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Old 03-26-2008, 01:22 PM
Txmom42 Txmom42 is offline
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The article speaks for itself. It made me cry.

By LIEUT. SEAN WALSH
58 minutes ago



The passing of the 4,000th service member in Iraq is a tragic milestone and a testament to the cost of this war, but for those of us who live and fight in Iraq, we measure that cost in smaller, but much more personal numbers. For me those numbers are 8, the number of friends and classmates killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 3, the number of soldiers from my unit killed in this deployment. I'm 25, yet I've received more notifications for funerals than invitations to weddings.


The number 4,000 is too great to grasp even for us that are here in Iraq. When we soldiers read the newspaper, the latest AP casualty figures are glanced over with the same casual interest as a box score for a sport you don't follow. I am certain that I am not alone when I open up the Stars and Stripes, the military's daily paper, and immediately search for the section with the names of the fallen to see if they include anyone I know. While in a combat outpost in southwest Baghdad, it was in that distinctive bold Ariel print in a two-week-old copy of the Stars and Stripes that I read that my best friend had been killed in Afghanistan. No phone call from a mutual friend or a visit to his family. All that had come and gone by the time I had learned about his death. I sometimes wonder, if I hadn't picked up that paper, how much longer I would have gone by without knowing - perhaps another day, perhaps a week or longer until I could find the time and the means to check my e-mail to find my messages unanswered and a death notification from a West Point distro list in my inbox. The dead in Afghanistan don't seem to inspire the keeping of lists the same way that those in Iraq do, but even if they did it wouldn't matter; he could only be number 7 to me.


I'm not asking for pity, only understanding for the cost of this war. We did, after all, volunteer for the Army and that is the key distinction between this army and the army of the Vietnam War. But even as I ask for that understanding I'm almost certain that you won't be able to obtain it. Even Shakespeare, with his now overused notion of soldiers as a "band of brothers" fails to capture the bonds, the sense of responsibility to each other, among soldiers. In many ways, Iraq has become my home (by the time my deployment ends I will have spent more time here than anywhere else in the army) and the soldiers I share that home with have become my family. Between working, eating and sleeping within a few feet of the same soldiers every single day, I doubt I am away from them for more than two hours a day. I'm engaged to the love of my life, but it will take several years of marriage before I've spent as much time with her as I have with the men I serve with today.


For the vast majority of American's who don't have a loved one overseas, the only number they have to attempt to grasp the Iraq War is 4,000. I would ask that when you see that number, try to remember that it is made up of over 1 million smaller numbers; that every one of the 1 million service members who have fought in Iraq has his or her own personal numbers. Over 1 million 8's and 3's. When you are evaluating the price of the war, weighing potential rewards versus cost in blood and treasure, I would ask you to consider what is worth the lives of three of your loved ones? Or eight? Or more? It would be a tragedy for my 8 and 3 to have died without us being able to complete our mission, but it maybe even more tragic for 8 and 3 to become anything higher. View this article on Time.com
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2008, 06:40 AM
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Fireball Fireball is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Txmom42 View Post
The article speaks for itself. It made me cry.

By LIEUT. SEAN WALSH
58 minutes ago



The passing of the 4,000th service member in Iraq is a tragic milestone and a testament to the cost of this war, but for those of us who live and fight in Iraq, we measure that cost in smaller, but much more personal numbers. For me those numbers are 8, the number of friends and classmates killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 3, the number of soldiers from my unit killed in this deployment. I'm 25, yet I've received more notifications for funerals than invitations to weddings.


The number 4,000 is too great to grasp even for us that are here in Iraq. When we soldiers read the newspaper, the latest AP casualty figures are glanced over with the same casual interest as a box score for a sport you don't follow. I am certain that I am not alone when I open up the Stars and Stripes, the military's daily paper, and immediately search for the section with the names of the fallen to see if they include anyone I know. While in a combat outpost in southwest Baghdad, it was in that distinctive bold Ariel print in a two-week-old copy of the Stars and Stripes that I read that my best friend had been killed in Afghanistan. No phone call from a mutual friend or a visit to his family. All that had come and gone by the time I had learned about his death. I sometimes wonder, if I hadn't picked up that paper, how much longer I would have gone by without knowing - perhaps another day, perhaps a week or longer until I could find the time and the means to check my e-mail to find my messages unanswered and a death notification from a West Point distro list in my inbox. The dead in Afghanistan don't seem to inspire the keeping of lists the same way that those in Iraq do, but even if they did it wouldn't matter; he could only be number 7 to me.


