I try to keep my formidable temper in check here, like a good little hostess should, but if you want to see my head explode, let some
knucklehead uninformed person mention the Big George W. Bush Lie to me: the “AWOL” nonsense. In my comments section about “chickenhawks” from Sharon:
oh and George Bush: Air National Guard, managed to disappear for the last 18 months of his enlistment. Can you say AWOL?So instead of being lazy and comparing the Big Lie to “the natural by-product of a bull's digestive system” (Thank you, Paul Jané), allow me to enlighten the woefully misinformed with a few facts.
AWOL stands for Absent Without Official Leave. You know what that means, right? Apparently, some don’t, so let me define it in--obviously necessary--a more plain English: it means that you are gone from your place of military duty without official permission. Who gives that official permission? Why, the commander of your unit, natch.
This works differently in Guard and Reserve Units than it does in Active Duty units. Since AD personnel belong to the military 24/7/365, you must have a darn good reason to be gone for longer than your accrued leave time (30 days per year; at least the last time I checked).
Since Guard personnel and Reservists are only required to be on duty for two days a month and only required to serve a minimum of two weeks of active duty per year, they don’t accrue leave. They also have more leeway when it comes to periods of absence. (This last depends on many things: job, manning level, mission, etc.)
Additionally, if the Guardsman/Reservist attends a service school--such as pilot training--during a given year, part of the time in school can serve as his/her two weeks of active duty or part of it can be used as the two days of duty for a given month.
Also, if a member has served enough time to retire and has applied to do so—six months between application and bye-bye date--he/she doesn’t have to come back to his/her unit at all after that (though I did).
And, on top of that, if the member wants to take an extended period of absence from his/her duty for any reason—family, school, work in a political campaign, or just because he/she needs a break—he/she can do it with the unit commander’s permission. That’s it. That’s all that’s required. Not a flocking act of Congress, not some monetary exchange in a back room somewhere.
I know this, because I did it. Yes, little bald-headed black chicks can take a break from the Reserves if they want to, just like rich white guys. And I kept my money--and my virtue, such as it is--in my pocket when I did it.
Ain’t America great?
So please peddle the AWOL shizam somewhere else. This is not the place.
MORE RANTING: Could someone explain to me how someone "dodges the draft" by joining the military? That's more than tortured logic. That's logic dropped into Saddam's People Shredder.
UPDATE: (February 4, 2004) To make any further comments on this post, go here.