Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Warrior's Words

Here is a Marine delivering a severe verbal slap-down to the anti's. I'm going to post the whole letter here... it's that good:

[[ Hold a sign, say some chants, post some fliers, give biased statistics, have a protest, hold a flag upside down and then go home to sleep safe in your bed.

Is that courage, bravery or compassion?

Train for months, say goodbye to family and friends, go to war and risk your life for others, sleep on the floor in the cold and the heat. This is courage.

Spend months patrolling the streets your comrades have given their lives on, and be prepared to give your own if the need arises day after day. This is bravery.

Give a poor family your last canteen of water, carry a lucky stuffed animal on your gear and give it to a small child who has nothing, lay down your life for another nation's freedom and independence. This is true compassion.

Standing atop the ranks of bravery, courage and compassion is the U.S. servicemen and women. However, another "group" would have you believe that they uphold these same ideals.

Anti-war groups, I'm talking about you.

Sure I know you have the right to protest. Those are rights given by the Constitution of the United States, and those are the rights that the military fights to protect.

But at what cost is your "hippi-istic" fun damaging our nation? I often hear the line, that by protesting you're "doing something for our country."

Yes, the protestors are exercising an important right, but what are they doing for the troops that allow them to safely protest?

Nothing, unless you consider alienating them, breaking their moral and attempting to turn the nation against them, as "doing something for them."

It's absolutely true that unjust war is terrible, and we shouldn't fight wars for imperialistic reasons. But that has nothing to do with the importance of a free, liberated and stable Iraq.

Why don't the protestors of the war just come out and say, "I don't want to spend my money to let people thousands of miles away be free and safe."

That's what I fought for in Iraq, freedom and stability. Have the protestors all looked into the eyes of a real live Iraqi child that is growing up with nothing? A small child who's parents were friendly to American military personnel, a small child who's parents will probably be slaughtered because of their friendliness, if our troops leave now.

War protestors forget that family.

Yeah, "no war for oil" and "books not bombs" are great slogans, but they are doing nothing and mean nothing in a war that is about stability, justice and freedom.

Do you think that the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines want to have to go to war?

Of course we don't. But when we are needed, we go willingly.

I know our purpose in this war, and now I'm happy to know that I have an important job in this world.

Last year I was patrolling in a medium sized city in western Iraq in the middle of the night. The patrol was halted after an improvised explosive device was detonated by insurgents several streets away. W knocked on a door, and along with some members of my team, we were invited into a small Iraqi house. Once inside, I saw a small girl sitting on the floor shyly playing with an old ragged stuffed animal and watching myself and the other Marines who were talking with her father.

With nothing readily available to give the cute little child, I put my superstitions aside I asked my friend to cut the zip ties off of a stuffed animal that I had carried for luck within my gear the entire deployment. I walked over and handed it to her and said, "as-salamualaikum" ("peace be upon you") she giggled and took the stuffed animal saying shyly "salam" ("peace"). I told her my name, which she pronounced "Jux-ton," then she ran off to play and I walked back to the conversation.

Moments later the young girl reappeared dragging a chair that was bigger than she was. Motioning for me to sit down, she ran to the icebox and brought me a cup of cold water, and a small piece of bread.

I sat in the chair enjoying the water and bread, and for around five minutes I watched her playing with the stuffed squirrel in the other room. It was then time to saddle back up and continue on the patrol. As I left she waved shyly and said "thank you Jux-ton," gave me a thumbs-up and hugged her new stuffed animal, before running to watch me leave out the front gates. When I got back onto the deserted street and continued the patrol, I knew exactly why I was in Iraq.

I can never turn my back on those people, and I can only pray that our nation won't turn its back on those who need our help, despite the small, insignificant, disrespectful groups who will never understand our military's mission, our courage, our bravery and most importantly our compassion.

The next time the need arises for an anti-war club to hold an American flag upside down as a "distress signal," maybe they should think of the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi people that the United States is trying to help who are in distress. Not to mention the disgrace they cause to the thousands of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines whose coffins were covered by Old Glory.

God Bless the future of Iraq, and God Bless America.

Semper Fidelis.

Protest At What Cost?


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