The word “infantry” has its roots in a word that means “unable to speak.” Though our troops are allowed to speak out, they’re often ignored or just have their voices lost in all the noise. Well hopefully we can help change this a little bit.
The other day I posted links to emails written to Pat Dollard by Cpl Tyler Rock from Ramadi, Iraq. In that post I asked for other military members, especially those who have served in Iraq, to comment on Sen. Reid’s “the war is lost” comment if they saw fit. Marine Cpl Neil Frustraglio answered. Here is what he had to say.
I am writing because I read the post you had about Cpl Rock. Consequently I know him, I was stationed with him in Washington a couple years back. And we have kept in touch on myspace since he has been in Ramadi. Also consequently I served in Ramadi with 3rd Battalion 7th Marines and was injured there a year and a half ago. He has let me know of the progress they are making in the city.
His views are not unlike other Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen. Its sad that we are the unspoken few in the political circus about the war in Iraq. We are the ones that take the brunt of the punishment, give our health, limbs, and lives there for the Iraqi people and for the man fighting next to us. But the politicians and the media rarely care what we have to say.
I was in Ramadi for three and a half months before I was seriously wounded and sent back to the states. During that time we did a lot of good in the city. We set up a tip line for the Iraqis to call and report IEDs and insurgent activity. And we got a lot of Intel from that, the people made it clear to us that they wanted our help. We would talk to them at our vehicle check points and they would tell us about the insurgent activities in their neighborhoods, arms caches, and IEDs set out to blow up our humvees and kill our Marines.
I was saddened after I was injured to find out that some of the good that we had done while there didnt even make a newspaper back home. We delivered over a million dollars worth of medical supplies to Iraqi hospitals in Ramadi. Hired Iraqis to take things into their own hands and clean up their streets. And helped rid the streets of the city of IEDs that not only hurt the Marines and Soldiers but the citizens as well. I guess our humanitarian efforts dont make for a good newspaper article back here in America, where people are more concerned with traffic on their way to work or a long line in one of their trendy coffee shops. After all who really cares if we are making the lives of the people of another country better if Americans are more concerned with their mindless daily trifles.
One great quote I recently heard about the war in Iraq was this:
“Our nation is not at war, our Military is at war, America is at the mall.”
Roughly put that is the war in Iraq. The American people simply don’t care what is really happening in Iraq. If they did they would look deeper and talk to the troops who have served there. Instead they rely on the news media for their flawed information.
And what’s worse than America not caring is our politicians who are supposed to know what is going on using the troops as a political lever to flaunt their own opinions and electoral goals. How many Democrats are in office today that go there because they didnt support the war in Iraq? Using the ignorance of civilian America to launch themselves onto a political platform.
These politicians don’t support the troops or anything that they are doing. The troops want a victory in Iraq. If nothing else to say that our friends, our comrades who fought beside us and never made it home, did not die in vain. I dont know many Marines like myself, who haven’t had a friend or brother die. Most know several, sometimes too many, who never made it home to the freedom of our great country. And that is a shame. To say that these great men who died for our country did it all for nothing is a travesty and does no honor to their memories.
I am not saying that Republicans are any better, personally I feel that our political party system needs a serious renovation. The way both parties have used the troops as a bargaining tool is personally sickening to me. Using human life as a chip to cash in for political power is disgusting. And thats what they are all doing. It just seems that as of right now the Republicans are the lesser evil in the political nightmare of the war.
I hope that you get this and are able to put my words out there for the people to see. I am no philosopher, but I tried to put things into the best perspective I could. For someone who has been there and seen the tradgedy of what Saddam created I know that we have done the right thing in Iraq. No matter what liberal America has to say.
I want you to take this letter and respectfully forward it to your senators and representatives. It is past time that the likes of Harry Reid get their fingers out of their ears and start listening to the troops. Reid voted to send them to Iraq. The very least he could do in return is stand up to the nutroots and stop giving al Qaeda propaganda points.