Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Dear Mr. President:

Dear Mr. President:

Once again, it looks like you might need some help in getting the right thing done. This time it seems to be immigration and the border with Mexico.

I see Senator Kerry and some others are worried that the National Guard is over burdened by those other necessary things over in Iraq and Afghanistan.


I, as a military retiree, hereby volunteer to be recalled to active service to lend a hand on the US border. I encourage my fellow retirees to do the same. There are a lot of us, and I think we could work up a pretty good duty rotation and help the Guard get some down time. I don't think our ability to stand watch, drive vehicles or communicate have been much affected by retirement. But as we are not talking about a war zone, I'm not sure much else in needed.

I'm pretty sure there are some retired Swift Boat vets who might also volunteer, though I think Senator Kerry let his military affilation lapse short of retirement, so he may not be one of them.

I think there is some law under which this is possible. See here.

And even though, as a gray area retired reservist, I don't draw any retired pay, all I really ask is "3 hots and cot" and a chance to be useful to my country.

As for our fitness to serve, well, Tennyson said it pretty well:
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in the old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal-temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Very respectfully,


(cross posted at Milblogs.)

Real letter to the President being sent under separate cover.

UPDATE: More on National Guard Border plans here:
The National Guard has routinely used member's required two-week annual training period to support border control and counterdrug programs at the border, said Paul McHale, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense.

Under the new deployment plan, the Guard will still use the annual training period, but will be sending more troops, McHale said, and those troops will perform missions consistent with their military skills.

Troops will rotate in and out of the border mission every two to three weeks, Blum said, but the leadership will remain the same for the duration of the operations. The leaders who are there long-term will be from the affected states -- California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico -- and will be under the control of the joint force headquarters, he said.

The initial commitment will be for up to 6,000 troops on a rotational basis for up to one year, McHale said. For a second year of deployment, military support will not exceed 3,000 personnel, he said.

The National Guard's border missions will include surveillance and reconnaissance, engineering support, transportation support, logistics support, vehicle dismantling, medical support, barrier and infrastructure construction, road building, and linguistics support, McHale said. He emphasized that Guard forces will play no role in the direct apprehension, custodial care or security associated with those who are detained by civilian law enforcement authorities.

"Law enforcement along the border will remain a civilian function," he said.
My offer stands.

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