Soldiers in Afghanistan get “Dear John” Letters from Uncle Sam

PolitiChicks.comIn a recent discussion at a breakfast meeting in Washington, D.C, Army chief of staff General Ray Odierno explained that more soldiers deployed to Afghanistan will likely soon receive pink slips. In June, more than 1,100 Army captains were told their time with the military was abruptly coming to an end. Later, it was discovered that 48 of these captains were serving in the war zone of Afghanistan when they received their “Dear John” letters from Uncle Sam.

An additional 550 Army majors were notified last month that they would be separated from the service. Lieutenant colonels and colonels are on the chopping block for next year. The location of the service members when they are notified is of little concern to the early retirement boards who have decided their fate. According to service officials, “The moves are unfortunate but necessary as the service is forced to shrink due to budget constraints.”

The current active duty Army strength is expected to drop from 510,000 to 420,000 by 2016 if no changes are made to the budget and to handle sequestration. Given the U.S military’s new role in combating ISIS in Syria and Iraq, these numbers will certainly need to be reviewed. Whether the Obama administration will take the time for such a review remains to be seen.

One of the most heart rendering things a soldier once faced while in combat, was the dreaded “Dear John letter” from a loved one back home. Many would be told that the person they loved had moved on and found another to give their affections. These letters were seen as heartless and especially cruel as many military members were already struggling with the difficulties of combat, death, and separation from family. To think that our own Uncle Sam is now participating in such a practice is truly disgusting.

Shannon Grady

South Carolina Politichick Shannon Grady came to the staff in late 2013 with experience writing political pieces on US foreign, domestic, and education policy for Shannon has also been a guest commentator on The PonyTail Patriot BlogTalkRadio show. Shannon brings a unique perspective to European politics as she is able to cover events happening across Europe from the heart of the EU, while living in Brussels, Belgium. Her articles include original coverage of the Memorial Day events at Flanders Field, Belgium and the 70th anniversary D-Day events in Normandy, France. Shannon has a BA in History from the University of South Carolina, a Masters from Webster University, and recently finished her doctorate program at Liberty University where she focused on Educational Leadership and Administration. She currently teaches online AP courses in Macro and Micro Economics and AP US history. She is the wife of active duty Army officer LTC Matthew Grady who is currently assigned to NATO in Belgium and the mother of one rambunctious little boy. Follow Shannon on Twitter: @SGPAExPat

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