Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Uh Oh

From Fubar at Needlenose: This gives me a bad feeling--I think, sadly, we'll be seeing a lot more stories like this:

Authorities are trying to understand why a Marine who had spent seven months fighting in Iraq allegedly shot to death a police sergeant in the Central Valley town of Ceres and critically wounded another officer before being shot to death...

Investigators are exploring the possibility that the gunman, whom authorities identified as 19-year-old Andres Raya of Modesto, may have wanted to die in what police call "suicide by cop," because he didn't want to go back to Iraq. Although the Marines said Raya's unit had already been deployed to Iraq twice and was not scheduled to return, his family told investigators that Raya had expressed concern he would be shipped out again.

The report says that Raya's unit "was not scheduled to return"--that's not the same as saying that they WEREN'T going to return to Iraq. Look, for instance at what the Pentagon is doing with the Guard and Reserves (from Bob Herbert's column yesterday):

The Pentagon is also considering plans to further change the rules about mobilizing members of the National Guard and Reserve. Right now they cannot be called up for more than 24 months of active service. That limit would be scrapped, which would permit the Army to call them up as frequently as required.

After two tours, with the possibility of further combat, I don't think it's surprising that one 19 year old Marine snapped. The question will be how many more--and with what consequences?

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