Why the fall of Iraq bothers me

Posted: June 16, 2014 in Grief, Iraq, Post War Life, Warrior Identity

This is a hard post to write. Not because the subject matter is painful, (I’ll stare into the darkest pain with you), but because it is so personal to my daily life. Someone asked me why I let the events in Iraq bother me.

I’ll tell you why.

Every day I interact with guys who lost men they loved dearly, who struggle every single day with memories, horrific flashbacks, anxiety, guilt, brokenness, anger. Men who are afraid to sleep because of the terror that waits to ensnare them when they let their guard down. Men who carry a weight on their hearts that comes from being forced to kill parts of themselves in order to do what combat demanded they do. Men who stared death in the face day after day, deployment after deployment, who made decisions that can’t be undone. Men who died inside themselves to keep their brothers alive and must live with the fact that they couldn’t save everyone. Men who were fucking good at what they did. And did the best they could.

If you’re reading this, you most likely are one of these men. You know what I’m talking about. The world doesn’t see the man you were in combat. They have no idea they are in the presence of some of the highest caliber and highest tested human beings on earth. They see PTSD, and stumble over a “mental illness”. They see the guy working checkout at Walmart with a little pin that says “proud to be a veteran” and scowl at him for taking too long to move their groceries past a scanner. They see an overweight guy with a beard at the bar who doesn’t look like he has it all together and dismiss him without a second thought. They see a thin wiry guy who works in the cubicle next door and keeps to himself and think he’s socially awkward. They see… absolutely nothing.

They don’t see you. The real you. The man you are. The one you became in those streets and houses and rooftops, the orchards and roads. The man you still are. The man you will always be. They don’t see what courage means, or honor, or love that is stronger than death.

So, why does Iraq’s fall bother me?

Because I see a generation of men who will have Iraq woven into their souls for the rest of their lives. I see the pain, the struggle, the cost to hearts and how it plays out in daily lives. I know what it has cost and what it still does. I cry with these guys, I carry their secrets, I know the stories so painful and horrific they can hardly find words to whisper it. But they do. Because they are men. Brave. And unafraid to be afraid.

But the fall of Iraq? The fall of Iraq rips open tender wounds, starts the bleeding again, tugs at the part of these men that longs to be powerful and fierce and vicious, that part of them that knows expertly how to take those motherfucking extremists out — that part of them that can kill evil and has. These men know power. They know it unlike anyone else. And that desire… that desire forces them to come face to face with the reality that now… now they are that guy at the Walmart checkout, the overweight one who’s invisible at the bar, the wiry guy in the cubicle next door. Men who now everyone assumes are not much more than losers, hardly getting by in life, just barely making it. And that… that, right there, that realization, is what kills me. That pain.

These brothers that I love and am willing to fight for their soul’s freedom, they aren’t going back to Iraq. Their warfighting days are over. They have PTSD, and TBIs, and worn and battered and bone-weary bodies, minds, and spirits. They have to wake up each day and face the reality that they’re never going to be that Marine, that Soldier, again. And that is what fucking hurts so bad.

So, yeah, we can deploy to Iraq again, our current warfighters know how to fight. We can fight again today. It’ll fall again in 10 years. We can go back. We can stay out. We can debate it until we’re besides ourselves. It’s not going to make a difference. The Administration is going to do whatever is in their best interest. And our warfighters will do what they do best.

But my guys, they have to live with what that land has already taken from them. And what they’ve given it. And what they still give it every fucking day. They have to wonder now if their buddies died in vain. Or if the ache in their knee and the images of bloody flesh in their mind and the screams they hear when the room falls too silent — if it was all for an Administration who never actually saw them. And still doesn’t.

And that’s why Iraq bothers me.

  1. Big Red says:

    I read this article all the way through and found it to be so true in a lot of ways. I was deployed 3 times to Iraq to run convoys. I’ve been shot at, blown up, and much more that can quickly be assumed, stuck in the middle of the worst towns with only my crew’s support and a lot more. In 2012 my crew and I were some of the last people on most of the fobs where there was no support of any kind. I know the emotions in this article all too well.

