They are well-trained, and they know their jobs and are prepared to do them -- even when the worst begins to happen around them. That "can-do" attitude prevails with the pilots who are flying the planes and the troops who are getting on and off them. It prevails with every door gunner, every support gunner, every crew chief, and every one of the mechanics and technicians who keep these airplanes flying. It is an extraordinary sense of teamwork that gets them this far -- and for which the Marine Corps is famous. There is no airplane that launches without a complete check from the mechanics who are maintaining them day and night.
No discussion of readiness and morale of the troops would be complete without mentioning the finest medical specialists in the military -- the U.S. Navy Corpsmen -- who will be there the moment some soldier, sailor, airman or Marine is injured, and get them to the best medical attention that's possible.
The helicopter unit I'm with will be the first on the ground inside Iraq, and in the days ahead they, along with their counterparts from the Army, Navy and Air Force, will conduct some of the most extraordinary displays of military prowess in the history of war.
Those who will carry out this historic battle are lead by more senior officers and combat experienced noncommissioned officers who act like coaches for these young Marines -- many of whom recently completed boot camp and aviation specialty schools, and are fresh to this kind of experience. It's inspiring to watch these older men provide guidance, wisdom and confidence to these youngsters who are experiencing war for the first time.
Yes, war is dangerous and unpredictable. But don't believe the cynics and critics who tell you that our young men and women are unprepared or ill-equipped. They are more than ready and willing to carry out the orders of their commander in chief who told them that "the peace of a troubled world and the hopes of an oppressed people now depend on you."
Mr. President, our troops want you to deliver to the Iraqi people the same message you gave to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines when you campaigned for the job of commander in chief -- "Help is on the way!"
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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