When I tell people that Evan has joined the Army, their reactions are almost always the same: their faces freeze, they pause way too long, and then they say, "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry for you." I hang my head and look mournful, accepting their sympathy for the worry that lives in me. But as it dawns on them that Evan wasn't drafted, as Vietnam still clings to my generation, their expressions become quizzical, then disbelieving. I know what they're thinking: Why in the world would any kid in his right mind choose to enlist when we're in the middle of a war? I begin telling them the story, desperate to assure them it wasn't arrogant patriotism or murderous blood lust that convinced him to join. What finally hooked him was a recruiter's comment that if he thought the country's role in Iraq was so screwed up, he should try to fix it.
In a country founded by men who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to secure our liberty, what a tragedy it is that many of its citizens can even conceive of asking that question, or imagine that the only answers to it could be “arrogant patriotism” or “murderous blood lust.”
But this sentence is the real kicker--to repeat it:
What finally hooked him was a recruiter's comment that if he thought the country's role in Iraq was so screwed up, he should try to fix it.
Gee, lady, that sounds like "arrogant patriotism" to me....thinking we can make the lives of people in Iraq better! How dare we (blank)ist and (blank)ophobic Americans think we can do that? Lady, did you forget your multicommunist and politically communist brainwashing?
But as much as you and your sad-faced friends decry your son's decision to enlist, it means a lot to the Iraqis. It means salvation.
In the Name of God the Compassionate and Merciful
To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.
To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.
To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children, and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days, and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city.
Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi’s followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them.
I have met many soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment; they are not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism.
The leaders of this Regiment; COL McMaster, COL Armstrong, LTC Hickey, LTC Gibson, and LTC Reilly embody courage, strength, vision and wisdom. Officers and
soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era. The mission they have accomplished, by means of a unique military operation, stands among the finest military feats to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and truly deserves to be studied in military science. This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage.
God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget. To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child, and in every flower growing in this land. Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.
Finally, no matter how much I write or speak about this brave Regiment, I haven’t the words to describe the courage of its officers and soldiers. I pray to God to grant happiness and health to these legendary heroes and their brave families.
NAJIM ABDULLAH ABID AL-JIBOURI
Mayor of Tal ‘Afar, Ninewa, Iraq
And let's not forget that Zarqawi was an invited guest of Saddam Hussein.....but Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, right? Ah, the Dhimmicrat canards fall hard, don't they?
Meanwhile, this kid had other reasons of his own to enlist:
And on a deeper, personal level, he signed up hoping that after, somehow the Army would help him find what young men these days often try to fill with alcohol, drugs and video games: a sense of purpose.
A teenager when his father and I divorced, he'd never had anyone to teach him what it meant to be a man, he told him when he explained his decision to join the Army. He couldn't concentrate on college courses, he was resisting promotion at his job, and he not only wanted but needed challenge and discipline, he said. The only way to get it, he'd decided, was to pit himself against drill sergeants, armed insurgents and Improvised Explosive Devices. If he could do it, he told me, he'd have the self-assurance he hadn't found in his old life.
So, commie mommy, you in a way brought this upon yourself--breaking up with his dad for your new lover whoever he is (or given San Luis Obispo, whoever she is) wasn't such a good idea now, was it?
Mrs. Reed's piece is also quite a window she provides into the "liberal Democrat and antiwar" subculture of which she is a part. Because of her commie mommy politics, "never in a million years" did she think her son would join the military. The people she knows see his decision as a cause for sorrow, not pride. Mrs. Reed has to talk them out of the assumption that only "arrogant patriotism" (the adjective itself is telling) or "murderous bloodlust" would motivate someone to serve his country, that no "kid in his right mind" would do so.
Judging by Mrs. Reed's account, American liberals harbor a deep and invidious prejudice against the military--a prejudice Mrs. Reed herself is now overcoming, thanks to the bravery of her son.
A year ago, a famous liberal Democrat remarked, "You know, education--if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." Perhaps he didn't know any better. Rochelle Reed now does.
But this lady's response to the commie mommy says it best of all:
I wondered as I read Ms. Reed's article why she was so focused on -- as she puts it -- "the worst case scenario"... not once does she ever mention or even consider that her son may make Iraqi friends... that he will be bringing security to Iraqis... that he will probably help open any number of schools and medical centers or clinics to help those Iraqi mothers and their children... that he will actually SAVE the INNOCENT sons of Iraqi mothers and only defend himself against those who are trying to kill him... Not once does she even consider that her son is working to establish peace for Iraq... and help bring peace to the Middle East. Her story was all about her... (and who CARES what those people think???)
So, Dear Rochelle, I know how you feel... I have felt the fear... but I have also felt immeasurable pride in my soldier -- something I am very sorry that you apparently do not share. And I will tell you what I have told others with the "whoa is me" attitude: IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU.
I hope you can find the time to recognize what a special and selfless person your son is and that perhaps he really CAN and will make it better.