Today, the US Senate voted to continue debate on (and thereby kill) an amendment offered by Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) that would have helped set a reasonable rotation schedule for troops currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sen. Webb’s amendment would have made dwell periods (the time spent at home between deployments) twice as long as the previous deployment for regular military (2:1), and 5:1 for deployed members of the reserves and National Guard. Also, the amendment would have limited deployments of units and/or members if they or their units had been deployed within 3 years of the date of their next deployment.
56 senators voted for cloture (including Sen. Warner), 4 short of the 60 necessary; 40 Republicans and independent Joe Lieberman voted against cloture. Do those 41 senators not care about the health and families of the troops?
15-month deployments with a less than 12-month dwell time before the next deployment takes a toll on the mental well-being of these soldiers and their families. Upwards of 3 to 4 tours in 4 1/2 years takes a toll on both the mental and physical well-being of the soldiers and their families.
As a military veteran, I am ashamed of the Senators who voted against the troops today. I applaud Sen. Webb (and 55 other Senators) for attempting to speak for the voiceless soldiers who put their lives on the line every day for this country.