    I’m an Airman though. While it may not seem like a big issue, it is to me because I was there and felt what was mentioned in the article. Still feel it. We are just as invisible, if not more so, than the soldiers and marines because not even the other branches of military see or understand that we were just as much a part. And when I say we I include the sailors, and even some civilians, as well because I know they were right there as well.

    I’m sure it wasn’t the author’s intention to not include everyone but one of the things that sticks out to me about the article is how anyone could be one of the top notch individuals that you spoke of, but the top notch individuals aren’t always going to be soldiers and marines.

    Very nice article and thank you to everyone who’s served honorably.

  2. Jay says:

    Hi all,

    I’m not quite sure how I feel about this, and I say this because if you have traveled to multiple 3rd world destinations then you would understand that corruption, poverty and murder are normal everyday hazards. So I’m not the least bit surprised that Iraq would collapse after we pulled out. I’ve kicked down many doors to target houses in my time spent in the sandbox and was surprised to find local INGs and IPs on the otherside of the door. After a while it became normal putting Iraqi “Police” in zip cuffs. I found that my time spent there taught me a lot about how brutal the real world is, and how good we have it in the US. Now, I haven’t been overseas in a number of years, so I can’t claim to know everything that is going on there now. One thing that I do know is that I gave up trying to understand why we were there to begin with, I’ve lived and operated 7 of the major cities and moved approximately 14 times being part of a QRF battalion and have never seen any WMDs. I’m currently a civilian, and I’ll be honest in saying that it took a lot of work and crappy jobs to realize what it takes to make it in the civilian life. Some of the hats I’ve worn as a civilian so far are security guard, call center agent, construction worker, and worked in a tree nursery. I’ve been back to school and majored in criminal justice and business. I have now graduated in electrical engineering and I’m now working on medical equipment. It took a lot of decompressing and reflection trying to keep the good memories of my time spent in the infantry on the surface rather than bringing up the horrific ones. My advice to a soldier who is transitioning is find family and friends who are really there for you to help with the transition. I would also recommend counselling services, as far as PTSD goes. This is not weakness, this is sitting down with someone who is far more educated in what is going on with you to help you sort things out and get on with your life. I would also recommend going back to school and finding something your good at that will consume your thoughts in a positive way. I’m not saying that I figured it all out, but I feel I’m on the right track. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not reminded of my time spent overseas, but I find now these thoughts are less and less throughout the day and they don’t consume my energy in a negative manner. This is a time to heal ourselves and move on from all this. To my brothers and sisters, I wish you the best in everything you accomplish from here on and hope you find a way to look past all this.

    “The Right of the Line”

    • Stephanie D. Brown says:

      Dearest Jay,

      Thank you, ALL of you cause it is your words, thoughts, memories, fears, and hopes and dreams that are enabling me (a now retired Army Wife as my husband deems me :-), to better help my soldier. Though he just went thru the MEB process and April 29, 2014 was his first official day of retirement after 12 grueling years of being and Infantryman he still is very much “a soldier”. I know he would “suit up” if he could but an IED in the sandbox in 2006 pretty much done him in mentally and physically. He did pressure his doc to get him out of the boot so he could join his brothers for “one last go round in the sandbox” in 2009. He came back in 2010 a stranger in every way possible. I’ve endured it all with him as much as I can. I’ve watched as friendships faded, hobbies ignored, family brushed aside and children all but forgotten. I’ve seen my husbands beautiful life light dim to darkness as day after day he would either sit in solitude watching movies or playing video games. Eventually even they too lost their glamour. It’s taken me really digging in deep and dragging him out of his own private hell kicking and screaming, fighting for my marriage every moment of every day! It’s not perfect but I’ll take it cause it beats living without him and that’s just not acceptable. My husband, my soldier, is my best friend and if it means I must kick his ass from time to time to get his head screwed on straight then you can bet his best pair of combat boots I’m gonna do a good job! He refuses to talk to anyone much though he’s been medically listed with PTSD among the physical injuries. Most of y’all just don’t get it, we the spouses will take you any way we can get you cause you are still YOU, and we love YOU for the person you were, the person you are, and the person you long to be. If your spouses can’t offer you a love like that, kick her ass to the curb quick and find someone worthy of the warrior!!! I won’t lie nor make light that an military spouse is a hard life cause we all know its true, but if the love and trust is there you can endure anything tossed at you! I wish I could hug you all and say thank you and God bless you but I can’t so I hope you all know how much I appreciate your sacrifices and your words here.

