According to Wikipedia, the Stop-loss definition is:
“Stop-loss is a term primarily used in the United States military. In the U.S. military, it is the involuntary extension of a service member’s active duty service under the enlistment contract in order to retain them beyond their initial end of term of service (ETS) date and up to their contractually agreed end of obligated service (EOS). It also applies to the cessation of a permanent change of station (PCS) move for a member still in military service. Stop-loss was used immediately before and during the first Persian Gulf War. Since then, it has been used during deployments to Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and after the September 11 attacks and the subsequent War on Terror.”
The policy has been legally challenged several times. However, Federal courts have consistently found that military service members contractually agree that their term of service may be involuntarily extended until the end of their obligated service.
However, in real life it is much more than that. The term and its definition are minimal at best. Truth be told, even a cynic can not sit back and agree that such an act by OUR government is that of a free country — let alone a “free-man / soldier, who has served his country — and his term.
Through the years stop-loss has become much more “in our faces”, as undeclared “wars” have called many a soldier back to a place to which they barely survived — once, never-mind a forceful twice-go-round. In a 2004 Campaign speech by the then presidential candidate John Kerry — stop-loss was described accurately as a “back-door draft”. At that time, both politicians and war activists insisted and proclaimed its use an abuse of the law. Since Congress had not officially declared a war — the basis for using stop-loss was to them as well as those affected just that : “abuse”……
Much controversy, political agenda, hype, and inaccurate depictions of this “injustice” surround the topic whenever it is brought to our attention in any form. So how do we as Americans differentiate between fact and fiction — media agenda, propaganda, misguided citizens, and hoaxes — and how do we get the real stories, the guts and grit of the truth without literally being in that situation ourselves ?
In a weekly editorial, Here and Sphere will cautiously report one brave, wounded, forgotten, scared for his life, stop-loss soldier’s story. Though we can not completely vouch for it’s full accuracy — we will deliver this soldier’s encrypted letters, each with all its content — and let you, our readers, decide for yourselves. Our job is to report the news, and bring you the stories that matter to you. In “TOP SECRET” Letter to Home — One stop-loss soldier’s story — we will do just that.
As I sit here contemplating adjusting and calibrating my “weapon”, my stomach feels hollow and my nerves are all edgy-like. I know I’m not hungry or even sick, just disgusted a little — okay maybe a lot, at what I’ve just been ordered to do. I am staring blankly just beyond my target — thoughts are rushing, twisting, and racing. “I am not a man if I can do this and feel nothing” I say to myself over and over like a record on repeat. “I just gave this man water, medical supplies, and other non-existant — virtually impossible to come-by necessities, only days ago — and now he and his family of mostly daughter’s and a young son, ARE A THREAT?” On what grounds? Why the sudden change in opinion? A man who has only a trade, of making clothing from gathered remnants — retrieved from corpses, and invaded, overtaken homes — and wherever else he scrounges. “This cannot be a real order.” So I carefully look behind me to double check — slouched down and hidden in a corner of the old tower, my superior nods, and signals the KILL SHOT ORDER — again I hesitate. Scratching the old wooden blood stained floor — like nails on a chalkboard — at least to me it sounded that way — I am summoned to quietly turn again as to not give away our location, but to be scowled at angrily, and once again commanded to shoot..
With my sniper precision and extensive unwanted training I FIRE. We retreat slowly, carefully and stealthy — as trained — down the back side of what had been my cover and home for the last 24 hours.
Upon returning to our base-camp I am reamed a new asshole, and given a lengthy lecture on the chain of command. But all that echoes in my head is the screeches and cries, of his two oldest daughter’s as they ran out to recover their father’s lifeless body — the body whose soul’s left to haunt me — and his blood is on my hands.
“This is not what I signed on for” — ” I should have been HOME years ago. But because I have no one to notice I am not writing, no one to answer my phone-calls or emails — NO ONE to know something is wrong — I am in this war laiden limbo, never knowing — “will I ever go home?” — “or will I be killed like some of the others, just to insure my silence?”
Please Pray for me if you can — Please ask question’s no one else can, FOR ME — Please DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING they tell you. As I am proof, there is a traitor among us — a thief with only his own agenda — and no clue as to what it’s really like to be ——— A stop-loss soldier
This soldier’s story as told by : Heather Cornell