EN ROUTE TO IRAQ -- My bosses at FOX News have sent me on assignment to the "sandbox," as our troops have taken to calling Iraq. There, I will spend time with some of the most impressive young men and women this country has ever produced. These soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Guardsmen never cease to amaze me. Their dedication, enthusiasm and resilience, even in the unforgiving heat and atmosphere of an Iraqi summer, are second to none.
On the day before my departure, The Washington Times carried a front-page photo of an unidentified American soldier cradling a young Iraqi child in his arms. The child was severely wounded by terrorists in Mosul, who used a car bomb to plow through a group of neighborhood children to attack an American patrol. The blast killed two children and injured 15 other Iraqis. Some might say the photo is an example of the horrors of war. It would more accurately be described as portraying the horrors of terrorism.
There is something else striking about this photo. The soldier portrayed, though donned with the accoutrements of battle, is cradling the child in his arms with love and care, affection and tenderness. He has wrapped the young Iraqi child in a blanket to keep her warm; to give her comfort; to protect her dignity. The soldier is holding the child close to him, with his head nestled in close to her small body. It looks as though the soldier is either weeping or praying over her. In fact, it's likely he's doing both. You get the sense from the emotion displayed in the photo that, when not just a soldier, this man is a father, the kind of dad that probably takes the whole Little League team out for ice cream after a game.
The love and respect this stranger in an American uniform shows for the wounded Iraqi child is evident. It is yet another example of the many profound acts of kindness, charity and bravery that have been displayed throughout the war by young Americans in uniform. We've heard the stories or seen the photos of a Marine sharing his last drop of water with a thirsty Iraqi child. The Internet -- unlike many of our major newspapers -- is abuzz with pictures of American warriors sharing laughs with Iraqi youth and weeping over the shattered victims of terrorists. I've had the great fortune to witness many of these acts of kindness firsthand.
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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