      Stephanie Brown

    • FRANK RUDOLPH says:

      iam a father of a veteran. i love my son. i love you. god be with you all. amen.

  3. D. Hewitt says:

    Thank you for your service, and your sacrifices. Some of us in the civilian world cherish you guys and gals more than you can appreciate. I salute you.

  4. Bill from Qui Nhon says:

    You are not the first American vets to see this. Come with me those thrilling days of Vietnam. We fought (and many of us were drafted. We didn’t have a volunteer Army then.) There is a wall in DC that lists the names of those who died. And the TV stations broadcast film of helicopters evacuating panic stricken people from the American embassy. What has happened to the children of “The Greatest Generation”? We send our soldiers to fight and die for freedom, then get tired of the fight, announce we won, then pull out and let the remnant of our foes have the spoils.

  5. Dave says:

    As a Vietnam veteran, I understand what it feels like to watch the country you fought in fall.

  6. Mike Stivers says:

    So true.

  7. daralyn turner says:

    I feel for every person who has gone through this my eldest son went to Afghanistan. And he puts on a good mask although I know he’s hurting inside. I love him no matter what he had to do to make it back home safe and i am very proud of him! Always will be

  8. Amber Burdick says:

    I appreciate you adding the comment including female soldiers. I was a medic who fought proudly with 1/6 inf in Sadr city, Iraq 08-09. I saw just as much combat off and on our JSS, held the hands of the dying men, and treated countless wounds. We all have a spot in our heads and hearts that was left in that place, something that no one but another veteran could possibly understand! My heart goes out to you and our comrades who also fight with PTSD. I have had several brothers who have taken their lives over the years because they couldn’t take it anymore. May you have one clear day where the ignorance if that country and our administration, doesn’t make you bow your head in shame. ALL GAVE SOME AND SOME GAVE ALL! SGT Burdick 68W20

  9. redonkulas says:

    it took me along time to recover from Iraq and in some ways I will never will. I was wounded in iraq in 2004, I suffered a TBI, I also had to deal with the incompetent and toxic chain of command. I wrote a book about it. its called “the warriors way and the soldiers soul” I shortened it for the grunts out there young and old. I hope it helps , I had no choice but to write it.

  10. Dave14 says:

    Iraq isn’t going to fall. Baghdad isn’t going to fall. Too many Shia and Kurds. It enrages me that we had a chance to destroy ISIS staging bases in Syria and we did not do it. My buddies and I are just disgusted at the turn of events. Keep in mind that the best trained and motivated Iraqi Army units are near Baghdad and in Anbar. They also have 10,000-50,000 Shia signing up for the Army and militias as we speak. I have a hard tTheyISIS as a good move to tie down Iraq’s best units in An bar and assault Mosul where Iraq had their least trained and motivated divisions. Iraqs Prime Minster has been a disgrace and disaster.
    If the Iraqis can elect a new leader and unity goverment on June 30th that the Sunnis and Kurds can trust the ISIL will be left in a bad postion. They may wear out the welcome with Sunnis like in 2008.

  11. […] after War Posted this June 16, 2014 in Grief, Iraq, Post War Life, Warrior Identity 45 (selected as one of the top […]

  12. David Crow says:

    Rakkasan!! Fuckin beautiful brother, fuckin beautiful. Finally someone put it in words that most of us Iraq vets can’t find.

