We print a letter that appeared in the May 7, 2008 edition of the Stars & Stripes. Our policy when printing letters from servicemen and women is to print their words without comment.
What She Lost In The Army
I have lost something from this deployment that I fear I may never regain–the sense of pride and desire to serve the Army. Upon leaving for this deployment, I would have sworn that if you had cut open my veins, I would have bled green. but, I’ve seen where the military is going and it scares me.
Our leadership is responsible for the mission and the morale of troops. More than once I have heard from higher ranks that they didn’t care about us. I even once listened to a chaplain say I’ll come back “when I have time to care.” And now things are worse.
We were instructed that for our awards ceremony anyone not meeting weight standards will be required to stand behind the stage. Thery were told they could receive their awards when the ceremony is over. I am big on enforcing the weight control program, but these individuals, probably one-third of our company, have served with us the entire deployment and only now has there been a problem with it.
I would like to remind our leadership that while we may be the future of the military, you wil lmake us in your image. So please stop worrying whether our PT belt is facing left to right or right to left. It is in your lack of lealdership that degrades our morale and hinders the mission. You are the reason for the Army’s retention problem.
To my fellow soldiers whom my battalion seeks to disgrace, I am proud to have served with you. You have taught me much, and I am honored to have known you. When the ceremony begins, I will make sure to be where I belong, next to the soldiers I have so proudly served with, behind the stage.
Sgt. Jenna Turnipseed
Campt Bucca, Iraq