A Message from Iraq

This morning I received an email from a reader who asked me if I would be willing to pass along a message from her husband, who’s currently serving in Iraq. After reading the statements from Republican Senators in defense of giving amnesty to terrorists in Iraq, compiled by The Huffington Post (via The All Spin Zone), he sent the following home, with the request that his response to those Senators be published. These are his words, and his name has been included at his request.

I am one of the soldiers that these proposals are dishonoring.

Did any of these men ever serve??? Have to go through memorial service after memorial service day after day for comrades they knew and loved???

Have they had to live in fear every moment of every unchanging, horrible day, waiting for a never-seen rocket or a mortar to kill them—or worse, kill those to whom they are close???

Have they bore body armor in 120 degree heat in the face of an unrecognizable enemy, one who uses terrified civilians as shields?

Have they seen the remains of tanks, HMMWVs, BODIES!!! that were rent asunder by invisible bombs, planted by fanatical zealots???

Have they truly seen the shatter lives of Iraqis, these lives broken by the very people they propose to grant amnesty?

Have they had to pull the trigger with the aim of killing another human being, someone you have never met or seen before, never knowing if the target was truly an enemy?

Do these gentlemen wrestle at night with the nightmares of guilt and second-guessing?

Every IED that injures or kills an American soldier exacerbates the normal soldiers' attitude toward those who he is sent to help and protect. Every sniper shot hardens our hearts.

Propose accolades for those who have lived through this hell, not for those who have opposed them in the shadows, in the dark.

When an insurgent—a terrorist—an enemy combatant—call them what you will—strikes at an American, he attacks Iraq.

When we these "right, honorable" gentlemen realize that we are in a war we should have never entered—one where our very presence provokes and increases the enemy's resolve and recruitment—perhaps then I will consider their words.

But until then, tell these paper warriors to go to Walter Reed, to Landstuhl, to Sam Houston and face the soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen whose lives have been drastically altered or ended.

Tell them to face the families of the fallen and propose their accolades to our foes.

Instead of resolutions that honor those who are trying to kill us, these senators, these congressmen should devote their efforts, their words, their very lives to try and figure out how we can extricate ourselves from this war.

Perhaps then they can look themselves in the eye and admit Iraq was a mistake and commit all our energies to saving American lives, instead of worrying about mollifying our enemies' rage.

Sean Frerking
A soldier serving in Iraq

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