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A totally different Iraq story
Old 07-08-2007, 04:46 PM   #1
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A totally different Iraq story

Subject: From a Chaplain in Iraq



I recently attended a showing of "Superman 3" here at LSA Anaconda. We have a large auditorium we use for movies as well as memorial services nd other large gatherings. As is the custom back in the States, we stood and snapped to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature. All was going as planned until, about three-quarters of the way through the National Anthem, the music stopped.

Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments, and everyone would sit down and call for a movie. Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.

Here, the 1,000 soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started over. The soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention. And again, at the same point, the music stopped. What would you expect to happen? Even here I would imagine laughter as everyone sat down and expected the movie to start.

Instead, you could have heard a pin drop. Every soldier stood at attention. denly there was a lone voice, then a dozen, and quickly the room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers: 'And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?'

It was the most inspiring moment I have had here in Iraq. I wanted you to know what kind of Soldiers are serving you here.

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Old 07-08-2007, 05:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
Subject: From a Chaplain in Iraq



I recently attended a showing of "Superman 3" here at LSA Anaconda. We have a large auditorium we use for movies as well as memorial services nd other large gatherings. As is the custom back in the States, we stood and snapped to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature. All was going as planned until, about three-quarters of the way through the National Anthem, the music stopped.

Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments, and everyone would sit down and call for a movie. Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.

Here, the 1,000 soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started over. The soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention. And again, at the same point, the music stopped. What would you expect to happen? Even here I would imagine laughter as everyone sat down and expected the movie to start.

Instead, you could have heard a pin drop. Every soldier stood at attention. denly there was a lone voice, then a dozen, and quickly the room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers: 'And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?'

It was the most inspiring moment I have had here in Iraq. I wanted you to know what kind of Soldiers are serving you here.

I think you are mistaken about how americans feel about who is serving in Iraq. I believe the war was a huge mistake by an administration blinded by 9/11. That said I feel it is my duty as an american to know the facts as they are today. Our troops will have to remain in Iraq FOREVER, Or really until the real Iraqi army can stand up to The Iranian army. You know the day we leave the Iranians will quickly take over the Iraqi oilfields. Who will stop them??

Now in a democracy shouldn't we all be part of it? So shouldn't all young men over say 18 be part of this endevor? Think about it.
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Old 07-08-2007, 05:33 PM   #3
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Mickeyd,
Thanks for sharing. For all the memories I have of soldiers being soldiers they never fail to answer the call of our nation. Our Army Armed Service is truly filled with couragous servicemen and women. The sacrifices that they and their families go through on a daily basis is unimaginable. While I disagree with the current gov't leadership, I fully support my friends still serving. Be safe over there.
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Old 07-08-2007, 05:58 PM   #4
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I think you are mistaken about how americans feel about who is serving in Iraq.
BBB, you have no way of knowing if I am mistaken or not. This was a quote from a military chaplain serving in Iraq. I am not that chaplain.

This was not meant to be a political post, just a reminder about the character of 1000 fellow citizens who happen to work for us.
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:05 PM   #5
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The fact that the over whelming majority of those that are in Iraq are bravely and honorably serving the country has absolutely no bearing on the question of if we should be in Iraq in the first place.

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Old 07-08-2007, 06:46 PM   #6
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I totally agree with both Mickeyd and the Iraq Chaplain. If I were not so old and so long out of it I would like to be back in. However, my oldest son, a Naval Officer, left Kuwait today headed to Baghdad, so I will have to keep in touch via his e-mails. He has embarked on our families (myself and two sons) 50th year on active duty in both the US Army and the US Navy.
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:47 PM   #7
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You know the day we leave the Iranians will quickly take over the Iraqi oilfields. Who will stop them??
I doubt they would try this. As Jon Stewart said in a recent piece, "we may not
be so good as nation-builders, but we are still top-notch nation unbuilders".
Given the Shi'ite majority in Iraq, I think it is much more likely to continue to
work behind the scenes to influence Iraqi policies and slowly gain control.
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:45 PM   #8
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BooBoo, Cycler, can we just take a political time-out for this thread to honor the troops and celebrate their patriotism?

