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Ensuring Military Readiness Through Stability and Predictability Deployment Policy Act of 2007

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


ENSURING MILITARY READINESS THROUGH STABILITY AND PREDICTABILITY DEPLOYMENT POLICY ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - August 02, 2007)

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Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, the House is taking action today to bring some sanity back to our military deployment and rotation policies. I intend to vote for this bill.

We all know that because of these repeated deployments, the divorce rates of military families are up, and the financial burdens faced by our Guard and Reserve families have been enormous. While this bill cannot address all of the deployment-related problems confronting our military families, it would address one of the most glaring: insufficient down time and retraining between deployments.

If this bill becomes law, it would mandate dedicated periods of time between deployments for all servicemembers. For active duty personnel, the intervals between deployments would have to be at least as long as the last deployment itself. For our Guard and Reserve forces, the interval between deployments would have to be at least three times the length of a servicemember's last tour.

Every Member of this House can tell multiple stories they've heard from servicemembers or their family members about the toll that these multiple, sometimes back-to-back deployments take on our military families. Let me quickly relate one story I've heard, one of many reasons I'm voting for this bill today.

Bill Potter is an attorney and lecturer in politics at both Princeton University and Rutgers University. Just over a year ago, he wrote an op-ed in the Trenton Times regarding the situation of his nephew, a Marine Corps captain, who had been blinded in his right eye after being fired on by an Iraqi policeman-turned-insurgent--one of many Iraqi policemen-turned-insurgents that we have trained and armed with an inadequate counterintelligence effort by the Iraqi government to weed out such bad actors.

Bill's nephew is a remarkable young man. Wounded twice in Iraq on his first tour in 2005, recovered sufficiently to go on a deployment to the Pacific in 2006 and is now facing the prospect of a second tour in Iraq beginning in January 2008--and of leaving his now nine year-old son behind for a third time in as many years.

This young Marine--like so many others--has already paid too high a price for this President's misguided war in Iraq. This bill, if enacted, would at least give our servicemembers and their families some real down time between deployments--time to reconnect with each other, and time for these gallant Americans to get the rest and refresher training that they will need to face the future. It's for all of those reasons that I'm voting for this bill, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.

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