The Third Thanksgiving In Iraq ...
Some thoughts on the third Thanksgiving for U.S. troops in Iraq -- starting with a short, sombre snippet of something seen in today's Guardian.
In Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, soldiers set up a "fallen comrade'' table for those killed, laying plates and lighting candles ...What a highly commendable form of commemoration for fallen comrades. Such a perfectly pitched simple yet sincere statement of respect, yet powerfully and poignantly understated as to appear instantly and clearly understandable.
But then there was this.
"We feel like we're protecting our friends, family and loved ones back home,'' said Lt. Col. Guy Glad, a military chaplain from Colorado Springs, Colo.....Is such logic as that sort, even close to understandable?
"Serving my country is important but losing friends makes me more thankful for what I have and for what I used to take for granted,'' [said] the 20-year-old Marine ......
And what about this?
"I could be sitting on the couch at home watching football with my dad. Instead I'm driving in Iraq,'' said Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Maxwell, 21 ......And then this?
"I miss not seeing my little daughter run around the Thanksgiving table,'' said Cpl. Chaz Wheeler, 22 ......But every word these young men said was truly sincere and spoken straight from the heart.
Indeed it's those very things which make the whole sorry story all the more difficult to understand. Well, at any rate, for anyone as old as This Old Brit.
Yet amazingly, by that very same age related token, the actual explanation is so patently apparent. Look at their ages; 20, 21 and 22. Then look at this Old Brit -- old enough to be their grandfather. Surely that says something -- if not everything.
Older equals wiser? Well, that's for you in your own wisdom - and in all honesty - to decide for yourself.
Anyhow, here's hoping that each and everyone one of those young soldiers gets home safe & sound -- and soon. Hopefully only a tiny bit older, but a lot more understanding and eminently much, much wiser.
And lets hope all those who lied to them and misled them into this whole damned, desert debacle soon pay the price required of them -- with even a semblance of the bravery shown by the boys they sent to wage their illegal, needless war of greed.
Read the rest of the Guardian's revealing, G.I.'s Iraq Thanksgiving piece, at the link below.