Via Instapundit, from L. T. Smash:
But let's put your personal considerations aside for the moment. After all, a martyr cares nothing for his own life. That is how you see yourself, isn't it?
When you were planning your dramatic "statement," did you think for a minute about how this would affect your shipmates? You are a fire control technician on the Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missile system. The Navy doesn't have a bunch of spare FCs sitting in cold storage. Your ship is going to the Arabian Gulf, and will have to pass through the "threat arcs" of Iran's Silkworm anti-ship missiles -- and in case you haven't noticed, we're not exactly buddy-buddy with the mullahs these days. The Sea Sparrow is a critical point-defense system for your ship. So your job isn't one that the Navy can afford to shrug off -- somebody else is going to have to do it.
One of two things is going to happen. Either your shipmates are going to have to pull extra shifts to cover for your absence, or -- more likely -- somebody from another ship is going to get emergency orders to take your place in the coming days. Maybe that person is married; maybe he even has kids.
And you pulled this little stunt just in time for Christmas.
When I was in Desert Shield / Desert Storm in 1990, we saw all sorts of this kind of behavior. Kids who signed up into the reserves were called to duty per their contract, and responded with "You mean I have to fight? I thought you were just giving me free money for college!"
They did whatever they could to avoid deploying to Saudi. The level of conscientious objectorship went up significantly in about two weeks, as did the pregnanacy rate among females both at home and in-theater (if you got pregnant, especially on a ship at sea, you got sent home) over the next six months.
Cowards and freeloaders the lot of them. No sense of duty, no sense of honor, no sense of commitment. They were happy to take the goods, but actively avoided returning their service. >:-