I'm not asking for pity, only understanding for the cost of this war. We did, after all, volunteer for the Army and that is the key distinction between this army and the army of the Vietnam War. But even as I ask for that understanding I'm almost certain that you won't be able to obtain it. Even Shakespeare, with his now overused notion of soldiers as a "band of brothers" fails to capture the bonds, the sense of responsibility to each other, among soldiers. In many ways, Iraq has become my home (by the time my deployment ends I will have spent more time here than anywhere else in the army) and the soldiers I share that home with have become my family. Between working, eating and sleeping within a few feet of the same soldiers every single day, I doubt I am away from them for more than two hours a day. I'm engaged to the love of my life, but it will take several years of marriage before I've spent as much time with her as I have with the men I serve with today.


For the vast majority of American's who don't have a loved one overseas, the only number they have to attempt to grasp the Iraq War is 4,000. I would ask that when you see that number, try to remember that it is made up of over 1 million smaller numbers; that every one of the 1 million service members who have fought in Iraq has his or her own personal numbers. Over 1 million 8's and 3's. When you are evaluating the price of the war, weighing potential rewards versus cost in blood and treasure, I would ask you to consider what is worth the lives of three of your loved ones? Or eight? Or more? It would be a tragedy for my 8 and 3 to have died without us being able to complete our mission, but it maybe even more tragic for 8 and 3 to become anything higher. View this article on Time.com
I read this too... very touching... here is what I wrote about it on my friend's blog...

>>It would be a tragedy for my 8 and 3 to have died without us being able to complete our mission, but it maybe even more tragic for 8 and 3 to become anything higher.<<

I enjoyed this post. I can feel his grief and sensitivity to those who he loved, admired, and lost.

I feel it is tragic for him (and our other soldiers) to feel the way he does at the end of the article... the "BUT" indicates wondering if this war is worth anyone's life or anymore for that matter. At least that is how I took it. It shows the emotion and the internal battle of many questioning our role in this war.

Now, I haven't been to the foul smelling country.... trekked in sand, been shot at, watched a close friend die, HEAR of one dying or come close to an IED... Do I agree with all the ways the leadership has run... sometimes not so much. However, I do believe this is a needed mission.

I feel his end statement is why people can't say "I support the soldier, but don't support the war..." because it leaves soldiers feeling like their death could possibly be for a cause unjust. Who wants to die for something that people don't understand... or want to understand for that matter? The media doesn't support as much as they disgrace so much. Leaving our country divided... We are much more successful as a country when we stand as one... that is my feeling.

I have read a few articles... and I can tell a big difference in those who DO the mission and want to complete it vs. those who BELIEVE in the mission and want to complete it.

Thanks for posting that.
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  #3  
Old 03-27-2008, 09:42 AM
Txmom42 Txmom42 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fireball View Post
I read this too... very touching... here is what I wrote about it on my friend's blog...

>>It would be a tragedy for my 8 and 3 to have died without us being able to complete our mission, but it maybe even more tragic for 8 and 3 to become anything higher.<<

I enjoyed this post. I can feel his grief and sensitivity to those who he loved, admired, and lost.

I feel it is tragic for him (and our other soldiers) to feel the way he does at the end of the article... the "BUT" indicates wondering if this war is worth anyone's life or anymore for that matter. At least that is how I took it. It shows the emotion and the internal battle of many questioning our role in this war.

Now, I haven't been to the foul smelling country.... trekked in sand, been shot at, watched a close friend die, HEAR of one dying or come close to an IED... Do I agree with all the ways the leadership has run... sometimes not so much. However, I do believe this is a needed mission.

I feel his end statement is why people can't say "I support the soldier, but don't support the war..." because it leaves soldiers feeling like their death could possibly be for a cause unjust. Who wants to die for something that people don't understand... or want to understand for that matter? The media doesn't support as much as they disgrace so much. Leaving our country divided... We are much more successful as a country when we stand as one... that is my feeling.

I have read a few articles... and I can tell a big difference in those who DO the mission and want to complete it vs. those who BELIEVE in the mission and want to complete it.

