OT: So Darn Young!
Be proud of our troops!
"They Are So Damn Young"
"I was going to the gym tonight ( really just a huge tent with weights and treadmills), and we had heard that one of the MEUs (Marine Exp Units) that had come out of service in the "triangle" was redeploying (leaving country). We saw their convoy roll in to the Kuwait Naval Base as the desert sun was setting.
I have never seen anything like this. Trucks and Humvees that looked like they had just come through a shredder. Their equipment was full of shrapnel blast holes, and missing entire major pieces that you could tell had been blasted by IEDs. These kids looked bad too! I mean, sunken eyes, thin as rails, and that 1000-yd. stare they talk about after direct combat. Made me pretty damn embarrassed to be a "rear area warrior".
All people could do was stop in their tracks and stare... and feel like me...like I wanted to bow my head in reverence. A Marine Captain stationed with me, was standing next to me, also headed to the gym. He said, "Part of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 8th Marines, sir. Took the heaviest losses of any single unit up north as part of Task Force Danger, sir."
As the convoy rolled up, all of us watching just slowly crept toward these kids as they dismounted the Hummers and 5-tons. Of course, we were all shiny and clean compared to these warriors. This kids looked like they had just crawled from Iraq. I had my security badge and id around my neck, and started to help them unload some of their duffle bags.
A crusty Gunny came up to me and said "sir, you don't have to do that..." I said, "Gunny... yes I do..." They all looked like they were in high school, or younger!! All held themselves sharply and confident, despite the extreme fatigue you could tell they had endured. "You guys out of the triangle?" I asked. "Yes, sir." 14 months, and twice into the grinder, sir" (both fights for Fallujah).
All I could do was throw my arm around their shoulders and say "thanks Marine, for taking the fight to the bad guys...we love you man."
I looked at these young kids, not one of them complaining or showing signs of anything but focus, and good humor. 'Sir, they got ice cream at the DFAC, sir?" "I haven't had real ice cream since we got here..." They continued to unload... and after I had done my handshakes and shoulder hugs, the Captain and I looked at each other ... . They want ice cream, we'll get them ice cream. You see, a squid O-5 and a focused Marine O-3 can get just about anything, even if the Mess is closed. Needless to say, we raided the closed DFAC (mess tent), much to the chagrin of one very pissed off Mess Sergeant and grabbed boxes of ice cream sandwiches (as many as we could carry), and hustled back to the convoy. I felt like Santa Claus. "Thank you, sir.." again and again from each trooper, as we tossed up the bars to the guys in the trucks. I'm thinkin', "Son, what the hell are you thanking me for? I can't thank you enough."
And they are so damned young ... I will sleep well, knowing they are watching my back tonight."
>>If you take the W administration line without question<<
i don't. i question everything. lots of mistakes have been made, and will continue to be made at home and abroad. I can tell you this though - these mistakes will never be solved by playing partisan politics! we're all in this together. the divide is what will destroy us (US). fall in, soldier!
and for the last time dog, leave my family out of this! talk about cheap shots.
And you might be wrong about that. Check the description of the vehicles and men in HH's post. Some of the guys I talked to are pro-Bush, others can't believe how inept the campaign is. And it's not just about a lack of Humvee and body armor, we're talking extended tours, low pay, medical attention, etc. This is a difficult situation and there are a lot sides to it and many things being learned. It was a mistake to go in there. It was a mistake to go in with too small of a force to provide security (as recco'd by W's own Generals). And it would be another mistake to pull out now with the situation still so fragile. We broke it and we own it. And we'll be paying for it for years. I don't think you know anything about what returning soldiers and civilians are saying--you just tried a cheap shot. And here's the last potential mistake to consider, if we don't listen to the guys who were there and improve our equipment, tactics, and the way we treat our soldiers, we are really going to be in deep
Ft Wayne's not too far from here. I grew up on a farm in Noblesville and still live in the general area...all Indianapolis Suburbs now! I love it here but I've never lived anywhere else for a comparison!
if i were a soldier and heard someone back in the states refer to my current tour of duty, in which i put my ass on the line, as a "mistake in Iraq", i might want to point my M-16 in their general direction.
Are you kidding? I'm from the midwest...they couldn't take enough blood out of my body to change me now! However, if Evan Bayh runs for Pres I would have to think about a one time switch. We'd have to see if he can stay a conservative Democrat and still win the party's vote!