A Soldier's letter!!!

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by janeeng, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. janeeng
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    janeeng Guest

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    I came across this letter from a soldier to his Mom on what it's like to go to Iraq and serve his Country. So, for those who don't agree with the war, or those who don't have the RESPECT of those serving, read this then. I truly RESPECT all of those who have and are serving for us...........and yes, I just might even take the time to personally write to this person and thank him!!!


    Hope for us all - An open letter from one who is serving

    A California mother whose son is right now in Kuwait poised to knock Saddam's block off, wrote her son asking how he would feel if she joined other relatives of service members in an anti-war demonstration in Hollywood last month. After reading her son's response, she elected not to participate.

    Thursday, 20 March 2003, at 2:11 p.m.

    Dear Mom:

    It's really your decision to march if you want to or not. You are the one who has to decide if what we are doing out here is right or not.

    My opinion is not yours. I do, however, have things I would like for you and Grandma and everyone else at home to know. I am a United States soldier. I was sworn to defend my country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. People may not agree with the things we are ordered to do. I would like to address those people by telling them that terrorism is not only a threat to us as Americans, but to many other innocent people in the world. What type of country would we be if we didn't defend the rights and freedoms of others, not because they're Americans, but how about just because they're human? We live in a country where people feel secure with their daily lives. They do business like usual and don't worry about the thought of terrorism actually happening to them. The people of 9-11 thought the same thing. We now know that it can happen to anyone at any time. Yet as Americans we're afraid of losing our soldiers to defend our security. I can only speak for myself when I say that my life is an easy expense to ensure that my family and friends can live in peace. I strongly believe in what we are doing and wish you were here to see for yourselves the honor and privilege that American soldiers aboard this ship are feeling, knowing that we are going to be a part of something so strong and so meaningful to the safety of our loved ones. Then you would know what this potential war is about. We will stand tall in front of terrorism and defeat it. We as soldiers are not afraid of what may happen. We are only afraid of Americans not being able to understand why we are here. I ask for your courage as Americans to be strong for us; I ask for your understanding in what we believe is right. I ask for your support in what we are sworn to do: defend our country and the life of all. We will succeed in our task and will end the threat of terrorism in our back yard. We will also end the threat of terrorism in our neighbors'. We have to remind ourselves of what this country stands for: life, liberty and justice for all. In order to maintain those rights we have to stop the threat of terrorism.

    I am proud to be here. I will be coming home, but not until I know that it's going to be safe for all Americans and for everyone I love. My family is first. My country is where they live. I will defend it

    Lonnie J. Lewis
    Navy corpsman
    C Co. 1/4 WPN PLT
    UIC 39726
    FPO AP 966139726
    P.S. Mom, please send this to everyone who has a hard time understanding why we are here. Ask the paper to put what I've said in a column so that others will know why we are here and what we are here for. I love you all and will be home soon. I left my address so that if anyone feels like writing to let me know how they feel, they can.
     
  2. jimnyc
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  3. janeeng
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    She has this letter all over, did just what her Son wanted her to do.
     
  4. Dawoud
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    Heres a letter i ran across
    Soldiers for the truth


    From: A Concerned Soldier
    To: Col. David H. Hackworth

    Subj: Leadership Failures in Iraq

    I am a senior enlisted soldier in the Army, and I have a few points of view I would like to discuss in this forum with the intentions of confirming or alleviating some misnomers that I have seen communicated recently.

    I would first like to both confirm and dispel some of the misunderstandings concerning logistics in Operation Iraqi Freedom. It is absolutely true that the logistical portion of the campaign was the biggest downfall both in planning and execution. The biggest travesty is, while there was an obvious miscalculation of what it would take to support us on the battlefield, there was little to no evident planning for sustaining the soldiers upon completion of the main war effort. Here are some prime examples that cannot be disputed by any twist of fact or camouflaging by the "spin doctors" in public relations:

    1. We crossed the line of departure [from Kuwait] and finished the missions in a pretty much "as is" state of readiness with our vehicles. We did not receive a single piece of parts support for our vehicles during the entire battle. If a vehicle went down we had to cross-level parts from a more seriously damaged or mission incapable vehicle. We brought common replacement parts as part of our basic load configuration but they were limited due to the amount of vehicles and the limited carrying space. Now the [supply] system is turned on, but with the amount of soldiers in theatre and the subsequent amount of equipment that require repairs, not a single repair part has made to our vehicles to date. (This system applies to the units that have received follow on missions to places like Fallujah.)

    2. The primary method of policing up broken equipment, on the battlefield and in enemy territory, was self-recovery. This meant that if you did not have tow capability between vehicles, you had very little chance of being moved forward to a maintenance control point, and you were forced to transfer personnel from one vehicle to another and abandon the broken vehicle. When it was all said and done, my unit had abandoned around 12 vehicles and transferred the soldiers to others in very cramped riding conditions.

