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Keep Md. Guard safe — and home

I wish to express how delighted I am that the Maryland National Guard is seeing its final deployment to Afghanistan ("Md. Guard preparing for Afghanistan, and after," May 10). Now, let's bring all of them home from the all the other hellholes. (Kosovo, perhaps?)

Along with many others, I believe the Maryland Guard is a state resource, and from the beginning of America's ill-advised adventures into Afghanistan and Iraq, I've resented these members of our state's preparedness team being poached for wars halfway around the planet.

Major. Gen. James Adkins points out that "many of the soldiers … serving now have known only war," and this bodes ill for their future deployments in Maryland. I worry about what the wars have done to their sense of community, and I am troubled about post-traumatic stress disorders. This should also concern General Adkins.

Unless our nation is in true peril, let's keep the Maryland National Guard stateside. We have a standing military available for situations like Afghanistan, Iraq and flare-ups elsewhere. To me, the National Guard has served as a "back door draft," saving us the nasty realities of the Vietnam War decades ago.

Unlike America's war hustlers and career diplomats, I do not consider my nation the police force of the world. I deplore our planet spanning over-reach and gratuitous involvements whenever a distant unpleasantness flares up. Unlike former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I wish we would stop being the world's "indispensable nation." It's time America took a deep breath and let others tamp out sparks that seem to smolder everywhere.

This country has serious problems right now ,and sending the National Guard hither and yon in order to prove we're the world's police and "indispensable force for progress, prosperity and peace," as Mrs. Clinton claims, is irresponsible. It also has encouraged increased hatred of the United States. It's time American citizens spoke out against constant overseas deployment of the National Guard. We must also take a pledge to keep them here at home, save in the event that would injure our nation's safety and security.

Let's welcome these "citizen soldiers" home to Maryland. And let's assure they are kept here an asset to our state, our community and our home!

Rosalind Ellis Heid, Baltimore

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