Eleven days ago, on New Years Eve morning, Leonard (Marty) Kardes was last seen walking down Cedar Creek Road (near Fife Lake, Michigan) and hasnt been seen since.
Finding Kardes very soon is critical since he uses medication for diabetes and has been disoriented and depressed lately. Kardes served as a Navy Seal in the military.
According to family members, his problems could be a result of Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam many years ago.
Kardes family and friends have been frantically searching for Marty in the Fife Lake area. Since the local police called off their investigation recently, local military veterans have joined the search with family and friends.
If you see him or have any information on Mr. Kardes, call the police immediately. He is about 62, 200 lbs. with blue eyes and white hair. He was last seen wearing a yellow shirt, jeans, hiking boots, and a red & white fleece pullover.
Hopefully, by the time you read this, Marty Kardes will have returned home.
Speaking of soldiers coming home, dont let the surge talk fool you.
President Bushs plan to send an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq is a dribble, not a surge. A 15% increase in overall troop strength cannot possibly bring a victory in Iraq.
Few military experts agree with the Presidents plan. Some, such as Sen. John McCain, think 50,000 or 100,000 or even more troops are needed to improve the security situation there. Others, like Rep. John Murtha, feel the opposite and believe most U.S. troops need to exit Iraq immediately.
So, why is the President standing in the middle, virtually alone, promoting his new plan to send only 20,000 to Iraq in reinforcements? Ironically, Bush is increasing the number of soldiers to allow our military to leave Iraq in a big way before the end of this year. The President knows this meager boost cannot possibly turn the tide to end the sectarian violence but believes his scaled-down plan is the last chance to leave Iraq with some dignity before it becomes totally enflamed by retaliating militias and death-squads.
Look, our military troops crushed the Iraqis in 2003 during the original invasion of Iraq. Saddam Hussein was deposed and we helped install a democratic government. Since these successes, our troops have been asked to do something for which they have not been trained - peacekeeping. How do you secure a country where 25 million Iraqis of at least three major sects have been killing each other for 1,500 years? Maybe we should have asked Saddam.
Actually, their only diversion from hatred of each other seems to be lethal attacks on us (polls show 70% of Iraqis now support violence against American soldiers). Forcing our troops to patrol hostile neighborhoods in the middle of this civil war is idiotic; it turns our soldiers into sitting ducks. How does our military identify the enemy: Sunnis, Shiites, al Qaeda, or all of the above? It all boils down to the fact that we cant determine Iraqs fate anymore - only Iraqis can.
Aside from the futile political situation there, our troops have sacrificed beyond what even avid supporters of the Iraq invasion believe to be reasonable. The sobering statistics show over 3,000 Americans dead and tens of thousands seriously injured.
These numbers dont include the hidden toll - the Marty Kardes of this war whose military service may result in physical and psychological disorders some time after their last tour of duty. Studies have shown that at least 10% of combat veterans eventually suffer from such war-related problems. Since more than a million U.S. military personnel have been rotated in and out of Iraq beginning in 2003... whew, the hidden toll might be the worst news of all.
Many of our soldiers have already served three and four tours in Iraq. They have answered the call to duty, and then some. It is time to come home.