    This did two things detrimental to combat effectiveness. It overcrowded the vehicles that we fought from, thus reducing our ability to effectively defend or attack as warranted. It also provided a possibility of greater soldier casualties if the vehicle took and RPG round or other significant attack. To our amazement, our people made it to our objective, but others did not. I firmly believe that the conditions I just described contributed to the loss and injury of soldiers on the battlefield.

    3. During operations, it seemed impossible to maintain our necessary supplies of water and food. We all carried five days of supply with us at LD with the intent of utilizing it only in an "emergency" situation. The problem being that because our logistics lines were so poor, we had to break into them during the trip rather than in an established emergency situation. One of the biggest reasons for this is the mismanagement of the haul assets available for the support of the operation. The logisticians were forced to make a decision, haul food and water on their limited hauling assets, or haul ammunition and parts. With the continuous "Go! Go! Go!" mentality of our movement to Baghdad, I guess it was more important to continue the fight.
    We had a very elaborate plan of attack going into the operation. However, we failed to realize that the enemy had a vote in how exactly we were going to conduct our operation and the changes to the plan that they could affect. We, as we planned, would "take Baghdad in a matter of days" and were told that "There is no expected contact for a significant piece of our movement." We were even told not to place a round into our weapons when we LD'd because "We won't see the enemy for quite sometime." and "will have plenty of time to react." The intent was that this would reduce the risks of a "negligent discharge or fratricide incidents." Well, we know what the truth is: We received ambush and guerilla warfare tactics from almost the very beginning.

    Don't get me wrong, all of our soldiers were very well trained and they reacted well to contact. We didn't lose soldiers as a result of this oversight, but I wonder how many support or follow-on units made the same mistake and weren't quite as well prepared?

    5. The movement to the objectives was pure chaos. It was poorly orchestrated and executed. I was witness to several vehicle accidents, where soldiers lost their lives, that were a direct result of the "Go! Go! Go!" mentality. Units were getting separated by their inability to maintain convoy continuity due to the extremely dusty conditions, better known as "brown out," and the sheer number of vehicles traveling the exact same path. I cannot adequately put to words the absolute confusion caused by the movement north. The tanks and Bradleys were not stopping for anything, and that very mentality caused several problems. Imagine having only soft-skinned vehicles, small caliber firearms, overcrowded vehicles, no communications ability (except internal to your immediate group), and hearing sporadic transmissions of ambushes and close contact firefights. That is exactly what many units had to endure and it cost soldiers their lives. (I can think of a certain maintenance support unit that made the news.)

    6. Once the objectives were reached and seized, we established our operations within Baghdad and started the humanitarian effort. The supply lines have yet to come into fruition and simplicities such as bottled water have yet to make their appearance on a consistent basis. We have had no potable ice since our arrival. I have personally been forced to buy ice from the Iraqis so that my soldiers were not drinking hot water day in and day out. It is bad enough that they have been forced to drink water that tastes like it came straight from a swimming pool (because of the sanitization process). Don't get me wrong - bottled water is showing up, but not with anything that can be remotely considered consistent.

    We are steadily providing bottled water to the citizens of Iraq though, and you can bet your next paycheck that anyone who is of any rank that allows them to work on a brigade or higher level staff position hasn't had to drink warm sanitized water lately. As a matter of fact, I have witnessed several "higher ups" in my particular unit with private shower facilities, private porta-johns, and ice chests full of bottled water and potable ice in their immediate work areas while their subordinates (meaning the soldiers) are struggling every day to get a cold bottle of water. These very same senior soldiers are living in an air conditioned room while their soldiers are trying, in vain, to keep mosquitoes from consuming them nightly, and using hoses from an Iraqi latrine stall to get water enough to maintain their hygienic needs.
    7. 3ID, in particular, 2BCT is now conducting operations in Fallujah and its surrounding area to "rid that area of Ba'ath Party loyalists and make the area safe for the citizens." Bullshit! We are conducting operations in Fallujah to rid the United States of a political black eye that we have received in the world of public opinion. Now we have to control their citizens, they are the very same citizens that are throwing rocks at passing soldiers, ambushing them, and sniping them. We are spending millions to provide fuel and propane and facilities to people that spit in our direction the second the stop waving. We are patrolling their streets, executing raids, and checking everywhere in an attempt to rid the community of those that are influencing the behavior of the masses. (All of these operations are being conducted in vehicles that have not received any repair parts since our original LD) I have no idea if this is working, but I do know that we have provided these people with countless creature comforts that are not being provided to the soldiers throughout the theater. Sure there are some soldiers that are receiving air conditioning, electricity, and bottled water with their hot meals. These soldiers are the exception to the rule, not the rule. There are soldiers, to this day, that live in squalor.

    I can only ask that these points be made available to everyone. I am sure that many have no idea about what their husbands, sons, wives, and daughters - their soldiers - are going through or have gone through.

    We have been America's war-fighters, we have liberated a country from conditions that are indescribable, and in return we are being kept here and are living in conditions that we liberated the Iraqis from. How is it that the people that fought and spilled blood on this soil against Iraqi forces are now given the responsibility of providing them comfort and humanitarian aid?

