Walk a mile in soldier’s boots before judging war in Iraq
To the Editor:
So, do I take it that Mr. Bakken went to check things out in Iraq for himself before taking exception to Ehren Miller’s letter regarding the state of affairs there?
Wait. … Forget I said that. In his 14 months in Tall Afar and Ramadi, one of my son’s closest calls came when he and his unit were pulled off their regularly duties to guard some VIP who had to go check things out for themselves.
The young men and young women who have voluntarily and honorably served in that war-torn country, firsthand seeing the results of what they do, have 100 percent more credibility to me than all the media combined and at least that much more than those who think “enough is enough” in the areas where our troops fight without firsthand experience.
My son came home convinced we are making a difference and we are where we need to be and doing what we need to do. Pull the troops back before the job is finished?
“They’ll be right behind us, Mom,” I was told. At one time he wrote me a lengthy list of the way he and his men were helping the Iraqi people.
“What about writing about the the way you are helping us?” I asked. “No point,” I was told. “We’ve already forgotten about 9/11.”
After his Iraq tour and before he left his base in Germany to return home, he took a weekend and with a couple of buddies drove to Omaha Beach and then the American cemetery at Normandy. A picture of that trip shows him kneeling near the headstone of Teddy Roosevelt Jr.
When I asked later what he was thinking right then, his answer floored me.
“I was wondering,” he reflected, “where America would be right now if, after that major invasion, everyone decided the cost was too great to continue and made the troops turn tail and run home.”
Yes, there is a lot to be done before the Iraqi people can all have reasonable lives. And yes, war, and freedom, have their prices.
Do NOT think that withdrawal will stop the war, because those we fight believe the more people they take with them when they die, the more reward they will receive in the afterlife. And America is their target. Do we wait to realize that until the fight is in the main street of where we live?
Proud Mom of an American Soldier
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