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.