Troops in the field said to be short sheeted, so to speak…

I think I recall reading that during the Civil War women ripped up their petticoats and sent them to the war front to be used for bandages. That’s a generous and caring and patriotic thing to do.

Now I see on the Dr. Phil Show that a woman whose son, a Marine, was killed in Iraq, is running a program called Operation Bedding in which citizens are urged to send sheets and bedding materials to troops, along with other personal items, snacks and so on.

When I was in the Army, a practical joke was to make someone’s bunk, but fold the sheets back under the covers – short sheeting (yes, kind of silly). But apparently some of our troops are really short of sheets.

While I see nothing wrong with sending bedding, goodies or anything needed to the troops, I found it strange and sad that our troops are in short supply of bedding. I mean lord knows we spend billions in tax money to pay private contractors but we don’t have enough left over for a basic necessity of our troops (who are paid way less than contractors, even those contractors doing the same job as them).

I recall that during the Vietnam War parents were sending their sons cans of oil to clean their rifles. And I guess that a shortage of supply and supply foul-ups are fact of any war, but I also at the same time feel outraged that so many people make so much money out of war and yet our troops who lay their lives on the line often go without basic necessities (at least that is the indication).

Maybe I am not understanding the present situation and these are just some nice extras being solicited for the troops. And I certainly would not discourage the sending of anything good for our men and women in the field.

But the best support of all would be for the public to pay some attention to what is actually going on and letting our elected leaders know whether we should continue our present course in the wars. Also, if we are to continue, the public has a duty to support the effort and not make our troops suffer and depend upon volunteer contributions for their basic necessities.

Maybe I am isolated from the mainstream of society – sometimes I think so. I hardly ever hear anyone discuss our ongoing war effort, except the simplistic call to “support the troops” or “better to fight them over there than here” (or, more accurately, let our troops fight them over there). Of course most any patriotic citizen (regardless of whether they tend to have pro-war or anti-war tendencies) would (nominally) support troops who are doing the job we have sent them to do – the question is, is the mission correct? not much public discussion on that.

Maybe the answer is that we are at war and it has been decided. Well then, all effort must be put forward to win and sacrifice on the home front should be called for. Living life as usual while troops risk their lives out in the field and depend upon care packages from home seems kind of shameful to me.

Nonetheless, contributions to Operation Bedding cannot hurt, I would think. You can get the details by calling up:


Maybe the perceived lack of concern for the troops is from the fact that these days we do not have young men (or women) yanked out of civilian life via the military draft. It is an all-volunteer professional force. We have turned our defense (and offense) over to a mercenary force, albeit one who still considers itself to be fighting for America, not just for a job. No sacrifice is called for from the citizenry.

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