Thursday, June 30, 2005

An Open Letter to America from a Soldier in Iraq

I received the following letter from Bobby who is one of the founders of “American's for Shared Sacrifice” late yesterday. Bobby, who is retired military and both a Vietnam vet and Gulf War 1 vet. He also has a son doing his second tour in Iraq. The next time anyone tries to tell you how high troop morale is or how well things are going in Iraq, just show them this young man’s letter. What is so heartbreaking is this is not just a singular young man’s opinion—I’ve received so many letters like this I have lost count. We must “Bring Them Home Now!” -- Jack

An Open Letter to America from a Soldier in Iraq

To the People of the United States:

It is time for the truth, the real truth. Not the deception that President Bush is trying to force you to accept. I am not writing this out of anger or hate, I just feel you deserve the truth. I am, however writing this anonymously to avoid retaliation from my military unit commanders.

I am a Soldier currently deployed to Iraq for a second tour. I am not upset with my current situation as I signed up to defend my country; I just wish I were defending my country. The armed forces were brought to Iraq for reasons that have been proven to be false, so why are we still here? Ask yourself this question, why are young American Soldiers dying for someone else's cause we don't quite understand? We deserve to know why we are really here. The terrorists that are here cannot get to the states, so they bring the fight and the dying here to Iraq.

To those people safe in Washington, DC or elsewhere in the nation who say the fighting is subsiding, come on patrol with me. The violence is worse now then ever before and will get worse until our hands are untied. The rules of engagement the government has laid out for us to follow here are getting us killed. They need to open their eyes, take a step back and adjust their rules or the death toll will keep rising.

To those of you who say every death is worthy I ask this, would you feel the same if it were your friend, brother, son or daughter? I have lost friends to this war that are irreplaceable, but it is okay because the president tells us he knows what’s best? Tell that to the majority of Soldiers at Walter Reed hospital who have lost their limbs. This war has in no way made America safer. We have made Iraq a country of terrorists by coming here. We are fighting for a cause in Afghanistan, but here in Iraq we are settling a personal vendetta. Yes we are helping some people but is it worth one American life? In my eyes and many other Soldier’s eye, and our numbers are growing, the answer is NO. The problem is now we are swallowed up in a war in a country that at one way or another, by one civilization or another, has gone on for centuries. Like a never ending sandstorm in the desert, we are swallowed up.

There is one thing the American public should know. We don't ask for your tears, your pity or your pride. We ask you remember those who served, those who died and those in our government who caused the bloodshed. Remember us any way you want just remember us. Remember that today the fighting is still going on. Remember in twenty years that we were here dying. We all make choices in our life; the hope is those in charge will now make the right choices. My question is what do you think this war is really about?

Forwarded by the Mother of an Anonymous Soldier from Iraq.

Who includes this in response to President Bush's Sideshow performance at Fort Bragg, NC last night:

A Soldier Mother’s Tears

Have you ever heard the crying of a mother in the night?

Missing, paying her son will be all right
Or the despair of a soldier’s mother whose son has lost his life
Praying that the sun won't rise, no way to hide her eyes
There can be no happiness or joy
As they fight and die for one man’s glory
Don't think for a moment that this will not come to your door
As they continue to die a draft will be needed for more
You will be the next mother-crying no to this war
And fear will accompany you every time you answer your door
As an officer brings news that another life is lost
For this president will continue his vengeance at all cost
There can be no worse fear; you might lose your own son
Speak out, come forward, demand this war be done!

My heart goes out to this Mother and the newest member of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) who joined today after hearing the President's speech last night. It wasn't so much what George Bush said that made her decide as where he said it from.

She agreed that it was more like a Presidential campaign speech leading up to the November 2004 election than trying to rally the nation behind the many questions surrounding the Iraq War. What a waste of military manpower to have to endure that speech.

Contact for this Letter to the Editor:
Bobby "Army Dad" Hanafin
Dayton, OH 45431

Note: Can arrange interview with Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) member above.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jack. great articles as usual. Just wanted to let you know that the page looks good to me....ED

Thu Jun 30, 02:40:00 PM  

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