From remarks by Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) at a House appropriations subcommittee hearing Feb. 19:

A few comments about the troops and the sacrifice of the troops {in the Persian Gulf}: I talked to a lot of reservists over there that were losing money, substantial amounts of money, on the hospital ship. ... I think we're going to have a real problem after this is over in trying to replenish the reserves because they were called up with such short notice. ...

I tried to explain to them {that although} they weren't busy ... to be credible we had to have reserves and {National} Guard medical personnel called up. But they still felt that what they were doing was important and their morale was high.

I went out to the Midway to see the troops on the aircraft carrier. That's associated with the Marine Corps, those naval forces out there. And I found one guy that kind of epitomized what was happening in the reserves. Fifty-eight years old. He tried to get back in the Air Force -- he'd been in the Air Force 10 years during and after the Korean War -- and couldn't get in so he went into the Navy.

He's older than the ship. He was the only guy aboard the ship who was older than the 45-year-old Midway. And they had pictures on all the lockers of the young girlfriends. He had his eight grandchildren's pictures up on the lockers. And, of course, he was enthusiastic like all the rest. ...

The first trip over to Saudi Arabia, the mood of the troops was ecstatic ... they felt they could lick the world. The second time, a couple of months later, they were sober. Now they're confident because they have met the enemy and they have met the fire and overcome it, and they're ready to go.