Corzine had strong legal grounds to not send the NJ National Guard members to Iraq, and, even now, to recall them. The special congressional Authorization that gave the President the power to send the state National Guard troops to Iraq has expired. Every condition in that Authorization has been met, or proved to be a lie.

While the petition drive kick-off on President's Day was covered by several news stations, since then there has been a total news black out on anything related to NOT Sending the NJ National Guard to Iraq.

The media and politicians from the Governor to Newark Mayor Cory Booker have been glorifying this deployment, while in private, Guard families and politicians alike deplore it. Everyone knows the huge costs the National Guard members and their families will pay -- not only lost income, lost time together, possibly horrible injuries, mental anguish, and even loss of life. The tragic flaw is that no one is willing to tell the truth: this need not happen; this should not happen.

No one is willing to discuss in public about how to honor one of the oldest guiding religious principles that so many people say they ascribe to: "Thou shalt not kill". I guess people believe in that only if it's convenient.

At the same time, no one is talking about, nor reporting, what it's like to live in a country where over a million people have been killed and 4 million people have been forced from their homes by the United States' "pre-emptive" war.

The Governor's office has steadfastly refused to meet to discuss a process for stopping this deployment, saving the lives of Guard members and their families, and finding ways to end the hostilities in Iraq.

After finally agreeing to accept the petition signatures this week and perhaps taking a moment to talk about the basis for stopping the deployment, the Governor's Military Affairs Advisor cancelled at the last minute. Instead he sent someone from community outreach to collect them. And the deployment continues; business as usual.


People in states across the Nation are calling for their Governors and Legislatures to take action and de-federalize the National Guard (see www.bringhometheguard.org.)and to not send any more National Guard troops to the Bush Administration's horrific "war to last our lifetimes". Maybe if the New Jersey Governor will not stand up for the National Guard in our state, he can help form a national coalition to de-federalize the National Guard.

Over the past six years, young people have voted with their feet and refused to be recruited to join the military for the occupation of Iraq. Because of this, analysts have said that the all-volunteer Army is essentially "broken". Now it is clear that the Bush Administration is using the National Guard as a back-door draft. This could then, endanger the National Guard, too. Who will want to join the Guard to serve NJ, when the next stop is some foreign shore?

People do not want this war to continue. But it seems the special interests do; they are working hard to deliver war forever, and make sure that people buy into it. Just look at who's profits have never been higher and you'll see who's benefitting.

This deployment is unjust, unfair, and just plain wrong. It is extracting a huge toll on our friends, neighbors, co-workers, their families and friends. And it will result in huge costs far into the future. Costs that not only the National Guard and their families will have to bear, but costs that residents across NJ will have to bear.


The residents of NJ will be called on and must step up to pay medical costs, mental health costs, and costs for anything else our neighbors and their families will need -- during and after this deployment. Because we did not succeed in convincing the Governor to stand up and keep the NJ National Guard home, the residents of New Jersey are also complicit and responsible for whatever damages ensue.

This deployment is not only a disaster for the half of the NJ National Guard, deploying to Iraq and their families, and for people in Iraq suffering under the scourge of war, it is a disaster for everyone else left behind in New Jersey, -- whether we know it or not.

I still don't understand why those incarcerated aren't put into the military and sent to Iraq rather than those who contribute to society? Gang members follow directions from their leaders who are in prison. These gang members like to fight so let them.

Things need to be changed. I don't see why I must pay for criminals state of the art gym equipment, plasma TV's, sex changes, etc. Those in prison in many cases have it better than those who are law abiding.

Watching your program has raised or woke up some personal resentment about the costs of service in the military. I spent my first 14 years as a child of a service member never with a sense of belonging or community, and with parents who went through 3 divorces before I was 18. I’ve spent 6 years in the Viet Nam Era in the Navy with 3 hazardous duty tours on the flight deck of aircraft carriers rather than being drafted in the Army. Then 12 years later with no other realistic means of saving for retirement I ‘volunteered’ for 14 years in the National Guard (working a first and second job most of the that time) until my mobilization for Iraq for another 2-1/2 years.

Please consider this with your programs discussions on the other costs. The missed child/grandchild births, lost educational opportunities, not to mention the other costs, injuries, mental and physical, lost of friends, family and of course the ultimate costs for those who won’t be back, in my case attending many of the 28 memorial services for fellow soldiers lost in Iraq, 4 of which will always leave a hole in my spirit.

Now we, as soldiers, all know that this is a part of the ‘contract’, especially in time of war, but in retrospect it feels like only a small percentage (1-3%) of a nation at war are paying the price.

In the reserve point system the 'Traditional National Guard/Reserve' ends up only getting a percentage of what an Active Duty (AD) serviceperson gets that is proportional to the time served. BUT they have to wait up to 20 years or until age 60 to get that!

He might get a pension that is as little as 18% of what an AD retiree might receive if he doesn’t have significant Active Duty. If he has significant prior active duty service say, 8 to 12 years, the disparity is even worst. Then imagine that they now have to wait up to 20 years until age 60 before receiving 45% to 60% of what an Active Duty Retiree receives after 20 years (perhaps at age 38).

And those of us who can survive and earn retirement with most of our health are the lucky ones, those who don't are the the true heros whose families need more than just our thanks.

Parks deserves his retirement. The DoD owes him treatment.