You guys wanna fuss about the rest of that stuff, take it to another thread.

Thanks.

Notice those funny avatars that MickeyD & RWood are sporting? They didn't get 'em out of a Looney Tunes graphic. Every time I see those insignia I smile at remembering the honor & respect that my CIB-wearing nephew got at West Point from grizzled warriors whose own CIBs were still bright & shiny two or even three decades later. Other than the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart, there are very few military insignia that you can glance at and say "Yeah, those guys have paid their dues." (Haven't had anything like that in the submarine force since WWII.) That's the point that those guys are trying to make with stories like this, and political wrangling belongs anywhere else.
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Old 07-08-2007, 10:01 PM   #9
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BooBoo, Cycler, can we just take a political time-out for this thread to honor the troops and celebrate their patriotism?
I know what kind of person is serving this country in the armed forces and we the civilian people and the leadership in this country are not worthy of them.
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Old 07-09-2007, 09:32 PM   #10
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Even in the late '60's, even with the draft, it was a good bunch (I don't care what anyone says to the contrary). These new guys are the best.
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Old 07-09-2007, 09:40 PM   #11
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Even in the late '60's, even with the draft, it was a good bunch (I don't care what anyone says to the contrary). These new guys are the best.

Yes they are the best and have been put in a no win situation. They sure know how to take and follow orders.

However you must agree that things are truly a mess and not improving.
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:00 PM   #12
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newguy,

Don't bet against them.
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Patriotism
Old 07-09-2007, 10:01 PM   #13
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Patriotism

As a former Vietnam vet that saw 4 years in the military and almost all of them in Vietnam, I'm sorry if I apprear to be cynical. I support the troops but want them out.

Did we make a mistake going there? Yes.
Is it a mark of good and moral character to remain there? No

For me patriotism is wanting what is best for your country. Getting out of Iraq will save lives and save money for things that can be used for peace. Being there creates more hatred toward the US and creates more terrorists. Terrorists are not a finite number of people, as you know. They multiply based on hatred, and in this case it is toward the US policies.

I live in SE Asia and have traveled all over Asia from the 1980's to now. I mention I'm American in most ordinary circles and the responnse I get in one of puzzlement as to how the US could have gone seriously off course morally. It's happened to many times.

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Old 07-09-2007, 10:06 PM   #14
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newguy,

Don't bet against them.

Damnit that is the real issue here. I am sick of hearing that I am betting against my own americans. WRONG WRONG WRONG!

Look at the Israeli military situation. 50 years of fighting the palistinians. Saddam was a ruler that took no prisoners, ruled like Stalin. Quite frankly I DID NOT CARE!

Today we have no way to WIN in Iraq, and you do not need to spend any time in american war colleges to see this fact! The muslims in Iraq have issues that are far more involved than what we can do short of killing every last one. That is not the answer. The answer is to get the heck out of the middle of a civil war. Period.
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:10 PM   #15
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Is anyone aware of what our troops endure? My good friends son was a platoon leader in his first tour. They were on a kicking in door patrolling Baghdad type assignment. They did not all come home thanks to IED's, and several came home with serious wounds. He is back on second tour. It absolutely floors me that he e-mailed me asking me to help some the the young ladies he is serving with, they cannot get things like soap, deodorant and feminine hygiene supplies and he knows what a sap I am. It's been over five years and you don't have the supply lines perfected? I sent several boxes of stuff that we all take for granted. When he first got there there was not enough food for three meals a day. It is 110 degrees and they are in tents. I know that you are not signing up for club med when you join the armed services but come on people.
I think we should ask all of our elected officials to forgo personal hygiene supplies and proper food for a day or two. Don't forget to turn off the air conditioning and turn the wind up so you feel like you are being sandblasted.
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:16 PM   #16
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Is anyone aware of what our troops endure? My good friends son was a platoon leader in his first tour. They were on a kicking in door patrolling Baghdad type assignment. They did not all come home thanks to IED's, and several came home with serious wounds. He is back on second tour. It absolutely floors me that he e-mailed me asking me to help some the the young ladies he is serving with, they cannot get things like soap, deodorant and feminine hygiene supplies and he knows what a sap I am. It's been over five years and you don't have the supply lines perfected? I sent several boxes of stuff that we all take for granted. When he first got there there was not enough food for three meals a day. It is 110 degrees and they are in tents. I know that you are not signing up for club med when you join the armed services but come on people.
I think we should ask all of our elected officials to forgo personal hygiene supplies and proper food for a day or two. Don't forget to turn off the air conditioning and turn the wind up so you feel like you are being sandblasted.

