Imagine you’re a US soldier from the 172nd Stryker Brigade in Alaska. Your tour of duty in Iraq has just ended and you’re back with your family, home at last. Just then the phone rings. Apparently things have gotten so bad in Baghdad that Donald Rumsfeld has extended your brigade’s deployment. You need to get back to Iraq immediately, and in fact you’ll be stationed in Baghdad itself to help put a stop to the violence.
That’s what happened to 300 soldiers from the Army this week. Another 300 soldiers had gotten as far as Kuwait when they were told to return. I don’t know what’s worse — actually getting back on US soil, or sitting in an airport in Kuwait, thinking you’re going home when you get the news that you have to go back.