Fans of military sf author Myke Cole will want to read his eloquent explanation about why he requested a transfer from his current reserve status to “Individual Ready Reserve or IRR, an unpaid, non-drilling force that maintains a modicum of military readiness, but who generally aren’t called up except in the event of an existential crisis (i.e. invasion of the homeland).”
A major part of it is to give priority to his writing and police work, but there’s another important reason:
Three tours in Iraq put paid to that notion. I went to fight al-Q’aida, and instead hunkered down under indirect fire from mostly Shi’a old men and young boys, shooting off decrepit, refurbished rockets for the paltry sums they needed to keep their families fed for another day. These people hadn’t attacked us on 9/11. They weren’t planning to attack us in the future. And we were killing them. I was killing them.
More revelations followed: Manning and Snowden, the slow reversal in Iraq, watching everything I fought for, that my friends died for, return to the hands of ISIS. I finally stood in the lobby of a hotel in Washington, DC as Obama announced that we were sending another 1,500 troops to Iraq and I asked myself: “if they called you now, would you want to go?”
And I realized that, for the first time, the answer was, “no.”