I got a lot of response to my column, "I know a Marine, and he knows the stakes," much of it from other Marines, soldiers, and their loved ones. I thought you might like hearing from them as much as I did. They say things better than I could. Beverly, Jan, and Paul, in particular, will break your heart:
Dan (former) Cpl., USMC:
Thank you. As a former Marine and Desert Shield/Storm vet, you have honored the Corps in representing exactly what we think and how we process what's going on in Iraq.
Wheeler, Col. USMC (ret.)
I enjoyed your article and thank you for your insight and concern.
We were Marines in "66 that knew how to win but weren't allowed to. It will get to where Marines will say "why should we fight and die when the government will just give up AGAIN."
This President has had 6 years of being beat on every day. I am sure it has gotten to him and made him wonder if he has been correct all along. Bless his heart he has stood tall and walked tall but in the end the liberals and communists in the media will make anybody stoop and bend. This country does not have the guts to tune out the communist news media and walk like the great country we once were.
We have the soldiers and Marines but we don't have the will anymore.
John from Texas:
I'm an old man now, in my 74th year, but once I was a young man fighting a war in Vietnam. The war in Vietnam and the war in Iraq are very different wars. In terms of what the outcome of the war in Iraq means to the furure of the United States and it's people, the war in Iraq is irreducibly more consequential than the war in which I fought.
Is it not strange that the same political party, and many of the folks in that party, have been opposed to both wars? Is there nothing the liberals will consent to fight for?
I know your Marine very well. He is my brother. I know that in his heart he knows the great value of that for which he fights. I know his discouragement with the faithlessness of the American politicians who send him into battle and disparage his cause. I feel his disappointment over the false veracity of the agenda-driven American media that fails to report his successes as warrior and humanitarian. I Feel his loneliness as one of the less than one percent of American youth who wear the uniform of our country.
Thanks for speaking up for your Marine, and I thank him for his courage, his patriotism and his dedication. Semper Fi!
Seems I saw this same group, even worse from around 1968-1972.
But the Marines from the 60s and early 70s are like the ones now. We werent quitters.
Once, Always a Marine
Beverly of Texas:
My son, Ben, an AF Cpt, USAFA grad, child of our heart, returns to his sp ops pilot duties right before Christmas. It will be his fourth trip over. He wasn't supposed to return this soon and his presents will never make it over in time. But that isn't my real concern.... My real concern is like yours....we send Ben and other sons and daughters over as if they were our willing compensatory sacrifices for our own self hatred. The winds of misperception are blowing hard all over this nation....they started before the election and are up to gale strength now.
I found myself saying this to a friend....I can't imagine my country asking me to send my son now, since losing is the decided strategy, and to offer him up...as clearly as a Mayan sacrifice, on the altar of self hatred, self deceit, and ultimately losing our country. For this threat is so very real and we hear the drum beats of take over coming from the Middle East daily...
I am physically ill thinking about Ben's departure....my only son, one who knew in 7th grade that his call from God was to be, like his father's, a pilot in the military protecting his country....he thought it a noble dream. And we encouraged him. We thought the days when his Dad was called a baby killer upon his return from Nam, and was spat upon, reviled, curse out (and those were the times I was with him), are gone, and now our nation (post 9/11) understands the seriousness of the threat, he'll serve honorably (as his father did) and help to preserve our great nation. Only 5 years later we see the flag being slowly taken down the flag pole, as if the service day were over, and taps being played, as if we think tomorrow will rise anew, only it is, in this mother's mind, a final curtain call on a once great nation...
That being said, I must ask you to shout continually in behalf of those of us who send sons and daughters, wives and husbands to war. Shout loudly and if you need a cattle prod to use on a few butts in Washinton, I've got a good one.
I know a Marine who returned from Iraq this past May after a 7 month deployment. His unit was dissolved and his fellow Marines reassigned. This Marine joined up with a PSD unit,i.e. Personal Security Detachment, they shadow high ranking NCOs, Officers or visiting dignitaries. They're body guards. I know this Marine is deploying to Irag for his second tour early next year. I know this Marine was a National Merit Scholar and spent a little over a year at one of our nations military acadmies before he decided to become a member of the few,and the proud. The word pride is simply inadequate in describing how honored and privileged I am to know this Marine; he's my son. I'll be wishing him and his unit Godspeed in the not too distant future. Find myself thinking if I was young enough, I'd love to join them.
Jan of Missouri:
Thank you for your compelling article. I am still grieving for a little brother, one I practically raised after our mother died, who was in Vietnam while John Kerry spewed his poison before a Congressional committee. Shortly thereafter, my little brother took a mortar shell to the head. His little brother and I, his older sister, never recovered from the intense grief fueled by the obvious betrayal of our own government. I am sickened by the ISG and by all in it. I am sickened by the loud praise coming from the Democrats who are deliberately obtuse when interpreting the meaning of their close win. I get so depressed thinking about it all that I can't dwell on it for long. I knew a soldier. I know several now. They think they can win, that, in fact, the USA is winning the war, in Iraq, just not in the USA media. How very, very sad.
Patrick, SSgt, USMC ('65-'74):
I went to Vietnam twice and spent six months in Naval Hospitals after my short visit to Hue City in '68. You brought back wonderful memories when you talked about guys teasing each other in rehab. "NO ONE" is allowed to feel sorry for themselves. They have to devote all thought and energy to getting well and getting payback on the rats that just got them.
Richard of New York:
I know a few Marines as well, and I no longer am able to know a few others.
I sadly shake my head at the turn taken by our government, and by our elected leadership. We get whet we elect. The Press is well beyond reproach, yet we have never seen them happier. It is like living through Viet Nam all over again (my fight, 4 years USN).
We have much to repair, it is time to begin to work even harder...
Update: Or, you can hear it straight from these guys, on the ground in Iraq, as Sean Hannity did.