I learned a few things about our troubled military tonight at the candlelight vigil on the Japanese Bridge at Big Spring Park in Huntsville. One man mentioned the backdoor draft and a woman responded that one example is the stop-loss program, which has affected her son. His contract will be up in May but he will have to stay in Iraq for as long as his unit had to stay. Another person brought up platoons filled with non-U.S. citizens who are promised citizenship after they fight in Iraq. I found the following from an independent research corporation:
Policy changes since September 11, 2001—including an executive order that allows non-citizens to apply for expedited citizenship after only one day of active duty and provisions in the 2004 defense authorization bill that ease the way to citizenship—may encourage noncitizens to consider military service.
Two women there wore Code Pink t-shirts. Code Pink has protested this war since its start. We were a group of twenty or so folks, mostly middle-aged. One kid roller-bladed up with sign in hand: “I’m not disturbing the peace, I’m protesting the war.” We sang some songs, talked about the war, held candles, prayed. I noticed one TV reporter and camera. Maybe other media there (newspaper?).