Papadatos writes about a close friend, an active duty Army medic now in Iraq whose tour has just been extended for three months. "She got there in October of 2006 and was expecting to leave in October of '07," he writes. "Now she will be there until January of '08...unless she gets hurt before then."
Here's a little more information about Papadatos' friend:
She joined the Army with a high school diploma and no college. We left the Army's Combat Medic Course just under three years ago, and since then she has spent a year in Korea, a year and a half in Texas, and six months in Iraq. In those three years, she has earned an Associate's Degree, taking classes at night and on the weekends (and, in Iraq, online, in her spare time). She had planned to go to college - a REAL college - full-time starting in January of '08. Now she won't be back in time for the first semester of the year, so she'll have to wait for the summer or fall of '08. And - oh yes! - she enlisted, in the summer of 2003, for FOUR years, but the "Stop-Loss" policy keeps her in uniform until further notice.Continues Papadatos:
Now, keeping all of this in mind, somebody please tell me why a deejay with a reputation for irreverence calling a basketball player a "nappy-headed ho" should leave that woman "scarred for life" (which is a direct quote from one of the Rutgers basketball players, in Wednesday's newspapers). After that, somebody please tell me why I should care about it. And THEN somebody please tell me why that one incident, which caused no bleeding or dying, is getting more radio air time than the fact that MY little buddy - along with about 100,000 of her closest friends and colleagues - has just been told she has to spend three extra months in a combat zone.You can read more about Papadatos and other soldiers here.