One sol­dier’s view

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - Mary M. Hill Cham­bers­burg, Penn­syl­va­nia

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.”

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