Spare us happy soldier talk, photos

March 27, 2011

As a Maryland taxpayer and resident, I cringed at Gov. Martin O'Malley's "happy talk" send-off of our National Guard ("Md. Soldiers off to Egypt," March 25). Just when did they sneak Egypt into the military mix anyhow? We're already involved in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya — but Egypt, wow, that came as a surprise.

I find nothing heartwarming in The Sun's "kissy face" photos of soldiers saying goodbye to their families. The Maryland National Guard was not set up to keep the peace in Egypt. National Guard members all over America have been deployed time and time again to the Middle East, yet there's nary a peep from "concerned citizens." Where are the voices of yesterday — when protestors made front page news?

I'm glad Governor O'Malley thinks the 440 Maryland Guard members deployed to Egypt will be in for "an interesting time." And if someone gets killed while they "rise to any challenges that may present themselves," we'll no doubt be treated to full coverage of their funeral.

Instead of meekly waving farewell to his departing National Guard troops, the governor should be expressing dismay and disgust over this backdoor draft. I'm sickened by the Mideast mission creep taking place under everyone's nose.

Please spare me anymore "happy soldier" family photos. This Maryland resource is being squandered around the world for nothing. At least now you know one person cares.

R. Heid, Baltimore

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