Wednesday, July 16, 2008

'Overworked' Japanese have nothing on U.S. military

'Overworked' Japanese have nothing on U.S. military | State |
It’s understandable if anyone in the U.S. military guffawed at the Japanese labor bureau’s recent decision that a 45-year-old car engineer died of overwork because he had put in an average of 240 hours a month the last two months of his life.

Not to cheapen the tragic death of a man, but perhaps some comparison is in order.

Take, for instance, Lt. Col. Steve Stover, the chief spokesman for the U.S. forces in Baghdad, which include the Fort Hood-based 4th Infantry Division.

Stover, 42, works 15 hours a day seven days a week. That’s 105 hours a week, an average of 455 hours a month. He has worked that schedule for almost 33 weeks. He has 30 more weeks to go.

Then there are Petty Officers 1st Class Dionicio Garza and Billy Ramirez, two Texans who work on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, now in the Gulf of Oman.

Garza and Ramirez, both 29, also work about 105 hours a week, in an environment that is unforgiving to anyone not paying very close attention.

All this while deployed to an area of the world where Friday’s forecast calls for a high of 118 degrees.

What was that about overwork?

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