  13. Doc Vanderbilt says:

    This is excellent and is exactly how many of us feel and have to work with everyday. Thank you for sharing

    Doc Vanderbilt
    Fox Co 2/23
    2nd Platoon Corpsman
    Sinners and Saints

  14. Pat Siddal says:

    I read your post and I am so sorry for all the experiences that you ( Men and women ) went thru during your time in Iraq. My Dad was a POW/MIA in Germany during WW11 and he always told us kids when we asked him about his war experiences that you weren’t there you would not understand. Later in life he had grown heavy and if someone commented about it him he would tell them that when in war you eat what they give you and it wasn’t much he had to endure eating maggets and very little meat or vegetables and he would never go hungry again like he did during his capture. After he came home he had dysentery and other related issues and I remember for years after he had to go up into Michigan to the VA center for his bad stomach. And I’m sure for many other things he would not tell us about he passed away two years ago on Veterans Day at the age of 87. A few years before he died he wrote a book on his experiences as a POW and it was heart breaking what he had to go thru and what he endured. We were so glad that he passed on that most special of dates Veterans Day. But the one thing he said and I will never forget it was “as bad as I had it in Germany the ones that were captured and tortured in Japan were far worse then anything I had to endure”. His name is Harold Maerz !! He was lucky that when he got released and got out of the service he was treated well by the American people. The ones for Viet Nam were jeered at and did not come home to cheering people. No one understood that war so they were awful to the Men that fought so hard for that country They were considered to be drugged up hippy losers. At least now the Men and Women coming home have people that cheer for them and thank them for their service to our country. If I see someone in uniform I will always go to them and shake their hand and tell them thank you. Those two small words mean a great deal to them as it should. Sorry this was so long but when it comes to Veterans I always have a lot to say. So I am saying Thank You for just writing this post that you did and saying so many things I remember my Dad saying. Thank You for your service and the daily struggles that you and so many of our Soldiers have to go thru each day of their lives. God Bless you all.

    • Lorena Rae Blackden says:

      But WHAT still for the Nam vet? Buy denying that there was any nightmares and hell to kids right out of High School, do you know what kind of responsibility it has been to be a wife of 2 such men? Buy denying their rights, disability, health care and an validation that The Vietnam War was real, how were some to believe symptoms of PTSD were real? When trying to help these two men, I still Love today, I am 100% Disabled from POW type torture. What did you do if you are a disabled woman, disabled by a veteran nobody in the VA helped until it was too late??? I helped them both get their disability and they went off to find a younger one. In a way, I don’t blame them, entirely, but they know what they did to me. Some of it was “Torture we used on Charlie. Things we’d do to the FNG’s to make them forget shit” I have been a volunteer for many Vietnam Vet fund raisers. Hell, I tried to sneak in when I was 14, to take care of the guys.I looked 18! But, Pray, tell me, what do I do> Where do I go to put Humpty back together again? I lost $80k a year from 30+ broken bones and a drowning, a very shortened list, and I am 100% disabled , getting $8,000 a year to the last ones $50k. What about spouses getting educated while their Soldier is deployed?

  15. I normally do not take the time to read anything that I believe is just to lengthy. But I am so glad I took the time to read fully your post. You are a talented writer and this post grabbed my attention and interest and kept it all the way to the end. I literally felt cold chills while reading this article and became teary eyed it’s like we sat down in person and had a convo And u told my story. Thank you for this article sir. (Soldierboi)

  16. terry ellen benn says:

    That is beautifully written with so much love, and righteous anger. My heart bleeds for our Vetrans. I feel sadness throughout my heart and soul. I love each and every Vetran and wish I could show them.