Thanks for posting that.
I totally agree. The media only tells what they want us to hear. The things I hear from my son are so much more positive. He feels like they are making a difference. It's all about the election and not about our country and our guys in service.
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  #4  
Old 03-27-2008, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Txmom42 View Post
I totally agree. The media only tells what they want us to hear. The things I hear from my son are so much more positive. He feels like they are making a difference. It's all about the election and not about our country and our guys in service.
I believe the media should cover elections... milestones good and bad... but they portray these soldiers & families who are angry and where there are PLENTY of those... there are PLENTY who are happy to be over there again and again. So what I CAN NOT STAND as a military wife - are all the civilians who "Feel bad" we are involved in this war... and that J has to serve during this time. They assume because they hear several sour stories from people they know who are in that EVERYONE feels that way. Well, I am sorry there are those who join for benefits and those who join to serve. We believe in the USA, we believe in the mission, and feel more humility & honor THEN PITTY OR FEAR. I would be DAMN proud if my hubby was one of the 4k and I certainly would NOT want anyone to pitty me because I lost him during a "questionable" war. I also have little respect for other Army wives that TRASH the army all day long and have such anger about there husband's deployments. SHAME ON those Army Wives...I don't even consider you one. I AM sick of reading post after post of CRAP from these women. I just have to remember their hubby's fight for them to express such hatred for country.

Anyway, must run - thank goodness -- or you'd just keep hearing all my annoyances... ROFLMBO NEVER MESS with a RED HEADED, PREGNANT WOMAN, that's an ARMY WIFE....
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  #5  
Old 03-27-2008, 01:55 PM
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Exo1 Exo1 is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Txmom42 View Post
The article speaks for itself. It made me cry.

By LIEUT. SEAN WALSH
58 minutes ago



The passing of the 4,000th service member in Iraq is a tragic milestone and a testament to the cost of this war, but for those of us who live and fight in Iraq, we measure that cost in smaller, but much more personal numbers. For me those numbers are 8, the number of friends and classmates killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 3, the number of soldiers from my unit killed in this deployment. I'm 25, yet I've received more notifications for funerals than invitations to weddings.


The number 4,000 is too great to grasp even for us that are here in Iraq. When we soldiers read the newspaper, the latest AP casualty figures are glanced over with the same casual interest as a box score for a sport you don't follow. I am certain that I am not alone when I open up the Stars and Stripes, the military's daily paper, and immediately search for the section with the names of the fallen to see if they include anyone I know. While in a combat outpost in southwest Baghdad, it was in that distinctive bold Ariel print in a two-week-old copy of the Stars and Stripes that I read that my best friend had been killed in Afghanistan. No phone call from a mutual friend or a visit to his family. All that had come and gone by the time I had learned about his death. I sometimes wonder, if I hadn't picked up that paper, how much longer I would have gone by without knowing - perhaps another day, perhaps a week or longer until I could find the time and the means to check my e-mail to find my messages unanswered and a death notification from a West Point distro list in my inbox. The dead in Afghanistan don't seem to inspire the keeping of lists the same way that those in Iraq do, but even if they did it wouldn't matter; he could only be number 7 to me.


I'm not asking for pity, only understanding for the cost of this war. We did, after all, volunteer for the Army and that is the key distinction between this army and the army of the Vietnam War. But even as I ask for that understanding I'm almost certain that you won't be able to obtain it. Even Shakespeare, with his now overused notion of soldiers as a "band of brothers" fails to capture the bonds, the sense of responsibility to each other, among soldiers. In many ways, Iraq has become my home (by the time my deployment ends I will have spent more time here than anywhere else in the army) and the soldiers I share that home with have become my family. Between working, eating and sleeping within a few feet of the same soldiers every single day, I doubt I am away from them for more than two hours a day. I'm engaged to the love of my life, but it will take several years of marriage before I've spent as much time with her as I have with the men I serve with today.


For the vast majority of American's who don't have a loved one overseas, the only number they have to attempt to grasp the Iraq War is 4,000. I would ask that when you see that number, try to remember that it is made up of over 1 million smaller numbers; that every one of the 1 million service members who have fought in Iraq has his or her own personal numbers. Over 1 million 8's and 3's. When you are evaluating the price of the war, weighing potential rewards versus cost in blood and treasure, I would ask you to consider what is worth the lives of three of your loved ones? Or eight? Or more? It would be a tragedy for my 8 and 3 to have died without us being able to complete our mission, but it maybe even more tragic for 8 and 3 to become anything higher. View this article on Time.com
A mature outlook from the young soldier, and certainly one anybody who has taken up arms for their country can relate to at some level..

Its not the first time I have heard, read, seen a US Soldier plead for understanding from the US Nation to allow them to "finish the job", which of course is reference to the stablisation of Iraq and neutralisation of the insurgency as a result. Its a request that the US Nation would need to grant for the sake not only of the brave soldiers who stand the line, but for us all..
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