Bill Moyers Journal painted a very sensitive portrait of the tremendous sacrifice that many low income Americans have been willing to make under the mistaken belief that they are helping others and fulfilling a commitment to the security of our country. I wonder if the 49% of those who have been sent to Iraq and then return with mental problems don’t reflect their disillusionment when they discover that they have allowed themselves to be used to bully and brutalize innocent people in other countries who are no more “evil” than themselves, while contributing to a deep distrust and hatred of America’s imperialistic power that probably justifies their resentment and understandable support for revenge or retaliation if an opportunity presents itself. It is too bad that the corporate media largely blocked out coverage of the four days of Winter Soldier hearings at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, MD (just outside of Washington, DC) from May 13-16, 2008 (see http://ivaw.org/wintersoldier) when members of Iraq Veterans Against the War apologized to the Iraqi people for the atrocities that they had committed in Iraq and Afghanistan in a Truth and Reconciliation process that our whole country will eventually have to go through if imperialistic wars from Vietnam to Iraq are ever going to end.


Thank you so much for your eloquent story about the impact of calling up National Guard troops for service in Iraq. I believe it is a tremendous misuse of the National Guard to send them abroad for such missions when their primary mission is to serve and protect here in the U.S. I will look forward to more of your excellent stories in the future.

The U.S. government would be wise (and ethical at the very least) to develop a program wherein it provides funds to citizen soldiers and other enlisted personnel that would bridge the vast income gaps created by deployments, especially for this Iraq travesty. The current compensation package appears to be legalized theft, but it's certainly gross exploitation. Amazing and tragic stories I learned about this evening from The Journal! Bill Moyers, thanks for opening our eyes to yet another area in deep need of greater public attention and action.

I am not from a military family. So when I watch stories of those wonderful and brave people who go to Iraq I am in awe, deep admiration and gratitude. The pain they and their families go through. We must help them. I must see how I can do something locally to serve them.

I always appreciate Kathleen Hall Jamieson's comments, but tonight she put CNN and National Public Radio on the other end of the same see-saw with Fox news and Rush Limbaugh. I admit Rush could hold his own on a teeter-totter, but if there is some fulcrum of objective truth, NPR is a lot closer to it than Mr. Limbaugh. I think it is wrong and harmful to assert that NPR is as skewed to the left as Rush Limbaugh is to the right.

We are stuck in a Greek tragedy battling the twin emotions of fear and loathing.

We won't make progress if the debate is about belief systems.

We might make some progress if we focus on the practices the candidates the candidates use to deal with negative emotions and the principles on which their reason is based.

The Journal's report on the deployment of the New Jersey National Guard provoked a very visceral response in me. I understand the desire to serve a larger cause and to move beyond everyday life. I recently had to resign my commission in the Army Reserve due to family concerns. It was the most difficult decision I have ever made. As difficult as it was to serve (at times), it was more difficult to walk away. I have the greatest affection and respect for Soldiers and our families. The sense of duty to and willingness to sacrifice for each other is humbling. There is no politics in service. I have been honored to have been allowed to serve. HOOAH!!!

Bring them home or put them in Afghanistan where the real fight is, unless you watch 60 minutes.

I am a retired Reservist who also served in the Guard and on active duty. I am as opposed to the war in Iraq as anyone...however, I looked at those families and the sacrifices they are making and ask, What can I do? My goal on Monday is to find a way to support those families left behind and it will not be "lip service" or a magnetic yellow ribbon on the back of my car.

Thank you for sharing the lives of these National Guard members. As a mother and as an American, these stories tear my heart out. I feel like we are living in two Americas. One world is fighting this war and the upper classes are watching it on tv. We must bring these people home to their families.

Moyers purports that the Guard's "primary" mission is domestic response rather than federal mobilization. This is not the case. The National Guard is authorized by Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, and is regulated by Titles 10 and 32 of the US Code. Nowhere in those laws is a "primary" mission identified. 10 USC 10102 states the Guard's purpose is "to provide trained units and qualified persons available for active duty in the armed forces, in time of war or national emergency, and at such other times as the national security may require, to fill the needs of the armed forces whenever more units and persons are needed than are in the regular components." Indeed, because federal mobilization takes precedence over state mobilization, it would be more appropriate to say the federal mission is "primary".

I was very disapointed tonight listening to the peice where statisticians (who were also women) debated the Palin percentages. One of the stasticians seemed relatively neutral while the other sounded like she had no clue what the actual percentages were and kept repeating the republican talking points.

This bores m; it makes her look partisan of coarse, but also degrades the show. Please in future look for people who know what they are talking about, or have them sign a promisary note to tell the truth (I joke).


You are all better than that plus, talking points are becoming a reason to watch less political tv~

Sorry to be so hard.


A conservative leaning, libertarian, sociologist,

Angela Davis
(No not that one:)

The DOD and civilian leadership have been overusing and overextending the National Guard and Reserve ever since 2003. What employer would hire a Reservist knowing they will deploy 2, 3, or more activations? The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act affords some protections but we have more than abused the system and "screwed" the Reservist in the long run. Both my wife and I have been moblized for the Global War on Terror.

The fact that the DOD combines the numbers for the state Guard units and the Reserve tells me that THEY think they are the same. They do not.
Misusing the Guard members to occupy foreign countries rather than respond to emergencies is totally inappropriate.

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