Troops Now Face Longer Deployments AND Less Time at Home

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The troops have to be pretty upset with the military brass right now.

In April, SecDef Robert Gates announced that tours in Iraq and Afghanistan were being extended from twelve months to fifteen months. The move was necessary, Gates said, if the Army wanted to ensure that every combat veteran had at least one full year at home before being sent back into a war zone.

Well, word is leaking out that those twelve months at home are just a fantasy. According to Stars and Stripes, a company in Europe is headed back to Iraq only nine months after a 13-month tour.

Other companies made find themselves in the same situation, because a Pentagon spokesman is calling the one year at home between tours a “goal” instead of a guarantee. As for Gates, he’s as confused as anyone. “I’ll be very interested in finding out more about that,” Gates told Stars and Stripes. “We just need to find out about that, because I made it clear that people would have 12 months at home.”

Spotted on ThinkProgress, who highlights a LA Times article from a few days back titled “Long tours in Iraq may be minefield for mental health.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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