U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Sixth, visited The Herald-Mail offices last week to talk about a variety of things, but mostly about his recent visit to Iraq. What he saw should be of interest to anyone who cares about the welfare of the troops there.
Bartlett went to Iraq with a Congressional delegation that stayed there from Dec. 19 to Dec. 23. While there, Bartlett said he met with American troops, who he said were proud of what they were accomplishing in a country where the poverty is acute and freedom a rarity.
But Bartlett also said he was concerned by the long-term deployment of soldiers, including those in the Reserve and National Guard.
Unlike regular armed forces personnel, who enter knowing they could be deployed for extended periods, Bartlett said that Reserve and National Guard soldiers don't expect to be separated from their jobs and families for extended periods.