Wednesday, September 26, 2007

An open letter to citizens of the United States

Spc. Tracy Cunningham
2nd BSTB, 2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI)
Multi-National Division - Center

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq — Here we sit in a combat zone, conducting tasks that we have been taught since our first day of basic training. We raised our right hand knowing that there was a great possibility of going to war. Well, here we are, face-to-face with what some people call “war” and some call a “civil war.” There are different opinions on whether or not we should be here, but it is all the same to the military - we are here fighting for what is right.
Like other workers in the civilian world, we are just following orders that come straight from our boss – in our case, the president - whether we agree with it our not. It does not matter if we agree; it only matters if we get the job done. As a Soldier, I feel that we are making a difference in more ways than one. I believe that the U.S. Army are the protectors of the world. Every day lives are put on the line for the simple little thing that people take for granted - freedom.
Sadly, people have lost their lives during this hard time, but with war comes death. War doesn’t only bring death, though; it also brings life - life for others that may have not been able to live their lives the way they may have wanted.
Freedom in Iraq is what you could call a rumor, and we are here to make it a reality. These people need our help in order to have a life of freedom and normalcy. We as soldiers ask the American public not to look down on us, but to understand that we signed up for this job, and it has to be carried out.
There have been incidents where Soldiers in uniform come into contact with civilians who tell them that war is a horrible mistake. There is not really much we can say to that; only that we are doing our job, as they would if their boss told them to. Civilians must understand that we did not start this war, but we do have to be involved. We do not require their opinion.
Americans owe thanks for the right to do almost anything they want. Soldiers throughout our history have fought for that right, and that is what we are doing today. It may not be for freedoms in our own country, but when another country is being brought down by “evil,” then it is our duty to lend a helping hand. The people in Iraq may or may not want us here, but we are here to assist them in becoming as free of a country as we can. Although we may not understand their beliefs, we cannot just stand by and watch innocent people be killed for wanting freedom.
America must also understand that we raised our right hand to join the U. S. Army, and that was our decision to make. We should not be denigrated for our decision to do so – don’t we live in a free country? Those who have never served in the military have no right to judge those who have.
I ask Americans to understand that we have a job over here; don't look down upon us for doing it. We make a living and support our families with our jobs, just as civilians do.
We all remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and in many cases, it was our motivation to join the military. Others just wanted to better themselves or learn new skills or because it provided something better than they were headed for.
We only ask for all the support you can give us - and if you can't bring yourself to do that, then – ask we all learned in school – if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

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