Re: stress, strain, tension, murder, mayhem and suicide in the armed forces (“Sergeant kills 5 fellow soldiers in Iraq,” May 12.):
Whoever told anyone that wartime soldiering was going to be easy?
I am receptive to the idea that we have, in our armed forces, some, maybe many, individuals who enlisted out of a sincere desire to render durable and faithful service to the land and nation from which they sprang. But how many were also, I wonder, enticed into signing the enlistment papers with offers of college money, high pay, re-enlistment bonuses, health care, pension benefits and, maybe, assignment to a safe rear-echelon job with minimal risk to life and limb? Sadly, my guess is that the latter outnumber the former.
No one looks for or hopes to find war in his/her life. But it just may find you:
“… war was appointed by divine ordinance as the perpetual ordeal and expiation for man’s sin.” – 19th-century French theologian and political scientist Joseph de Maistre.
I do hope de Maistre is wrong – but he just may be right.
Dennis P. Roberts