The blogosphere and other media of every stripe are busy dissecting and spinning the news of the President's speech and its implications, complete with political games, raving hysterics, et al. But I have been struck by two quiet responses that are emblematic of the military people I know. They are hopeful that the new plans will work and aware of how it could all go wrong.
Buried in the Armorer's discussion of Bush's speech was this gem about its impact on him personally, with a typical light touch:
I'll do my little bit - to include, at the extreme, becoming temporarily unemployed... the money for the surge is coming out of the budget that's been funding the work we've been doing [as defense contractors] - work that was pretty much guaranteed a month ago has evaporated as the surge sucks the money into different pots and those projects are deferred to next year. This is going to be a lean year for some of us. Hey, there's a war on. S'okay, I'm not worried. Winning is more important than my current job. I'll just engineer a recall... and figure out some way to finesse the physical!
And then, a response from those whom it hits even closer to home: an Army wife with a deployed husband. HFS isn't sure about all of the ideas Bush laid out last night, but here is how she closes her post:
Like a friend of mine said earlier today, "if he (her husband...and mine) gets extended, he gets extended. I don't have to like it but I'll deal." That pretty much covers it. Boring and mundane military life ended on 9/11. At least in my opinion it did. These days, anything goes. As a military spouse, you have to be aware of that. Doesn't mean I won't throw myself on the floor and kick and scream. But I also realize that this is his duty. He signed up for this. He gave his word. And I cannot tell you how much I respect him for that.
I am humbled to be protected by the service of such as these.