Thursday, June 05, 2003

I BELIEVE THIS proposal has not received much press. Needless to say, I agree 100% with the Army wives quoted in this story.
A group of Army wives took some serious jabs Monday at the Bush administration’s notions for restructuring U.S. military bases in Europe.
These weren’t just any wives. Those speaking out included Holly Petraeus, wife of the 101st Airborne Division’s commander Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, and the wives of several field-grade officers.

They testified at Fort Campbell, Ky., at a field hearing of the Senate Committee on Children and Families to talk about problems military families face during deployments.

A proposed shift of bases from locations in Germany, where families accompany service members, to new sites in Eastern Europe where families wouldn’t come along, popped up in the hearing when the women spoke about the family stress sparked by the ever-increasing pace of deployments.

Petraeus said the top concern in the minds of many at Fort Campbell is that a downsized military is being called on for too many deployments.

Moving to unaccompanied unit rotations in Germany instead of accompanied tours “will be perceived as just one more deployment added to the load that they already bear,” she said.

Echoing that sentiment was Joyce Dolinish, a retired Army major married to a 101st Airborne Division officer, who said the rotational unit plan being discussed in Washington, D.C., is “ a friendly euphemism for another deployment.”

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