  17. Auggie says:

    Thanks so much I am a Marine and Female tears r flowing but is good to know we got someone cares and know the pain

  18. Andrew Gordon says:

    I completely agree! Thank you so much for writing this. “Why does the fall of Iraq bother us so much?” people may ask you have hit the nail on the head with this one. I did my duty over there three times. The thing that is the most painful for me is not the fact that I spent time with my brothers and sisters in arms helping this country and fighting the bad guys and now it is going south again, it is not the fact that I was jumpy with a possible slight case of ptsd when I came back like everyone else that served over there, but that doesn’t hurt anywhere near as much as knowing that there is the possibility that my friends who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and theirs (the Iraqis) may have died in vain and their sacrifice may have been for naught. I knew some of them well and some of them I did not know them so well but the loss of them is always painful no matter how well you knew them. I pray for the families who have lost their sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, grandfathers, and grandmothers for some as well. They are in Gods’ hands now! They are at peace! What does not help is there is no one who understands except fellow vets who were over there and in other wars as well and unless you in a major city they are few and far between. To finish this I will end with an anonymous quote I saw once that always makes me think of my friends, my fathers friends (Vietnam), and my Grandfathers and Great Uncles friends (World War II) that made the Ultimate Sacrifice “And when he gets to Heaven to Saint Peter he will tell ‘Just another soldier reporting sir. I’ve served my time in hell.'” It may seem odd but it always brings me comfort believing and knowing God welcomed them into Heaven with open arms. Just because it says soldiers and he I still always think of all of our branches and females too when I read or say this. I wish all of you well and safety and peace on your journeys through life. Gordon Out

  19. Ron Petroski says:

    these articles i have read (all of them) the vets agree on alot of things. the best i have received was not through the VA system. I like to listen to other vets on how they get through their ptsd. we all have fought for our country in different decades. with the same out come not much of a surprise. my biggest heart goes out to the corpsmen who help keep us alive and safe. In my eyes they are my god. and the part that’s irking the most the VA hands out pills like they are like tic-tacks. i wont go into the ones im on but. i feel better when i hang out with fellow vets.

    • Sue Roediger says:

      Ron — thank you for your service, I think it stinks that the “military” puts so much energy into training you to be a soldier…………..and so little into undoing that training so you can be a happy citizen again, It seems like they think you are disposable. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I have written to my senators and congressman to urge them to fund “re-entry debriefing” programs I wish you the best for your future.

  20. Dr. Hella says:

    Imagine urself as an iraqi person
    Now am homeless .jobless. and no future
    Am forced to leave home again
    Now am in Jordan. .I can’t work and I hear Jordanien people complain
    Btw am a dentist and I spent whole my life working so hard to have the best
    But because of u and the worst iraqi government. .
    I lost everything and I don’t know if I can rise again .. what did I do to deserve that !!!
    I even spent all my life at home because of the bad situation and what I got bad memories. .country tried to kill me ..I can’t even work my own job I can’t be a dentist !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Can u tell me why
    May be u r human and I am not
    Even animal have rights !!!! And I don’t have
    Why !!!!!
    U know I didn’t see dad for 3 months now because he is sacrificing himself to offer a good life for me !!!!
    Why should life be that hard !!
    Now tell me why and don’t say because of ur people because I think am a human didn’t kill didn’t steal and hard worker and all the world steal my childhood my life my dream
    I didn’t play like u .. even couldn’t’t have friends because we were so worry keeping our lives !!!!!

    • You didn’t deserve it. There are no words that I can tell you that will make what happened to you right or better.
      All I can do is stand here as a human being and see you as a human being and hold you in Love and ask your spirit to forgive my spirit for what my government has done.
      Thank you for standing up and saying: here I am, look at the reality of what war costs us as human beings.
      The price of any war is too high.
      Please feel welcome to email me privately at brittareque@gmail.com if you would like. I would welcome hearing more of your story.

