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War stuff - Jasper Janssen
April 21st, 2008
11:40 pm


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War stuff
I don't know if y'all heard.. last week the Dutch Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Dick Berlijn, retired from the top slot. Two days after the festive and formal transfer of command authority to Peter van Uhm, General Uhm's son Dennis was one of two Dutch soldiers killed by a roadside IED in Afghanistan.


Just out of curiosity (and to make cheap political hay out of a personal tragedy[1]).. how many of the Joint Chiefs have children in harm's way?

[1] I'm not a politician, so maybe I'm allowed.

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:April 21st, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
I'll make a guess and say "zero", given that everyone else who can get their children out of dangerous deployments does so. It's The American Way to send the poor, uneducated, and politically unconnected to die for you.
[User Picture]
Date:April 21st, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
In fairness, there are exceptions -- John McCain's son Jimmy just finished a front-line tour of duty in Iraq as a Marine Lance Corporal (article); and some Google searching shows there are multiple other members of Congress with sons in Iraq. And I actually would honestly guess the percentage of senior military leaders with children on active duty is higher than the percentage of politicians with children on active duty. Military families would be the families most likely to have put real thought into the cost of the careers they themselves have chosen, and in many cases honestly believe in the mission that they gave their own lives to.
Date:April 22nd, 2008 09:01 am (UTC)
In actuality, that would be my guess too. Military service does run in families, for better or worse[2]. It's a cheap shot, basically.

On the gripping hand I'd love to see a statistical breakdown by rank.

[2] One can make arguments that General X's son Johnny might have to deal with favoritism, both for and against, and dynastic setups within the military have their drawbacks as well as positive sides.
[User Picture]
Date:April 23rd, 2008 08:30 am (UTC)
That, and if Johnny's father or CO are scrupulous enough about avoiding even the appearance of favouritism, it can mean he has to work harder than others of the same ability.
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