I stare out
into the darkness from my post, and I watch the city burn to the ground. I
smell the familiar smells, I walk through the familiar rubble, and I look at
the frightened faces that watch me pass down the streets of their
neighborhoods. My nerves hardly rest; my hands are steady on a device that has
been given to me from my government for the
taking the lives of others.
I sweat, and I
am tired. My back aches from the loads I carry. Young American boys look to me
to direct them in a manner that will someday allow them to see their families
again...and yet, I too, am just a boy....my age not but a few years more than
that of the ones I lead. I am stressed, I am scared, and I am
paranoid...because death is everywhere. It waits for me, it calls to me from
around street corners and windows, and it is always there.
There are the
demons that follow me, and tempt me into thoughts and actions that are not my
own...but that are necessary for survival. I've made compromises with my
humanity. And I am not alone in this. Miles from me are my brethren in this
world, who walk in the same streets...who feel the same things, whether they
admit to it or not.
And to think,
I volunteered for this...
And I am
ignorant to the rest of the world...or so I thought.
thousands of miles away, in
Iraq , the
cries and screams and complaints of the ungrateful reach me. In a year, I will
be thrust back into society from a life and mentality that doesn't fit your
average man. And then, I will be alone. And then, I will walk down the streets
America , and see the
yellow ribbon stickers on the cars of the same people who compare our
President to Hitler.
I will watch
the television and watch the Cindy Sheehans, and the Al Frankens, and the rest
of the ignorant sheep of
America spout off their
mouths about a subject they know nothing about. It is their right, however,
and it is a right that is defended by hundreds of thousands of boys and girls
scattered across the world, far from home. I use the word boys and girls,
because that's what they are. In the Army, the average age of the infantryman
is nineteen years old. The average rank of soldiers killed in action is
Private First Class.
Cindy Sheehan are ignorant. Not just to this war, but to the results of their
idiotic ramblings, or at least I hope they are. They don't realize its effects
on this war. In this war, there are no Geneva Conventions, no cease fires.
Medics and Chaplains are not spared from the enemy's brutality because it's
against the rules. I can only imagine the horrors a military Chaplain would
experience at the hands of the enemy. The enemy slinks in the shadows and
fights a coward's war against us. It is effective though, as many men and
women have died since the start of this war. And the memory of their service
America is tainted by
the inconsiderate remarks on our nation's news outlets. And every day, the
enemy changes...only now, the enemy is becoming something new. The enemy is
transitioning from the Muslim extremists to Americans. The enemy is becoming
the very people whom we defend with our lives. And they do not realize it.
denouncing our actions, denouncing our leaders, denouncing the war we live and
fight, they are isolating the military from society...and they are becoming
peace activists like to toss the word "quagmire" around and compare this war
Vietnam . In a way they
are right, this war is becoming like
Vietnam . Not the actual
war, but in the isolation of country and military.
America is not a nation
at war; they are a nation with its military at war. Like it or not, we are
here, some of us for our second, or third times; some even for their fourth
and so on. Americans are so concerned now with politics, that it is
interfering with our war.
the heads off of American citizens on the Internet...and there is no outrage,
but an American soldier kills an Iraqi in the midst of battle, and there are
investigations, and sometimes soldiers are even jailed...for doing their job.
absolutely sickening to me to think our country has come to this. Why are we
so obsessed with the bad news? Why will people stop at nothing to be against
this war, no matter how much evidence of the good we've done is thrown in
their face? When is the last time CNN or MSNBC or CBS reported the opening of
schools and hospitals in
Iraq ? Or the leaders of
terror cells being detained or killed? It's all happening, but people will not
let up their hatred of Bush. They will ignore the good news, because it just
might show people that Bush was right.
has lost its will to fight. It has lost its will to defend what is right and
just in the world. The crazy thing of it all is that the American people have
not even been asked to sacrifice a single thing. It's not like World War Two,
where people rationed food, and turned in cars to be made into metal for
tanks. The American people have not been asked to sacrifice anything. Unless
you are in the military or the family member of a service member, its life as
usual...the war doesn't affect you.
But it affects
us. And when it is over, and the troops come home, and they try to piece
together what's left of them after their service...where will the detractors
be then? Where will the Cindy Sheehans be to comfort and talk to soldiers and
help them sort out the last couple years of their lives, most of which have
been spent dodging death and wading through the deaths of their friends? They
will be where they always are, somewhere far away, where the horrors of the
world can't touch them. Somewhere where they can complain about things they
will never experience in their lifetime; things that the young men and women
America have willingly
taken upon their shoulders.
We are the
hope of the Iraqi people. They want what everyone else wants in life: safety,
security, somewhere to call home. They want a country that is safe to raise
their children in. Not a place where their children will be abducted, raped,
and murdered if they do not comply with the terrorists demands. They want to
live on, rebuild and prosper. And
America has given them
the opportunity, but only if we stay true to the cause, and see it to its end.
But the country must unite in this endeavor...we cannot place the burden on
our military alone. We must all stand up and fight, whether in uniform or not.
And supporting us is more than sticking yellow ribbon stickers on your cars.
It's supporting our President, our troops and our cause.
Right now, the
burden is all on the American soldiers. Right now, hope rides alone. But it
can change, it must change. Because there is only failure and darkness ahead
for us as a country, as a people, if it doesn't.
Let's stop all
the political nonsense, let's stop all the bickering, let's stop all the bad
news, and let's stand and fight!