by Boo Warren
Rated: E · Letter/Memo · War · #1349487
Letter of appreciation from a soldier deployed in Iraq.
|To my beloved family and friends,|
Yesterday was Veterans Day and many people have conveyed their gratitude for my service and that of all my brothers in arms. I suppose I should start off by saying your all very welcome, and I hope that you and your family as well as my family and all American’s will continue to live safe. I pray that my time spent here in Iraq will be a small contribution in the continuing effort to maintain our country as the land of the free.
That being said, I feel obligated to return that thanks and praise. It's hard to believe that there was a time, not so long ago in this countries history, that the soldier himself was chastised for his involvement in a war. Soldiers do not make wars, and contrary to popular belief most soldiers don't even like war. War is a humbling experience. A man will see things and live through events that don't exist in any other environment. Some are good, as you can imagine there is a type of camaraderie and bonding that only occurs when displaced men and women strive to achieve a complex goal they do not understand. Others are tragic and frightening, but through prayer and fellowship they are subverted from conscious thought.
The bottom line is that, for better or worse, almost none of us are here by our own accord. We volunteered to serve our country and to defend it when necessary. We did not decide who the enemy is, and we don't get to choose on what ground we meet them. We do what is asked of us by the leaders the American public has elected. I feel so sad for those men who have risked life and limb and those who made the ultimate sacrifice and did not get the respect this country owed them. It is completely confounding to know that there was a time where a man could love his country so much that he would suffer through constant trepidation and risk his own life, only to be rewarded with contempt and disdain from his fellow countrymen upon his return.
I love my country, and I thank God that my service to it is received so warmly by my friends and family. History is a gift that brings wisdom to its descendants. It is fortunate for me that our country has learned from its past. We now understand that a man may join the Armed Services for any number of reasons, be it a political ideal, a chance for an education, or purely for honor. He might find himself in a foreign land with men who speak a language he does not understand because of a plan decided upon by men he will never meet. He will go where he is told and prepare for what is to come, following orders against which he has no power or control. But in the end, when a quiet desert road explodes and burst into pure chaos and a faceless enemy swarms the devastation, a soldier does not fight for the President, or democracy, or any other ideal that has brought him to this place. He fights for his Driver, so he will make it home to his wife and three month old baby. He fights for his Gunner, so that his mother can bake him a cake on his 19th birthday. He fights for the Truck Commander and his Dismount because they are fighting for him.
This is the fundamental difference between why we fight and what we are fighting for. Ideals have brought us to this place, but love for one another will bring us home. There is no such thing as a good war. There is only a just war and even that is a matter of perspective. I am truly thankful for everyone back home that celebrated Veterans Day. It is an undeniable blessing for me and every service man that God has granted this nation the wisdom to understand that it is right to hate the war, but to always love the soldier.
I thank you all, my closest friends and family, for your support. I promise to repay your solicitude with a dedicated commitment to serve with honor and return home safely. May God bless us all, and may the undying love of Christ keep our families safe and close together.