    There are many units here that were brought here specifically to replace us and no replacement is being conducted. We have done our job and have done it well, we have fulfilled our obligation to this operation, but we are still here and are still being mistreated and misled. When does it end? Do we continue to keep the liberators of Iraq here so they can continue to lose soldiers periodically to snipers and ambushes? My unit has been here since September and they have no light at the end of the tunnel. How many of my soldiers need to die before they realize that we have hit a wall? We are ordered to stay and ordered to continue the mission, but at what cost? Doesn't the soldier count for anything?

    It is an absolute travesty that our leaders allow politics and public opinion to betray the heroes of this great nation. I was once the greatest voice for the command and our leaders, now I am a defeated leader who is forced to support without question and lie to my soldiers so that they can maintain a forced motivation. We have been told to "suck it up, get through it, and execute." With leadership like that, what else can we do?
    http://www.sftt.org/article06192003a.html
     
  5. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Yeah, sure, Dawoud!

    An "anonymous" letter that is literally found on one site, a site by the infamous idiot David Hackworth!

    Do you think he enjoys making up these stories as much as you like to shit on threads?

    Real credible, but I didn't expect anything less of you. :rolleyes:
     
  6. metanoia2k
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    Who is David Hackworth, Jim? I must confess that he is unfamiliar to me and I try to keep up with these personalities. You said he was famous and I truly don't know him. Is he a writer?

    Thanks,
    metanoia2k
     
  7. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    I'm not naive, and neither are you!

    As you already know, David Hackworth is the most decorated soldier alive today. His citations include: two Distinguished Service Crosses, ten Silver Stars, eight Bronze Stars for valor, and eight Purple Hearts.

    I have the utmost respect for this mans dedication during his outstanding military career.

    But, apparently he inhaled a bit too much napalm before exiting Vietnam, as he just hasn't been the same since.

    This is the man who claimed the USA would lose the war in Iraq, only to come back on television a few short months later and utter the words "I eat crow".

    He refers to the leader of our Country as a "bastard". He refers to Rumsfeld as an "asshole". And his famous quote about Oliver North: "He's a jackass. He is so preposterous that there is a temptation to laugh at him. He's smarmy, a flatter, a brownnoser. He's also a twisted impostor, a drugstore Marine with an apparent compulsion to bullshit just about all the time."

    It's fairly obvious that the man is getting enjoyment out of burning his bridges. With all the honor this man had at one time, it's slowly being forgotten with his asinine commentary and continual bashing of our government.

    I stand by my assessment, Hackworth is an idiot.
     
  8. metanoia2k
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    lol! Okay, okay...I'm sorry.

    b/t/w I AM enjoying this Board. Is it yours? Someone puts a lot of work into it. If there is a background file on the Board, please point me to it and I won't pester you with questions.

    Thanks,
    metanoia2k
     
  9. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Technically it's my board, but there a few that play a huge role in the background in making this board successful. We have a couple of moderators that spend a great deal of time developing web pages and working on link and search rankings. The board started with a base of less than 10 users and has grown to over 230 in less than 2 months, and we really just started to hit the search engines in the past few weeks. We expect the amount of members to continue to increase, thus making the discussions more and more interesting.

    The idea behind the board is to have a place for ALL members to discuss and debate their point of view, regardless of how popular it is. There will be good and bad on every board, and this one is no different. Some get angry with me for the way I "run" things, but I defy you to find another paid board that allows such leniency in its members posting. Yahoo has thousands upon thousands of posts daily, with zero organization and moderation.

    We also offer the "alternate" categories below where members can go to cool off after a good debate.

    Did you read the Newsletter that was sent out yesterday? If not, read the entry that was submitted by "Moi". That is the thinking behind how the board got started.

    I'm going to re-post the newsletters at the top of the "Announcement" section, starting with yesterdays. Feel free to ask any questions in there.
     
  10. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Very interesting... without getting into the credibility of the letter, let me shed some light on this letter.

    Points 1, 2, 3, and 6 (btw - where is #4?) all deal with logistical issues. From the first Gulf War, we learned that logistics must be fluid. However, I don't think that in this war, they were fluid enough to make the march to Baghdad with the combat units. I don't know who to blame, but I haven't heard anyone say that the supply system is working very well over there. Logistics is a problem in any war; however, it's not very sexy, and a lot of higher-ups tend not to consider logistics in their war planning.

    Point 5 - the 'fog of war,' as it is called. Even on today's electronic battlefield, this remains a problem. Always has been, always will be. But the commanders will, hopefully, take the lessons of this war and learn from them. But I agree, it is a travesty when fraticide takes the life of a fellow soldier.

    Point 7 - yeah, there is not equity in soldiers' lodging, meals, etc. It sucks. I agree. It's not going to be a fun mission, but what is the alternative - pulling out of Iraq right now? We would lose a lot of credibility, and Iraq would plunge into chaos.
     

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