(This is photo of my brother in law with my boys, Little Man and Jellybean, at 6:45 in the morning, approximately an hour and a half after he landed on US soil after his first tour in Iraq was through last summer.)
How can this be? He in part of the 82nd Airborne. Basically, he is trained to jump out of planes and to run the front lines (or "he shoots his gun a lot", as my boys would say). Because the unit he is part of is scheduled to go back to Iraq within 90 days of his release date the Army is able to enact the Army Stop Loss laws.
The purpose of the Stop-Loss is to make the units deployed more cohesive and effective. Which in theory, sounds great. Due to this law the Army has reached it's goal of having an end strength of over 547,000. And they met the goal 3 years early!
But I, for one, have a huge problem with this law which currently impacts about 7,300 active duty Army soldiers. Maybe I'm just confused. But I don't understand why soldiers who have served their country overseas are being forced to go back when the rate of new recruits is up so high.
I think what really pisses me off is that the Army doesn't Stop-Loss every soldier that falls into the Stop-Loss criteria. Several other guys that my brother in law joined with and has been serving with for last several years were allowed to go home. He was the only one that was Stop-Lossed. Why? He was told that the others were not dependable, but he was. Damned if you do, damned if you don't, I suppose.
My brother in law did question this at first, but didn't push it. He chose to join the Army and serve his country by his own free will. He understands that he has a duty to serve and will uphold that duty until it is done. He will serve his country with great pride, to the best of his abilities and will not hesitate to do what he is asked to do and will not complain. He's a wonderful soldier, a true American, a terrific uncle to my boys, a great son, an honest friend and an undoubtedly reliable man. He's someone that I'm proud to be connected to.