J.B. Smith

So many people have written me and mentioned the excerpt from the letter I had written to my daughter in last week’s guest column, I decided to print the entire letter. I know there are probably a few errors in here – both of fact and of grammar. This wasn’t intended to be read by the public and I wrote it long hand during down time in my training, so please forgive those. The reason for my making it public is to remind people both of why our country is the greatest on earth and why we are fighting.

Dear Blair,

Happy 26th birthday! I hope all is going well for you in work and life in general

This year I want to venture into a subject you may find curious I haven't addressed earlier - what being an American meant to me and how do I feel about having given my life for it. The reason I have never addressed it is because I wanted you to make your own feelings clear. After all, you gave up a lot for your country as well, and I am very aware of how much you lost, so I don't make the following text of this letter with anything less than the gravest consideration.

First of all, I think that America is the greatest country on earth and a nation that has done more good, saved more lives, and freed more people than any other - and second place isn't close. Now, this doesn't mean we have been perfect. We definitely haven't. We have supported some bad people over the years, we have acted arrogantly on occasion and we have formed and executed some bad policies.

J.B. Smith

J.B. Smith served in Iraq from December 2004 to September 2005 as an advisor to three Iraqi Infantry Battalions.

He previously served on active duty from 1992-1999 in the US, Korea, Germany and Bosnia. He lives with his family in North Carolina.

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