More Milestones That Matter
"The 2,000 servicemembers killed in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone. It is an artificial mark on the wall set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives. In some cases, this could also be creating news where none really exists.
The 2,000th soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who is killed in action is just as important as the first who died and will be just as important as the last to die in this war against terrorism and to ensure freedom for a people who have not known freedom in more than two generations.
The true milestones of this war are rarely covered or discussed: the troops who have volunteered to serve their country in time of war; the families that have loved ones deployed for a year or more that continue to support them and await their return; the Iraqi people who volunteer to join the Iraqi Security Forces (police and military) in a time of war who stand in recruiting lines that can become instant targets for the terrorist and when attacked, return the next day to stand in line again and continue to volunteer to make their country safe; the Iraqi citizens going to work each day to provide for their families and to make a better life; more than 10 million Iraqis who voted for their future — for the rule of law — on Oct. 15; the children who go to school each day who didn’t have that opportunity before; the water projects that have brought drinking water to areas that have not had it before; doctors and nurses treating people in new clinics and hospitals that were not available in the past; and the members of the Iraqi government who have become instant targets for the terrorists because they want to govern a free and democratic Iraq. These are the daily [events] that deserve your and our attention.
Those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom here in Iraq — the U.S. forces, coalition forces and the Iraqi people — deserve to be honored — not used by individuals or groups with maybe-less-than-honorable motives. Those actions do not pay tribute to their sacrifices or the sacrifices of their families.
Celebrate the daily milestones, the accomplishments they have secured and look to the future of a free and democratic Iraq and to the day that all of our troops return home to the hero’s welcome they deserve."
-Army Lt. Col. Steven A. Boylan, Multi-National Forces-Iraq (Stars & Stripes: Letters to the Editor)
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