SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. -- He was an American hero. On his second tour of duty in Iraq, he had already served in the Western Pacific and a prior combat tour in Afghanistan. On Friday afternoon, Feb. 16, when Sgt. Joshua Frazier, USMC, was laid to rest in the soil of his native Virginia, his comrades in arms from the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines were fighting terrorists on the mean streets of Ramadi, in Iraq's bloody Al Anbar Province. As Sgt. Frazier's grieving mother was being presented with a carefully folded American flag, the Congress of the United States was debating a meaningless "non-binding resolution" attacking the commander in chief.
Heroes aren't athletes who set new sports records or Hollywood actors who make "daring" films or politicians who make bold promises. Heroes are people who place themselves at risk for the benefit of others. Joshua Frazier was certainly such a man. Unfortunately, there are far too few members of Congress who fit the definition.
At Joshua's funeral, I gave his parents photographs of their son that had been taken a few weeks ago while I was embedded with his unit in Iraq. We had just returned from a patrol to a newly re-opened school where little Iraqi girls were being taught arithmetic. Standing around us in the photo are the Sunni police officers and Shia soldiers who had accompanied us on the mission. Sweat stains from his 40-pound flak jacket are still evident on his uniform and he is smiling through exhaustion into the lens. He and his squad of Marines had been up for more than 24 hours chasing down an enemy sniper. His is one of more than two dozen Army, Marine, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard units whose tours will be extended in Iraq in order to increase U.S. troop levels by 21,500. These are the young Americans who will bear the brunt of what Congress is doing.
Sgt. Frazier is one of more than 2,500 U.S. military personnel killed in action in Iraq. Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims the resolution being debated by the House of Representatives is a measure that "will continue to support and protect" U.S. military personnel. Yet, she also says it shows "Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on Jan. 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq." How this does anything but damage U.S. and Iraqi morale and embolden America's adversaries is beyond comprehension.
"The American people have lost faith in President Bush's course of action in Iraq," Pelosi said Tuesday as the resolution was introduced. She said the president's plan "is based on the judgment that the way out of Iraq lies in sending more troops in," adding, "our experience has proven just the opposite."
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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