Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Arizona Candidate Prepares for Deployment to Iraq

All you REMF's and ChickenHawk Colonels in the 101st Fighting Keyboarders take notice of this story from this mornings New York Times.

Published: September 5, 2006

TUCSON, Aug. 31 — Jonathan L. Paton is preparing to go to war in Iraq. . .

Mr. Paton, running for his second two-year term in the Arizona House, is one of four Republicans in his district’s primary on Sept. 12 who are competing for two seats. The balloting occurs five days after Lieutenant Paton, an intelligence officer in the Army Reserve, is due at Fort Benning, Ga., to prepare for a five-month to six-month tour in Iraq and, maybe, Afghanistan.

I will take a moment here to say that I disagree with Lt. Paton on almost every issue where he has made his views public. From Illegal Immigration, to Voting Rights, to the general "Fuck Everybody But Me" Republican agenda. I must commend this young man (35 is young to me) for his willingness to serve. He could have gotten a deferment or a "pass" on combat duty because of his status as an elected official. Not this Lieutenant. From the story again:

Mr. Paton, 35, stands out. Unlike most of the others, he has asked to go, a decision that surprised and shocked some family members and friends, though he said most had expressed support.

Mr. Paton said he did not want his status as an elected official to excuse him from combat, something instructors in a training program he attended last year suggested would happen. He decided that his full-throated support of the war would seem contradictory if he was not willing to serve.

I understand his motivation. I do. When I was in the service and there was a fight going on, that is exactly where I wanted to be. I could see no other place for me, as a warrior. I do not get the sense that he is doing this for anything less than honorable, and decent motivations. I wish him well. I hope that when he returns from the war zone safely he sleeps better than most of the combat veterans, including myself. I want him to come home safely to his family and friends. If I were ever to meet him I would give him the respect and honor that warriors give to one another. I would still disagree, and disagree strongly with his politics. I would try to change his mind, he would try to change mine. There would, through it all run a bond, a connection that those who never answered this call (like those who started this whole hobo clusterfuck) will never have.

Lt. Paton, I salute you sir. Return to us safely.

You are a soldier.


Blogger The Fat Lady Sings said...

You know - it used to be possible for good people to disagree with one another. We used to be able to be on opposite ends of a reasoned debate. I guess we used to be a lot of things. I'm glad this man seems interested in putting his money where his mouth is; and perhaps - just perhaps - he will return ready to engage in those long forgotten reasoned debates between good people. God knows it would be a rarity considering today's politics. I wish him good luck.

1:37 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i can respect a man for doing something like this and still never dream of voting for him. i'm just saying that in this instance, he doing an honorable, good thing.

3:45 PM  

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