Letters from War

Another birthday of our nation has passed. 232 years ago, Americans decided to resist the harsh taxes, revolt against the oppression of tyranny, and rise as a nation. And to this day we still stand as a nation opposed to tyranny and oppression.

In light of our continued battle for freedom throughout the war, I decided to post a letter a young soldier wrote just before his death in Iraq. This isn’t the usual “soldier story” from Iraq. It’s different than anything you’ll hear on the news, and it definitely isn’t what the left-wing liberals of today want you to know. It’s straight from the heart of someone who is fighting for you.

Sgt Edmund John Jeffer’s last few words were some of the most touching, inspiring and most truthful words spoken since the tragedy of 9/11 and since our nation went to war. Sgt Jeffers was a strong soldier and talented writer. He died in Iraq on September 19, 2007. He was a loving husband, brother and son. His service was more than this country could ever grasp. The least you can do for the man who sacrificed his life for you is listen to what he had to say.

Hope Rides Alone
By Eddie Jeffers

I 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 of others.

I 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. 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. And to think, I volunteered for this… And I am ignorant to the rest of the world…or so I thought.

But 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.

I will 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 First Class.

People 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 coward’s 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.

It is 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 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. It’s not like World War Two, 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 service member, its life as usual…the war doesn’t affect you.

But it 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.

We are 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 cause.

Right 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. Let’s stop all the political nonsense, let’s stop all the bickering, let’s stop all the bad news, and let’s stand and fight!

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3 Responses

  1. I completely agree with Sgt Jeffers, where as the country has turned into an honor less society of cynical, snide remarks focused on the negative. Where is the honor in the world anymore? Better, where is humanities altruism? Are these words only real when they’re being thrown up on your screen, interrupting your favorite TV show, America? It saddens me to see such men who fight return to a life where they’re not even elevated above a petty criminal. I’ve seen many of my military friends return home only to find their leash cut short, and virtually spit on for their decision to fight, coined a tool of ‘greed’ by all of those who are different to the war. I’ve seen countless accounts from non-profit organizations like the work of Mrs. Patricia Kennedy (http://www.stepup4vets) who are here to help veterans with their concerns, and the stories from soldiers is heart-wrenching. These men solely believe in their cause, and have valiantly fought an opposed war to this very day, and hardly get any more than a pat on the back. America seems tired, and blinded to the affairs of a present day, too afraid to come out of their bubble. Turn off your TVs, and talk to those who have seen it personally! You will see a whole different side to this conflict.

  2. i was doing a research paper for the school i was going to and found this artical. It touched my heart in a way that I couldn’t possibly explain. I have relatives who fought in past wars and have heard the stories that they tell, just thinking that they are just for bed time or a rainy day. Watching all those war movies thinking about how cool it would be to coem bakc a hero and to fight for my country. I thought to myself that i would never get scared.( keep in mind that i have a few years till i am able to join the army.) I never understand whern people say that they want to stop the war and that we should support our troops, but is supporting them making fun of them on tv infront of their families? or saying how terrible it is that they are across the seas fighting? Fighting for our freedom which we would never have if no one had fought for us in the beginning of America? I have always wanted to jion the army in some form but because of health issues i am unable to, but i can honestly say that if i could i would be out fighting for my countrys freedom. This artical has encouraged me to do as much as i possibly can for our soldiers. Thank you so much for fighting for my freedom.

  3. There are various things I think reading this. That 1) completely agree with the lack of good news. It’s something we should hear about more, but the military has its PR officers as well as its Privates, so hearing the lack of good news isn’t simply that the papers won’t write about it, and the news stations won’t air it. Occasionally yes, it is censorship, but I can’t imagine that a Republican leaning media outlet wouldn’t leap at the chance to show what good Americans are doing in Iraq via the opening of a school etc, so someone’s not doing their job properly.
    2) To say there is “no outrage” at seeing someone – anyone – being murdered in cold blood on tape is out and out a ridiculous twist of truth. End of story.
    3) I’m not callous, and I’m not without empathy, and I completely appreciate that people will take up arms to defend humanity when called upon (I won’t say “Western Values” instead of humanity, because who says our way of life is the only legitimate one?) but you can’t honestly say that, in this day and age, you joined up for Military service not expecting that ,at some point, your life might be on the line. Perhaps during the first couple of world wars….see the world, get out of your little town, earn a wage. But now, with the perfect hindsight of history? Vietnam? Korea? Everything that went before this decade? I don’t believe anyone could be so blinded to reality. And if you want to put your life on the line, that’s a personal choice. You can’t then turn around and say “erm, excuse me, you gave me a gun to kill someone else with, and I might be killed myself? – I’d like to go home please”. You can have a civilian life that fulfils notions of honour and duty – it’s called being involved in peaceful, democratic solutions. Bravo if you wanted to join the army. You do a good job and you deal with situations people can’t ever dream about. You also, however, freely chose that life. Conscription doesn’t currently exist. I know we need militia. In an idyllic world, they wouldn’t exist. But I don’t think you can call people ignorant for wanting to stop such wars, and bring home soldiers.

    I know ending the Iraq war right this second is not possible. This is a situation for the best minds of our time. However I do think upping the peace action groups and non-military aid might help.

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