  21. Reader says:

    What to say? I’ve been there. I feel that pain of not being seen for a part of who I’ll forever be. I haven’t whispered enough of my pain yet, though I’ve been trying to get there. I am a death bearer. I fought for causes I ceased to believe in while”over there.” I believe I was used as a machine over there. But, whatever the Admin.’s intent, mine was as pure as one’s can be when going to kill, to risk your life, to see So Many others DIE… I was an “Expert.” Does it matter now??? I fought for freedom, for democracy, for national security, to protect those I loved… There’s too much locked up inside. It’s great that so many men entrust you. God, I can’t stand thinking this, but you say the men that told you their worst stories did so because they are men and not afraid to be afraid. I think I know that feeling, for not long ago I fired a therapist/counselor for refusing to listen to me. Yet, I’m wondering, knowing intellectually that this isn’t so, if it’s because I’m not a male that I haven’t found that degree of readiness to reveal my pain.

    You spoke of parts of us dying. I feel that. It is a strange phenomenon to experience profound disappointment in one’s self having taken a life, and simultaneously to have felt exhilaration, pride, &/or relief. It seems to me that what we do to others we do to ourselves, and in that sense, I have killed off a lot of me before I decided I could do it no more, not when I no longer saw a reason… Am I weak? Am I the unidentified nobody that maybe some see in me, not wanting to see the pain and fear, the guilt or shame, the Hell that travels with you (with me, that is) wherever I go?

    Living in a world where it seems the norm to compare ourselves with the outsides of others, contributing to it by playing the game, it can be confusing: I want to fit XYandZ’s expectations of me, to fit in or blend in. But how do you do that? Can you? Some can. Should we? Is it in our best interests to do so. Maybe at times or for a time. Yet eventually, at least for myself and so many of your courageous male friends, I’m beginning to feel the necessity of acknowledging parts if who I am and will forever be in the presence of validation and love. When? How? — After serving for months with a counselor who I felt obligated to better train, yet leaving as if I’d just lugged the 175lb body of a male comrade up an 8 mile hill only to have him die at the top. I left there feeling more loss and grief than I knew what to deal with. I went in to fire her on the day she told me that she was going on vacation for two weeks.

    Since then, I’ve been taking a break. But a recent death of a friend is pushing me back to my need to let go and to be set free. Iraq: You said much. I pray now for people on all “sides.” I feel abandoned by the Gov. I say I do not care, but I care. I hurt. And I am seeking my way back to some Light and a Power of Love which I know can conquer evil, the ravages of war and the remnants in us all. There will always be ways to that Light and Love. This forum is one big step in that direction for me.

    Sometimes I don’t know if I’ll be as brave again as when trying to make therapy work with a clueless counselor… But, I must. The alternatives are too ugly and I’ve lived them long enough. This Blog is available on the www. One prayer I have is for dialogue between Iraqis and USAmericans. We have much to say to each other, much suffering that we share. I pray for that Country and those in it, including the terrorists, as one cannot, as I see it, be a terrorist without being first and foremost one in great sense of terror, usually denied via the masks of outrage and self-righteous indignation (feelings I believe that we would all do well to be aware of in ourselves, so that we may find the courage within to overcome those feelings with what we need more, Love, healing, compassion. Easy to say, less so to do. So I pray for the help we all need to heal and breach the gaps within and around us with acceptance, respect for self, for others, and Love, as universal as fear but more potent by far).

    No one dies in vain. How many times I have cried, woken in starts over the “meaningless” deaths of others, of Americans, of Iraqis, of others, countless in number. But, my soul tells me that the souls that came and “went” from life as we know it, did so to offer the survivors gifts and lessons that we will only receive when open to them. Grief and questioning, seeing No F’ ing point, it’s natural.

    However, it helps me to see that our Countrymen/& women (from any Country) were and are souls more than mere bodies through which we met their souls in tangible ways, and some we knew and felt connected to felt more in the gut alone… Importantly, to my way of thinking (at what I believe is at its current best) is that no soul ever dies. NO PERSON HAS OR WILL EVER DIE IN VAIN, NO MATRER HOW IT MAY APPEAR IN THE SURFACE, WHICH I THINK WE, Incl. I, DWELL ON AND IN TOO MUCH OF THE TIME, WHEN WE NEED BALANCE, JUST AS WE NEED EACH OTHER, OUR SHARED STORIES, A FOCUS ON THE LIVING SOUL OF GOODNESS WHICH LIVED IN EVERY CHILD, WOMAN, AND MAN, REGARDLESS OF HOW WE PERCEIVED THEM IN LIFE AS WE ARE SO USED TO SEEING IT, AS ENDING HERE.

