Monday, February 05, 2007

A Soldier's Viewpoint On Iraq

This appeared in the Troy Record, a local newspaper where I live. I can't seem to get Blogger to take the link as a link, so here it is in text:

And here is the article. I think it's important enough to be repeated in full:
Ostwald: A letter from Iraq

One of my former students sent me a letter from his base in Iraq. This is his response to President Bush's State of the Union Address. It is not intended to be an anti-war piece or political statement per se, but an opportunity for us to get a closer look into the heart and mind of one of our loved ones.
Some of the words have been omitted for security reasons.
"I am still hoping that I will get to come home. I hate to say it but I hope that the left-wing guys get what they want. I don't care about the big-picture right. We have lost this war. Sending more troops would do nothing to save it. The Iraqi's don't want us here and we will never stop the insurgents. Sending more troops would only add to the death toll. I hope we pull out. This is a lost cause. There is no reason to be here. The only reason we came here is for the oil and we are not even using it.
"Bush has done a good job but he had no chance from the start. If we do pull out there will be peace. The Shiites will come to power and the Sunni's and Kurds will be slaughtered. Oh well, it is not our troops. I hope I am not shocking you too much but that is how I feel.
"We are not fighting a war, we are driving up and down the road getting shot at and blown up. When this happens we do nothing about it. We have two black eyes and are still taking punches without defending ourselves. This deployment has shown me a lot. The reason October was the fourth bloodiest month is because of all the death from .......... Our boys who we fought like hell to save ......... got slaughtered. We did our best and gave every effort we had but they still died like sheep.
"I am tired, I worked myself to the ground for six months with no break and now it is time for me to come home. I don't care if the Dems or Reps are in power, I just want to be back home. I sound very desperate because I am. I am at the end of my rope. I can't do this for another one, two or even six months. We all feel the same way. I try to keep my head up but my government will not let me. They tell me I am going home then, at the last minute, tell me I might have to stay. If I have to stay then I will work until I feel I am not fit to. I am no good out there when I am not mentally in the game. You know I am never one to quit, but there is a point where I go from fit to dangerous. That line is life or death. It would be in best interest for all when the time comes. I couldn't go through another ........... I would lose my mind if I had to bury one of the guys I am with now. That would be the straw that broke my back. Well, I hope you are not mad but this is how I feel."
I spoke to this vet's mom after I received the letter and she said, "I continue to pray that he makes good decisions along the way. Deployment is a family experience, it takes patience, encouragement and many nights of worry and sometimes it just takes its toll on the ones who love them.
"I sent a young, energetic boy over to this war and in a short period it created a man. Hopefully a man who in many years to come will be able to look back on this experience with faded memories but never to forget. This will always be a part of who he will become. God Bless them all."

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