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  • Witmer's sisters

    The sisters of Michelle Witmer, killed in Iraq earlier this month, have decided not to return to Iraq. What do you think of their decision? Are they taking advantage of the situation, or are they (and their family) entitled to such a decision, after their loss? At this time their next assignment is undetermined.
    Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
    (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

  • #2
    I could not quote you chapter and verse, but it is US military (government?) policy to allow this.

    It stemmed from the death of the Sullivan brothers in WWII. The five Sullivan Brothers were lost when the ship to which all five were assigned, USS Juneau (CL-52) was sunk on 13 November 1942.

    http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq...m#anchor559376 has a pretty good breakdown of the rules and regs on this.

    I would not want to be the one who has to make this decision (in the government), but they should not all have been overseas at the same time anyway. Should they remain in the military, they should go where their units go. However, consideration should be made to ensure one is always stateside. And should one of the surviving sisters be killed in action, and then the third should be discharged, for the family's sake.

    I have stated elsewhere, that joining the military brings with it inherent risks. I have to believe that all three were aware of this, and were willing to take the risks. That they should have the choice, I do not believe should be their prerogative. They may request a discharge, as is the right of all servicepersons.
    Retreat hell, we just got here. Every Marine, a rifleman.

    Never let the facts get in the way of the truth.

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    • #3
      All 3 had joined Wisconsin N.G. units that were activated and sent overseas. 2 (one which was killed) were in a M.P. unit and the other in a medical unit. The following is from a Madison newspaper.
      The sisters' decision not to redeploy to Iraq was their own, but their military commanders stressed Tuesday that they were following stern advice.

      "If anyone would quarrel with the decisions of these soldiers, their issue is with me - not with Rachel and Charity Witmer, two outstanding soldiers who stood ready and willing to return to duty with their units in Iraq," Wisconsin National Guard Maj. Gen. Al Wilkening said in a statement.

      Wilkening said that he "told them - using all the influence I have - that they should complete their active duty military obligations outside of Iraq."

      Another story said part of the reason was the publicity involved that would put them and their units in danger should they go back. They will not be discharged until finishing out their active duty time.
      "War is God's way of teaching Americans geography."
      - Ambrose Bierce

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      • #4
        Works for me! :thumb:

        I was aware of the concerns due to publicity, and I have no quarrel there. As long as the decisions are based on the good of the service and their comrades, that's great.
        Retreat hell, we just got here. Every Marine, a rifleman.

        Never let the facts get in the way of the truth.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Iron Mike USMC
          Works for me! :thumb:

          I was aware of the concerns due to publicity, and I have no quarrel there. As long as the decisions are based on the good of the service and their comrades, that's great.
          Yep, I know that several of TV's "talking heads" mentioned the precedent of the Sullivan family. I expect it was a very difficult decisions for the two sisters to make - after all, their unit remains in Iraq, and they may feel some misgivings at being back in Wisconsin while their comrades remain in the combat zone.

          I heard late this morning that they would serve in "administrative positions" in Wisconsin until their unit returns.
          Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
          (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by hogdriver
            Yep, I know that several of TV's "talking heads" mentioned the precedent of the Sullivan family. I expect it was a very difficult decisions for the two sisters to make - after all, their unit remains in Iraq, and they may feel some misgivings at being back in Wisconsin while their comrades remain in the combat zone.

            I heard late this morning that they would serve in "administrative positions" in Wisconsin until their unit returns.
            Brother.., er,...sisterhood!
            Retreat hell, we just got here. Every Marine, a rifleman.

            Never let the facts get in the way of the truth.

            Comment


            • #7
              A daughter and sister have been lost. The Wilmer family has done enough.

              Comment


              • #8
                That's families ticket is punched for round trip/unlimited miles. The two remaining sisters have not been seen to comment to the press. A good move on their part.

                If the girls had gone back to Iraq they would of had large bounties on them. (Right now the payoff is in the $thousands to prove the responsibility of an Americans death.) Their units were known and published by the media. Those units would of been specifically targeted. The soldiers themselves had to make the formal request, but its pretty obvious that they were strongly encouraged to by their chain of command, at the state level, at the minimum.

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                • #9
                  I'm glad to see our ex-military contributors back the sisters. Personally I think one loss per family is enough.
                  Lance W.

                  Peace through superior firepower.

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