One soldier’s view
The media is quick to report anything negative or discouraging about the war in Iraq, so let us consider the words of a soldier fighting over there, whom I am quoting with his permission. His father, a personal friend of mine, had written to him expressing his worry and concern for his son’s safety, and this was his reply:
“Dear Mom and Pap: First off, of course I am still talking to you. I disagree with you very much but I am still talking, or in this case, writing to you. I want you to remember something when you get concerned about the soldiers . . . every one of us is a volunteer. I am not here because I like or dislike President Bush; I’m here because that’s where my orders take me. I’m a soldier. I fight where I’m told, and I win where I fight. I don’t care if everyone in America is worried about the price of gas. We give them that luxury. I’m sorry if the average American does not realize we are in a war for our survival that is probably more critical than WWII or the Cold War. Regardless of who the president is, how stupid could you be to not understand that 9/11 was real, and it was the beginning of a world war? It’s not over by a darn sight.
“If you think I’ve got a death wish, you are mistaken. I want to see my kids and grandkids grow up. Janet and I just bought a small place that might be a springboard to the ranch I’ve wanted all my life. But I’m not shrinking from the task at hand just because it’s not popular in the polls anymore. I don’t serve the president; I serve the Constitution, and we are defending it by defending the Iraqis against ruthless insurgents who will do anything to stop forward progress in Iraq and ultimately bring the fight back to America.
“In my life I have fought communists, drug lords and now terrorists on three continents and a whole bunch of countries. I was always proud of what I did. But nothing has ever been more important than this, and politics be damned. I don’t care who did what when. I don’t care if we should have invaded Iraq differently. Here we are, and here we must stay for 30 years or more. Why do you think Germany is an ally now? Because we stayed. How about Korea? When I first went there in 1981, you had never seen a more backward nation. Now look where they’ve come. Why? Longterm U.S. presence and commitment. And if you don’t believe it can work in the Middle East, take a look at Kuwait. In the past 15 years, they’ve gone from one-man rule to free and fair elections that included women. They still have a king, but they have a parliament too, and the king listens to them.
“I guess I’ve said enough. If you’re dead set against the war, so be it. But be dead set against it because you think it’s wrong, not because I’m here doing something others are not doing. I don’t care if they are not here. I’m here with my brothers in arms and I’m proud of what we do every day.”