The gist of the story is as follows...
Background: Student at Concordia College (I assume Moorhead, although could be St. Paul) needs to pay for college. He joins the Minnesota National Gaurd in 2004 (or so... well into our fiasco in Iraq). Recently he gets notified that he'll have to do training next semester and then go to Iraq.
Now: Mom gets irate -- goes on MPR saying things like "all he wanted to do was to pay for college, not go to war" and, "Concordia is expensive, we are a middle-class family who can't afford to pay tuition, that is why he joined" and "he didn't think he'd actually have to go to Iraq"'.
She demanded --and got -- a meeting with Govenor Pawlenty... she also spent time protsting the war on the capitol steps.
I am amazed and appalled at her ignorance and gall.
First of all -- her ADULT son decided to join the MN National Gaurd, at least two years AFTER we started fighting in Iraq. Sure, his motivation was to pay for college -- but, you don't think that they just give that money out for nothing.... for cripes sake, if he didn't wan't to go to war he should have taken out student loans like the rest of us. He chose to go to an expensive school, he didn't want huge student loans, he may have to go and fight.
Second -- what the fuck makes her kid so special? All across the nation young men and women get mobilization notices every day. Many of them leave wives, children and good paying jobs to do so. Others joined the active duty military because they didn't have the choices your son has. It is hard to leave your college without finishing... but, the contract he signed didn't have an education exemption.
It sounds to me like she is feeling guilty that she couldn't pay her kid's college tuition. That is sad, but it is also a fact of life for many people. Her son made a decision to serve, she should honor that decision. I hope he comes back, and when he does I'm sure he'll be a different person than when he left. Perhaps this is what she's worried about...
I am sure this mom is worried about her kid. That makes her the same as every military mom out there. Being from north-central Minnesota doesn't change all that. I hope meeting with the Govenor didn't change that.
I can't say that I think the war in Iraq is just... in fact, there are excellent arguments against it being just (which is huge for me, as I hope to be a just war theorist sooner or later..) -- but the fact of the matter is that this woman is demeaning her son's adult decision to serve. I think she should protest the war all she wants, but don't claim that her son was somehow tricked or coerced into joining...