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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Family plan

A lot of changes are called "historic" that really aren't, but this one sure seems to qualify:

BAGHDAD (AP) -- When American soldiers get off duty in Iraq, the men usually return to their quarters, the women to theirs. But Staff Sgt. Marvin Frazier gets to go back to a small trailer with two pushed-together single beds that he shares with his wife.

In a historic but little-noticed change in policy, the Army is allowing scores of husband-and-wife soldiers to live and sleep together in the war zone - a move aimed at preserving marriages, boosting morale and perhaps bolstering re-enlistment rates at a time when the military is struggling to fill its ranks five years into the fighting.

"It makes a lot of things easier," said Frazier, 33, a helicopter maintenance supervisor in the 3rd Infantry Division. "It really adds a lot of stress, being separated. Now you can sit face-to-face and try to work out things and comfort each other."

Long-standing Army rules barred soldiers of the opposite sex from sharing sleeping quarters in war zones. Even married troops lived only in all-male or all-female quarters and had no private living space.

Boy, oh, boy. Just think of all those songs ("I'll pass as your comrade as we march along"), book passages and movie scenes ("I know you're not that kind of girl, but this is my last night home!") that will now seem dated. Hey, the family that slays together stays together.


Bob G.
Tue, 04/01/2008 - 5:37pm

And here I thought the saying went:
"The family that STAYS together...is an oddity".

Thanks for clarifying that , Leo.
You are the man!