March 13, 2008

A General Who Actually Listens to his Captains

General B.B. Bell is seeking to make a tour to South Korea an accompanied tour. South Korea is pretty much the worst assignment a married soldier can draw right now as he could go there after returning from a deployment, conduct an unaccompanied tour there, and finally be deployed again when he returns home, missing his family for three or more years in a four year stretch.

General Bell told of speaking with a young captain, the father of a 2 ½-year-old girl, who arrived alone in South Korea just five months after returning from more than a year in Iraq. The captain had spent less than eight months with his child in her life.

“You know, we can do better than that,” General Bell said he told the captain.

General Bell disclosed that about 2,000 military families had set up independent living, at their own expense, in Seoul and surrounding areas in order to be near the bases where spouses were assigned. American military commanders in South Korea have quietly allowed those children into Defense Department schools and clinics.

Update: Abu Muqawama here, who feels it necessary to point out that General Bell is an East Tennessean.