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Correspondence between Senator Barack Obama sent to the Department of Defense 2005-2008

Correspondence between Senator Barack Obama sent to the Department of Defense 2005-2008

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Published by John Greenewald
Correspondence between Senator Barack Obama sent to the Department of Defense 2005-2008
Correspondence between Senator Barack Obama sent to the Department of Defense 2005-2008

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Published by: John Greenewald on Sep 03, 2012
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12/05/2012

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BARACK
OBAMA
ILLINOIS
COMMITTEES:
ENVIRONMENT
AND
PUBLICWORKSFOREIGNRELATIONSVETERANS'AFFAIRS
HonorableDonaldRumsfeldSecretary
of
DefenseThePentagonWashington.,D.C.20301DearMr.Secretary,
WASHINGTON,
DC
20510
March3,2005
..
, . . . ~
..
I
knowyouhavebeenhearingfromcommunityleadersacrossthecountryandfrom
my
congressionalcolleaguesabouthowthecampaignagainstterrorhasstretchedtheresources
of
ourmilitaryandisaffectingourtroopsandtheirfamiliesinwaysnotpreviouslyanticipated.
I
appreciatethatyouandyouradvisorsarecontinuallyassessingtheseconcerns,and,asamember
of
theSenateForeignRelationsandVeteransAffairsCommittees,
I
lookforwardtoparticipatinginthatevaluationprocess.
You
should
be
awarethat
not
a
daygoes
by
that
I
donotreceivealetter,aphonecall
or
an
emailfromsomeonein
my
stateaskingaboutthestatus
oftheir
lovedoneswhohavebeencalledtoactiveduty.Overthelastseveralweeks,anwnber
of
friendsandfamilymembers
of
IllinoisNationalGuardunits,two
of
whicharecurrentlyatFortPolk,Louisiana,havecontacted
me
toexpresstheirconcernthatourstate'sunitsarereceivingconflictingsignalsaboutthelengthandlocation
of
theircurrentdeployment.
I
amextremelyconcernedthatdespitethegreatsacrificesbeingmade
by
thesegreatAmericansandtheirfamilies,thisAdministrationisstillnotgivingthetroopsandtheirfamiliesthekinds
of
straightanswersthatwillpermitthemtohavesomecertaintyabouttheirdeployments.Thus,
I
am
writingyoutodayto
ask
forspecificinformationaboutthenature
of
theIllinois'
131
st
and178
th
NationalGuardunits'deployment,andtoexpress
my
concernandfrustrationaboutthePentagon's
t r ~ a t m e n t
of
ourNationalGuardandReserveforces..GuardmembersandReservistsarefacingaperiod
of
unprecedentedmobilization.
As
themilitaryisstretchedthin
by
dutiesinIraq,Mghanistanandelsewhere,theyarefacinglongerandlesspredictablemobilizations.Andwehaveheard-includingfromveryseniorleadershipintheReserveandGuardstructures--thattheGuardandReservearereceivingsubstandardequipmentandinsufficienttrainingtomeetthechallengestheyconfront
on
thesedeployments.Moreover,whenthesetroopsarecalledtoactiveduty,theirfamiliesoftenfaceseverefinancialhardshipaswellasincreasedchildcareandhealthcarecosts.Thisproblemisexacerbated
by
theuncertainlengths
of
deployment.Familiescannotplanfortheirfmancialfuturewithoutknowingwhen
a
Guardmember
or
Reservistcanreturnhomeandreturn
to
work.
 
BARACK
OBAMA
ILLINOIS
HonorableDonaldRumsfeldMarch3,2005PageTwo
tinitro
~ t a t c s
~ r n a t [
WASHINGTON,
DC
20510
COMMITTEES:
ENVIRONMENT
AND
PUBLICWORKSFOREIGNRELATIONSVETERANS'AFFAIRS
Ourcitizen-soldiersdeservebetter.Theyrisktheirlivesfor
our
safety.Theirfamiliesriskfinancialruin.Theleastwecandoisletthemknowwheretheywill
be
servingandwhentheyarereturninghome.Ilookforward
to
receivingderailedinformationaboutthePentagon'splansfortheIllinois'
131
5t
andI
78
th
NationalGuardunitsaswellasanupdate
of
whatthePentagonisdoingtoimprovelong-termplanningfortheassignment
ofthe
Guard,theReserveandmembers
of
thefull-timemilitary.WhileIunderstandtheneedtomaintainsufficienttroopstrength
in
Iraq,Ialsobelieveourleadersneedto
be
morehonestaboutwhatwillbeexpected
of
ourNationalGuardandReservists,aswell
as
ourActiveDutysoldiers.Iwouldliketolet
my
constituentsknowthatinthisdifficulttime,ourleadershavetheirinterestsatheartandrecognizetheirdeepestconcerns.Thankyouforyourattentiontothismatter.
~ G : p ~ " " " l \ ~
B a r a c k ~ a m a
UnitedStatesSenatorCCs:TheHonorableFrancis
J.
Harvey'Secretary
01
theArmyLieutenantGeneralH.StevenBlumChief,NationalGuardBureauBrigadierGeneralRandal
E.
ThomasAdjutantGeneral,IllinoisNationalGuard

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