Thank you for the Sept. 19 front-page story "Strains Felt by Guard Unit on Eve of War Duty." It was an accurate account of what many Reserve and National Guard soldiers feel about pending deployments overseas.
My husband's Army Reserve unit has been activated and has been at Fort Dix since June. The exact thing mentioned in Thomas E. Ricks's article happened to him. His unit is a hodgepodge of soldiers pulled from other units to make one whole unit. Morale is quite low, and most of the soldiers are reluctant to go to Iraq and angry about it.
The soldiers have been working 12 hours a day six days a week for months. This is my husband's second deployment in two years. He will go to Iraq and do his job well, as he was trained to do, but he is angry about being deployed, as are most of his buddies.
The quotation about the inmates at the federal prison at Fort Dix having more rights than soldiers do is quite accurate. The prisoners are allowed conjugal visits and have had Sunday barbecues on more than one occasion.
I am lucky that I have gotten to see my husband about once a month for the past few months. Others are not so lucky.
Too many people don't understand all the sacrifices made by our soldiers. So, thanks, Mr. Ricks.