Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It’s time for me to talk about Iraq, with my heart and mind. I watch the news. Honestly, I watch it reluctantly. After I returned home wounded from war, I grew sick of watching every news network slant their stories to benefit their own political agenda. I thought it was safe to watch the news again. I was wrong.

However with the current crisis in Iraq, regarding Iraq being in turmoil, I am torn.

I’ve read stories of my fellow brothers and sisters that have served in Iraq, asking; What was it all for? Many have stated something similar to; “I watched my friends die and several others become wounded. We went there for nothing.”

Truth be told, the news haunts my dreams. I’m sick of it. In my humble opinion, the media only reports what they feel will scare the American public to watch, in order to gain more ratings. That’s pretty damn sad. Did I mention, I’m sick of it?!?!

But here’s my opinion of the current situation in Iraq.

From my reading via social media and major news networks, many veterans feel what we did there was not worth it. I ask them to define; “worth it.”

I’ve read that their brothers and sisters died or were wounded for nothing. I ask them to define “nothing.”
I’ve read that many of them would go back again, to help ensure Iraq gains a stable democratic government. I ask them to define “a stable democratic government” for a region that has been at war for far longer than we can imagine.

You know why I joined the Army in 1996? I joined because my parents taught me the impotence of service. They taught me about the history of our country, our freedoms, our rights, but more importantly the men and women that gave us those freedoms and rights.

I joined the Army because of the men and women that came before me. They came from the north, the south, the east, and the west. They may have had to face segregation, racism, or bigotry. Yet, they chose to serve. They served knowing they may die protecting every American’s rights and freedoms.

They served protecting men, women, and children that would never know their names.

It is up to us, the American people, to remember them, our brothers, our sisters.

For me, my time in Iraq WAS NOT for nothing. Why? I live for others! Because each day, each moment I get with my children, I not only do it for me, I do it for my brothers and sisters that never came home.
I do it for PFC Jody W. Missildine, KIA 4/8/06 in Tal Afar, Iraq. For SSG Emmanuel Legaspi, KIA 5/7/06, Tal Afar, Iraq.

I do it for my fellow brothers and sisters that came home with physical, mental, and emotional injuries.
Am I upset the Iraqi government cannot make things happen? Of course I am.

Would I go back? I’d do anything to serve my brothers and sisters.

But I will never say; I served there for nothing.

I once heard a dear friend, a combat wounded veteran from Iraq say; “If the insurgent that wounded me that day, had known he wouldn’t kill me, but make even stronger, by being a voice for others, he would have stayed home that day.”

For me, life is about serving others now.

And I like to think, I do it pretty well.

Serving others has filled a void in my life.

I believe everyone should serve others in some capacity.