Sgt. Eddie Jeffers, USA (Iraq)
Hope Rides AloneI
stare out into the darkness from my post, and I watch the city burn to the
ground. I smell the familiar smells, I walk through the familiar rubble, and
I look at the frightened faces that watch me pass down the streets of their
neighborhoods. My nerves hardly rest; my hands are steady on a device that
has been given to me from my government for the purpose of taking the lives
February 1, 2007
sweat, and I am tired. My back aches from the loads I carry. Young American
boys look to me to direct them in a manner that will someday allow them to
see their families again...and yet, I too, am just a boy....my age not but a
few years more than that of the ones I lead. I am stressed, I am scared, and
I am paranoid...because death is everywhere. It waits for me, it calls to me
from around street corners and windows, and it is always there.
are the demons that follow me, and tempt me into thoughts and actions that
are not my own...but that are necessary for survival. I've made compromises
with my humanity. And I am not alone in this. Miles from me are my brethren
in this world, who walk in the same streets...who feel the same things,
whether they admit to it or not.
think, I volunteered for this...
am ignorant to the rest of the world...or so I thought.
even thousands of miles away, in Ramadi, Iraq, the cries and screams and
complaints of the ungrateful reach me. In a year, I will be thrust back into
society from a life and mentality that doesn't fit your average man. And
then, I will be alone. And then, I will walk down the streets of America,
and see the yellow ribbon stickers on the cars of the same people who
compare our President to Hitler.
watch the television and watch the Cindy Sheehans, and the Al Frankens, and
the rest of the ignorant sheep of America spout off their mouths about a
subject they know nothing about. It is their right, however, and it is a
right that is defended by hundreds of thousands of boys and girls scattered
across the world, far from home. I use the word boys and girls, because
that's what they are. In the Army, the average age of the infantryman is
nineteen years old. The average rank of soldiers killed in action is Private
like Cindy Sheehan are ignorant. Not just to this war, but to the results of
their idiotic ramblings, or at least I hope they are. They don't realize its
effects on this war. In this war, there are no Geneva Conventions, no cease
fires. Medics and Chaplains are not spared from the enemy's brutality
because it's against the rules. I can only imagine the horrors a military
Chaplain would experience at the hands of the enemy. The enemy slinks in the
shadows and fights a cowardís war against us. It is effective though, as
many men and women have died since the start of this war. And the memory of
their service to America is tainted by the inconsiderate remarks on our
nation's news outlets. And every day, the enemy changes...only now, the
enemy is becoming something new. The enemy is transitioning from the Muslim
extremists to Americans. The enemy is becoming the very people whom we
defend with our lives. And they do not realize it. But in denouncing our
actions, denouncing our leaders, denouncing the war we live and fight, they
are isolating the military from society...and they are becoming our enemy.
Democrats and peace activists like to toss the word "quagmire" around and
compare this war to Vietnam. In a way they are right, this war is becoming
like Vietnam. Not the actual war, but in the isolation of country and
military. America is not a nation at war; they are a nation with its
military at war. Like it or not, we are here, some of us for our second, or
third times; some even for their fourth and so on. Americans are so
concerned now with politics, that it is interfering with our war.
Terrorists cut the heads off of American citizens on the internet...and
there is no outrage, but an American soldier kills an Iraqi in the midst of
battle, and there are investigations, and sometimes soldiers are even
jailed...for doing their job.
absolutely sickening to me to think our country has come to this. Why are we
so obsessed with the bad news? Why will people stop at nothing to be against
this war, no matter how much evidence of the good we've done is thrown in
their face? When is the last time CNN or MSNBC or CBS reported the opening
of schools and hospitals in Iraq? Or the leaders of terror cells being
detained or killed? It's all happening, but people will not let up their
hatred of President Bush. They will ignore the good news, because it just
might show people that Bush was right.
America has lost its will to fight. It has lost its will to defend what is
right and just in the world. The crazy thing of it all is that the American
people have not even been asked to sacrifice a single thing. Itís not like
World War II, where people rationed food and turned in cars to be made into
metal for tanks. The American people have not been asked to sacrifice
anything. Unless you are in the military or the family member of a
servicemember, its life as usual...the war doesn't affect you.
affects us. And when it is over and the troops come home and they try to
piece together what's left of them after their service...where will the
detractors be then? Where will the Cindy Sheehans be to comfort and talk to
soldiers and help them sort out the last couple years of their lives, most
of which have been spent dodging death and wading through the deaths of
their friends? They will be where they always are, somewhere far away, where
the horrors of the world can't touch them. Somewhere where they can complain
about things they will never experience in their lifetime; things that the
young men and women of America have willingly taken upon their shoulders.
the hope of the Iraqi people. They want what everyone else wants in life:
safety, security, somewhere to call home. They want a country that is safe
to raise their children in. Not a place where their children will be
abducted, raped and murdered if they do not comply with the terrorists
demands. They want to live on, rebuild and prosper. And America has given
them the opportunity, but only if we stay true to the cause and see it to
its end. But the country must unite in this endeavor...we cannot place the
burden on our military alone. We must all stand up and fight, whether in
uniform or not. And supporting us is more than sticking yellow ribbon
stickers on your cars. It's supporting our President, our troops and our
now, the burden is all on the American soldiers. Right now, hope rides
alone. But it can change, it must change. Because there is only failure and
darkness ahead for us as a country, as a people, if it doesn't.
stop all the political nonsense, let's stop all the bickering, let's stop
all the bad news and let's stand and fight!
Isn't that what America
is about anyway?