You will be told that your story is a lie. How did Bush and company screw things up so royally. Must be Clintons fault. Quick someone give GW a blowTT% so we can impeach him already.
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A topic that just gets my heartbeat up
Old 07-09-2007, 10:25 PM   #17
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A topic that just gets my heartbeat up

I respect every soldier that has the professionalism to follow orders in this war even if it is a war based on lies and a war of choice. Therefore, if a soldier were to claim that this war is immoral and based on a lie and refuse to serve, I would also claim that as being professional and patriotic.

Sorry- but this topic should really be terminated. It brings out the intense division in this country brought about by the decider. I hope my posting is the last one here (yeah, right!)

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Old 07-10-2007, 07:09 AM   #18
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I respect every soldier that has the professionalism to follow orders in this war even if it is a war based on lies and a war of choice. Therefore, if a soldier were to claim that this war is immoral and based on a lie and refuse to serve, I would also claim that as being professional and patriotic.

Sorry- but this topic should really be terminated. It brings out the intense division in this country brought about by the decider. I hope my posting is the last one here (yeah, right!)

Rob

What is so nuts is that after 9/11 I gave Bush credit. He said he would find Bin Laden dead or Alive. I thought he knew what he was talking about. Heck even Khatami in Iran who was the president of Iran at the time was in the states and was showing a helpful side.

Then look 6 years later. You wonder why americans are divided?
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:22 AM   #19
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I respect every soldier that has the professionalism to follow orders in this war even if it is a war based on lies and a war of choice. Therefore, if a soldier were to claim that this war is immoral and based on a lie and refuse to serve, I would also claim that as being professional and patriotic.
Rob
Wasn't Vietnam a war based on lies and a war of choice also?

In your 2nd point, I feel the same way, but the armed forces will court martial him and he'll be breaking rocks in Leavenworth, right?
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:43 AM   #20
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Thanks again to all those who refrained from turning this thread into a political diatribe.

Newguy, it's frustrating that you gave such good advice on ACLs a while back yet most of your posts are of this ilk. You've kept promising to improve the quality of the discourse but... I'm done waiting. Welcome to my "Ignore Poster" list.

For the rest of us, I can highly recommend a couple books on the subject of honoring the warriors:
"Imperial Grunts" by Robert D. Kaplan (who's publishing a second book in this series later this year) and "Chosen Soldier" by Dick Couch. Vietnam veterans will particularly appreciate what happens to SF soldiers the closer the get to "Big Army" headquarters.

I used to think that much of Africa's and the Mideast's issues were caused by European colonialism and its aftermath, but that's not the issue. These guys have been screwing up their regions for centuries before Europe was even leaving local waters. Modern evangelical violence can't be contained by isolationism. Imperialism isn't much of an answer either but I don't have a good alternative.

I think future posters on this subject should be able to discuss at least one book they've read on the topic. Otherwise you may not be blissful but you'll certainly risk being ignorant.

52andout, as for your complaints about logistics & living conditions in a combat zone, well, wow. Just... wow.
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