Military Familes & the New Afghanistan Surge

Half my heart
Like most political topics, the U.S. offensive in Afghanistan is a complicated issue, despite attempts on all sides to reduce its complexity so that the situation can best be spun to suit a given ideology. As much as I would like for it to be as simple as “get us the hell out of there,” I’m just not sure that’s realistic or even possible any more than “lets kick some ass over there so we don’t have to fight them here” is.

The fact of the matter is that the world is a mess. Granted, much of the trouble has been caused and is being perpetuated by flawed U.S. foreign policy. But it is a mess, nonetheless. I have to be extra clear here: I was not in favor of the original invasion of Afghanistan or that of Iraq. In fact, invading Afghanistan after 9/11 made about as much sense to me as bombing Michigan would have after Oklahoma City.

Unfortunately, my friends, that ship has sailed. And we have not, even by getting rid of W, managed to instigate any large scale strategic shifts on the part of the U.S. government, at least as far as Afghanistan is concerned (Iraq is another matter, for another day). So. Fact number 2–for good or ill, Afghanistan is our problem and that problem is getting bigger by the moment.

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Military Spouses, Freedom & Choice

Being the spouse of an active duty U.S. Marine has its benefits, for sure. Of course, it also has its drawbacks. I have a little of both on my mind at the moment.

One major benefit is that I have very good health coverage, for a decent price. Our premium is $28.00/month. The most I pay for a prescription is $3.00/30 day supply, and I usually don’t have to pay that. Prescriptions filled at a base pharmacy are free. I have access to world class medical professionals–providers who are federal employees (or are military themselves) and are salaried. They don’t prescribe pills just because they had a visit from the drug rep and they aren’t concerned about profits, so their advice isn’t guided by an ulterior motive.

There is a catch, (or two) of course.
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