Dear Veteran




September 11, 2008 at 12:49 pm

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It seems fitting to write this entry today, , seven years after the Twin Towers fell and America’s “” began. So much about our nation and world has changed since then, but one thing has not – We salute all who serve our country, especially first responders and those in the U.S. Armed Forces–Thank you! Without you, our lives would be immensely different.

Each serviceman and servicewoman, indeed every American citizen, has the right, the honor and the privilege of having his/her own unique views and voice in our political process. As such, the young Iraq War veteran appearing in the following video has every right in the world to support the candidate he chooses and to say what he clearly believes –

“” (he was also interviewed on )

Regardless of your stance on the Presidential campaign, you do need to watch this video. Come back in 2 minutes when you’ve completed watching the video.

That said, I respectfully and fundamentally disagree with the soldier’s central premise that if a military action, conflict or entire war is called “a mistake” that statement it in any way lessens or cheapens the honor, courage, commitment and sacrifice of those who serve(d) in it.

The unfortunate fact is you can do a stellar job in a capacity that isn’t necessarily the best and highest use of your talents and capabilities. You can dedicate your all to a year-long project only to find, for reasons far beyond your control, it fails miserably. You can spend a lifetime pouring your blood, sweat and tears into a company which, due to ongoing mismanagement or neglect of its new owners, suddenly fails and goes into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The utter failure of an organization or a war is not traced back to the individual employees, but rather to the executive management or Commander in Chief.

Members of the United States Armed Forces are America’s spear and sabre and it is neither their luxury to decide into which enemy they will be thrust, nor for how long or how often. They are doing their job in , and in 99.999% of cases, doing so in exemplary fashion. They are making a positive difference within the context of the conflict in which they’ve been placed. They are doing the best they possibly can in a conflict which has no clear cut definition of what “Mission Accomplished” actually means.

Iraq has elected its government. If that government still cannot stand without U.S. and international military bodies to prop it up, and yet that very same government is itself asking us to commit to a date at which we will leave their country, the sad fact is “victory is not an option.” There will be no tickertape parade for the War in Iraq. Victory, instead, is/will be found in the individual stories and each military unit’s successful completion of its assigned mission.

It really doesn’t seem too terribly patriotic or prudent for the United States to be immovably committed to the mantra, “” on a war that still has no clearly defined goal or definition of victory. How can you ever hope to achieve a goal that you’ve never named (or worse, whose name you’ve changed with the wind?)

Regardless of the outcome of the election, the American people will continue to support, appreciate and , past and present, including those returning from (re-)deployments in

and .

Patriotism isn’t partisan any more than pain is. We all support our troops and love our country.

All this said, I’d much rather have this be the primary reason someone chooses the McCain/Palin ticket over Obama/Biden than what I suspect is actually happening in not-so-insignificant numbers, which is: “Who would I most like to hang with at the BBQ, country club or ice rink?”




1 Comment

September 11, 2008


I very much agree with your sentiments here! I’m so tired of partisan politics, tired of both parties attempting to take all of one or more issue – it’s all become a muddle of spin, with all of us as losers.

We fly the American flag outside our home, and because of that, many people assume we’re Republican, conservative or both. Sad state of affairs!

I don’t want the parties to define what “real Americanism” is, and I don’t care to be defined by my affiliation to any party.


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