Underreported is really an understatement here, if you know what I mean. Actually, recruiting seems to be going well for all branches of our military:
A few weeks ago I spent a 4 hour flight talking with a soldier. She was an Army private who had just came back from a 16 month tour in Afghanistan. After all the usual “how is it like” talk where she described all the expected hardships of war (specially the fact that the Taliban loves to use children in their attacks) she told me that she had just re-enlisted for another 8 years. When I asked her why, she first said that monetarily staying in the military is a good deal. Pay is good, especially signing bonuses and health/education benefits. But she also said that soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan believe they are doing good. They know it is an unpopular war, and are not even sure of the political reasons behind them but when dealing with the people on the streets they can see how they are helping. Taliban and Saddam were not a difficult act to follow in many, many ways.
Of course I had to ask her who she would vote for. She said that McCain is really popular among soldiers and that the whole talk about getting out of Iraq is pushing even more liberal soldiers out of Obama’s camp.
Good news indeed.