    It seems to me that we have choices as to whether or not to seek out the gifts and lessons of the souls who were with us in body for a time. In doing so, I am beginning to find some piece, an early beginning but an important beginning. May we all find new beginnings.
    This is long, edit all you need or wish, I say this at the end… Mayhap I should have to start for any reader, Blog Chief or others. Thank you for this!

  22. Frank says:

    Never deployed to Iraq, but I’ve been a spectator to war in both Afghanistan and Bosnia. Its not easy seeing something you were willing to put your life on the line for eventually fail. Something the guys next to you did pay with their lives for. The military was never going to be the final solution in Iraq or in any place in the world. Our job, as I see it, is to clear it of, at least, one faction of assholes or hold it together long enough for a lasting political / diplomatic solution to be reached. Most of the time, the military does its part and more. The failure is not ours and we all have to recognize that.

  23. Kenneth Potts says:

    Those of us who were there are also not surprised by what has happened. We knew how lazy the IA is, how corrupt they are. We also knew the IP were a bunch of corrupt cowards. You can’t expect someone to defend their country when they have no honor and no spine.

    • What may seem like no honor and no spine often comes from generations, if not centuries, of different cultural values and experiences. But no person and no culture will ever move forward until they personally own responsibility for their own lives/country. That’s hard to do when someone else started your war or changed your life, but ultimately, it’s the only way forward.

  24. I am a Navy vet from the previous generation. The generation that went to “liberate” Kuwait from the invading Iraqi military. I never served in combat ops, my ship was busting drug runners in the Caribbean. Even then I wondered why we were fighting a battle for such a wealthy country as Kuwait. And I had my theories. When Bush Sr declared victory and the end of Desert Storm, I was absolutely furious! I told my Captain we needed to cruise our ass to the Gulf and finish the job our President was too stupid, corrupt, or incompetent to finish. I obviously caught all kinds of shit for that position, which I have never wavered from. We LOST Desert Storm according to the objectives of the mission. Specifically in removing the threat Iraq posed to the region and the world. I still don’t know if that threat was real or not. I have my doubts today. What I do know is this. Right or wrong, you don’t go into someone’s yard and kick them in the balls and think they are going to just take it. You’re going to have to break their back, or they will continue to be a problem. We needed to hammer on Iraq like we did Japan and Germany in WW2. But instead, we pulled out before the job was even close to done. And that’s why you’re generation had OIF. That’s why you’re brothers are so broken and struggle so. They did their job, and even today, DC fails all of us. From the moment Desert Storm was declared a victory, I knew my service to this country was in vain. I knew my chain of command was incapable of completing a mission. And I knew they would never be honest about it. That decision was made 25 years ago. And I have lost most every veteran friend from that time, and many more because of it. But here we sit, today, where every day history proves me right. I’m sorry you have had to serve under the traitors who occupy DC. And thank you for your service and courage and dedication.

  25. James T. Avard says:

    As a two tour Vietnam Veteran who lost a Brother-in-Law, 5th Infantry, and friends, I get why the fall of Iraq bothers these veterans. They as we then fought to free a country and it’s people only to walk away and turn our backs on those who died and were wounded and those with PTSI (Post Traumatic Stress Injury) and those who have died by suicide. We are not a nation of quitters, we are a nation of liberators. I mourn the Fall of Saigon and will until the day I die. From Korea on we have lost the will to finish what we start.

    To the Band of Warriors, we live and die to a higher code.

Reach Out Here or Email Me at brittareque@gmail.com

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