Sample text for Patriots act : voices of dissent and the risk of speaking out / Bill Katovsky.

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A Soldier Speaks Out

California Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Lorenzo Dominguez

I decided to speak out because it's the difference between life or death. I'm
very in touch with my mortality nowaday. It's the difference of being prepared and not being prepared. At forty-five, I don't feel like bullets can bounce off my chest anymore like I did when I was eighteen, nineteen. I think that's why the military really loves the teenagers, because, well they think that nothing bad can happen to them, but as you get older, you start realizing that bad things can happen and do happen to us all the time. And the quality of the training here is so poor and so pathetic. Everybody complains, but nobody can or does anything. I mean, they complain to the chain of command, but the chain of command really doesn't care; they're here to make their rank or to get the next star. And I just realized how cruel it really is when you just become another body to be thrown into the grinder. But I'm responsible for nine men in my squad as their squad leader. I made commitments to them and to most of their mothers and fathers that I would bring them back home from Iraq in one piece.

The base's upper command accused me of endangering the military and possibly aiding the enemy. I was told by the Public Affairs Officer that the L. A. Times article would probably be grabbed on my Al Qaeda and Al-Jazeera, and that we would be shown that we don't want to fight. And that just cannot be farther from the truth. My men are motivated; my men believe, like I do, that this is a just war. We just need the proper equipment. We cannot be part of this great country - you cannot be sending me to war if you're not going to give me the best of the best to fight it with. Don't send me there with one arm tied behind my back.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Patriotism -- United States.
Dissenters -- United States -- Interviews.
National characteristics, American.
United States -- Politics and government.
United States -- Social conditions.