Wednesday, September 14, 2005

In the Sandbox...

Iraq Isn’t ‘Fantastic’

"It’s people like Col. Brad MacNealy who give guardsmen a bad name (“Soldiers: Iraq ‘fantastic’ compared to Katrina aid,” article, The Associated Press, Sept. 7).

I am glad he “had it made” in Iraq. But for those of us who have to work and live on the front lines, there is no such thing. As I sit here, a mortar round strikes, which brings to mind whether the good colonel even knows what one sounds like, or has ever lived, worked and played in a place where mortar rounds and small-arms fire sing you to sleep at night.

Since he is an aviation commander, I will venture to guess he has no idea what an improvised explosive device looks, smells or feels like when it blows up next to your vehicle. Or how it feels to patch up your buddies time and again when this happens. I promise you that the men and woman of the forward operating bases would gladly build a levee or clean up dead bodies and rescue people, because even though they would be dealing with the deaths of fellow Americans, it does not compare to the loss of a friend you spend every day with.

I am not taking away from the job our fellow soldiers are doing, because I know the task is hard and seems like never-ending heartache, but no person can ever compare the job that soldiers do here in Iraq to a cleanup/rescue effort. We are thousands of miles from our families, getting shot at, blown up, and our buddies are getting killed. We can’t help but wonder if our number will be pulled and our families will be holding a folded flag before it’s all over. And all of this is “fantastic” by comparison.

It offends me that a man in a leadership position could be so narrow-minded as to forget the men and women who don’t live in the lap of aviation officer luxury."

~Spc. John Brack
Camp Stryker, Iraq (Stars & Stripes: Letters to the Editor)

...USAF girls...
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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