Mar 24, 2007

Honor our troops

There is something that has been bothering me. It concerns the troops in Iraq. I want them to come home, we all do. Yesterday an entire marine unit was ordered home due to allegations that some opened fire on civilians after a 'car bomb' killed members of their unit. I don't know. I wasn't there.

We hear plenty of these stories, but some of the Iraqi people are returning to Baghdad. Why? Because of our troops are there, and the job they have been doing all of this time. Trying to stay alive, and, believe it or not, trying to help the Iraqi people. While I do not agree with our troops being there, I think we owe them some credit for what they have accomplished.

Much like Viet Nam, these troops have no idea who is the enemy and who is the innocent civilian. They have acted on orders from their command, and tried to carry them out with the least amount of casualties. During operation Matador, when an armored vehicle carrying marines was blown apart by an ied device, my son, as a corpsman, organized the recovery of bodies, and body parts, searching for survivors, and did this with professionalism and respect. There is no way we can understand what he felt as he recovered what was left of his comrades.

The biggest thing I guess that bothers me about my son's involvement in Operation Iraqi Freedom, is the feeling of having to explain why he was there. His last words, I have been told, was, "Don't get another Doc, I'm coming back..." Many do. Many are wounded and when their wounds are healed they go back, to be with their unit. Call it survivors guilt, call it whatever you want, but these troops have a dedication to each other that is honorable. Tragic, but honorable. I am tired of trying to justify to anyone why my son was in Iraq. He believed in what they were trying to accomplish. He always told me, "don't watch the news mama, because its a bunch of bullshit." Which, more and more, is becoming apparent to everyone.

Why the individual soldier has volunteered to go to Iraq, and to go back a second and third time, has a great deal to do with loyalty to their comrades. I don't think we have seen this type of loyalty in war before. And, they shouldn't have to defend their reasons. Yes, they should all come home. Today. But, let's at least give them the respect due them for their efforts and their sacrifice.

The media loves to report every allegation of so-called atrocities committed by our troops. We should remember that the brass already have calculated how many casualties, civilian and otherwise, will result in any conflict.

While many serving in Iraq are beginning to see the futility of this war, they are still there. Doing their best to cope with unbelievable stress and hardships. Let's just not give them our support, let us give them a heads up for the accomplishments they have achieved, despite the negative press they receive here at home. And, for God's sake, remember they are engaged in a war, and must, at all times conduct themselves as warriors.


Anne said...

I'm so sorry you lost your son. I can't imagine how that must feel. (((hugs)))

I tagged you for a meme. If this is a bad time, then just ignore the meme.

just me said...

Thank you for your kind words Anne. This July will be two years since my son was killed. There are days that are worse than others. But I am able to remember the funny times, the good times more and more, and that helps some. He is always with me, though, in spirit and in thought.

Bardouble29 said...

I just recently started reading your blog, and I must tell you I enjoy reading it. I am so sorry for your loss. I too have a cousin (he is more like a best friend to me) over there. I once asked him why he continued to take more tours, he responded that though the cause might not be right, he wanted to stand beside his fellow brothers and sisters in honor. I too agree the troops need to come home, but I will openly give honor to any man or woman that proudly dons a uniform and fights this battle.

Sorry for the long winded comment.

Spadoman said...

My dear friend, you know where I stand on this issue. No one knows how much I respect every man and woman that serve. Being against war does not automatically make me a person that is anti-troops. I know what it means to serve in combat. The others that might not have to serve as combat troops also signed their name on the line and took an oath and would give their lives if they had to. Not many who haven't been there understand this.

By the way, the guy in Vietnam next to me was my brother. It never mattered whether he was "for" the war or "against" the war. Republican or Democrat. Jew, Christian, or whatever. Black, red, yellow or white. Never made a difference, never will. One brotherhood.

You are thought of in the prayers of many in the Sweat Lodge.That your heart will regain peace and you'll have more of those "good" days as the time passes.

You don't ever have to defend your son and his motives, beliefs, actions or involvement to anyone. Your son is a Warrior. I am proud to know of him, and to know you.

just me said...

Bardouble29, you can write as much as you want here in the outside of nowhere. And I read your blog as well.

Anne, as this is the first time someone has tagged me, I will most certainly comply.

Spadoman, you have no idea how much the knowledge that my son is thought of in the sweat lodge means to me. I know how very sacred this is. As the Hopi would say, you are a true 'human'.

Mary said...

It's the number one question I have toanswer too. Why is my son there? I don't know. It was his decision. It's his path. Wrong or right. I support him on his path. Thanks for this post.