Thursday, December 16, 2004

Responses to news from Iraq

Yesterday I posted a letter from a guy in Iraq, and the responses were
mostly what I had hoped for.

I tried to keep all editorializing out of that post, only asking for support of the people, not support necessarily for the war.

The person who wrote it wanted, I think, to paint a multi layered image: the grim harshness of war, the toll on the people, a clear picture of the people there, a clear image of the enemy and the resolution and determination they feel for their effort.

Most responses indicated people got it:

I want to thank you for sharing this with us!!! It really opened my eyes!! My husband is in Iraq right now, and now I understand while he was home on his R & R, he was a changed man. I tried to understand some of the things he talked about, tried to respect the things he didn't want to talk about and just tried to go about a normal day while he was home. Now, after reading this, I really understand some of the things he is going through over there. He has said one thing to me, that is in this letter also.....It is worth our military being over there. He said it feels so good knowing that he is helping other human beings gain the same rights we enjoy. Again, thank you for sharing this!!!

Another said:

I will be praying for our troops this holiday season, its tough to be gone for the holidays hoping everyday your life back home hasn't fallen apart, that you still have a wife and your kids are alive and all along someone is trying to kill you, but you gotta go on, gotta do your duty, your life as well as many others depend on it.


Good Post Karl.. It is an eye opener as I have never really talked to asoldier who has experienced this first hand except for a step son and he was only there for a short period and didnot actually participate in the war itself... He had a really safe job there thank God. God Bless Them All.

and one other

I agree .... great post. It's funny how the mainstream press reports only the negative stories about what our men and women are doing over there. I've had the priviledge to speak to a couple of Marines who've been involved in fighting the insurgents. They were both proud (as they should be) of what they're doing over there. One had been wounded with shrapnel twice, but only went for medical attention once the fighting was over. He didn't want to leave his buddies. Before this war began, many people were talking about how concerned they were about this generation (the "ME" generation). After the stories I've heard about these brave young men and women, I have no concerns. God Bless Them!

But then there was one that kinda torqued me a bit, and I admit blew my cork.
Here is what he said and my inline responses:

From: "*removed*"
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2004 2:38 PM
Subject: [DADL] RE: News from Iraq

Sorry Karl but I am not certain why you didn't just post this on
your blog instead of on DADL.
(Note: the DADL is a discussiongroup-karl)

I did both well as in many other forums. I figured the message it contained was important enough.

It did make me think of the DA song 'Father Explains' from Kalhoun but I suspect that may conjugre up quite the opposite ideas you may have

Not really, since you may not understand why I posted it.

I don't support war as a rule. I opposed it. But war is the reality, and all the protest marches wont change that.

I think we as people, as Christians even, owe it to the people who are
involved to remember their struggles and keep them in our prayers, both
civilians and Military.

I am not certain why "names have been withheld for obvious reasons" in that soldier's email as the writing seems to be toeing to the official White House line and therefore no reason to be hiding.

Its called general privacy, and I don't know for sure if anything written here stretches the borders of official limits. The details are not the important part, the overall sentiments are. I figure the guy who wrote deserved that respect. Had he wanted world wide exposure for his name, he would have sent it to CNN.

Finally, I also will be praying for those men and women there, many of whom now claim to have been deceived by the Armed Forces into staying at
their battleposts.

*Name removed*

Oh boy, rant mode ON!

Your comments are prejudical and frankly, in my opinion ignorant.

No soldier has to stay, they can refuse to serve and go to jail anytime they want. It's an all volunteer force, and none of them are coerced. They can make that choice anytime. If they dont like, they can pay the price and leave. Period. No one can force you to fight.

As a veteran I *chose* to leave when my ideals parted way with the military's ideals, so I am no stranger to disagreeing with the military. That was my choice. I gave up my retirement, for which I was 3/4 vested and now I get a minimal disability check for my efforts.

But when I served, including during Desert Storm, I knew the price. While I was never deployed, I came scarily close, and had the war continued another month or two I would have. I was in the midst of a divorce, and my deployment would have meant losing custody of my kids completely, yet it was a threat I had to face, I had made that committment.

During that war, I heard constant whining of how this was not what people signed up for. I saw doctors violate their commisioning oaths and refuse to honor their committments. Sure the Army was ok when they needed a cheap way to med school, but Uncle Sam now wants payback for the training, and calls the committment due and suddenly they are in boo hoo status. Same thing with soldiers who joined for college money, or whatever reason they joined, and suddenly they are conciencious objectors looking for sanctuary in a church as soon as the fight becomes real.

It disgusted me. Any person in the military, particularly in the Army and Marine Corps who claims that they had no idea, and that this wasnt what they signed up for, is full of crap.

The truth is, yes it was. They volunteered to be part of a Military fighting force, the arm of force of a Government, whether soldier, technician, medic or cook. When they enlist they know the consequences, hell they get constant briefings and reminders. When you are ordered to fight you fight.

Even if you are a consciencious objector the reality is you can still be sent into harms way. There are NO safe places in the military.

As far as in Iraq, whether you like it or not, more soldiers feel pride at their service then the ones who feel shame, and I think most think there is a worthy cause there. Once again, IMHO, you listen to the reports of the few, and ignore the many.

I pray for peace and safety for my former coworkers over there, for the finace of my wife's best friend, for my nephews, and the children of my friends over there.

I pray for peace for the Iraqi's because they had no choice either, and most of them dream of a day of peace and safety, something many of them have never known in their lives due to that brutailty they lived in.

I pray for peace because war sucks, plain and simple.

You can pray for whatever you want.

Oh....and congratulations. You just made tomorrow's blog.

I will be nice and clip your email addy out. Since names are not an issue, I assume I can leave yours in. (* I did post it, but it has since been removed *)

Sorry to all, Rant mode off, and I guess I wont post anything positive about the war here again.



Now in all fairness to *******, maybe he didn't intend it the way I took it. Honestly, my ire was addressed to the ignorance of the people claiming deceit more then him.

So belated apologies to *******, if thats the case.

But to those who enlisted, and who cry out unfairness or deception, remember you took an oath to obey. You signed on the line and raised your hands and swore an oath willingly and without coercion or force of any kind.

If you suddenly find you can't deal with the consequences, there are options open to you. But don't blame the military for requiring you to keep your word when you swore you would fight if ordered to do so.

It's called the Armed Forces for a very good reason.

Here's a reminder of the oath you swore( US Code Title 10 > Subtitle A > PART II > CHAPTER 31 > ยง 502:

I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God