anyone care?" I'm going to post a long excerpt:
What we achieved in the face of an implacable enemy, overcoming many in our own government willfully ignorant of our struggle, is what I believe to be the defining moment of my generation. The veteran today is the embodiment of what it means to be an American. Even when our valor was used for political sport, we continued to serve quietly.
This is truly without precedent.
The bullets are flying.
My squad runs through the searing heat and forms a wall of flesh and Kevlar between the incoming fire and the citizens standing in line behind us. They’ve turned out in their finest clothes to wait for the opportunity to cast a vote. For most, this moment is a defining one in their lives. They’ve never had a voice before. This means something to them, and they have used the moment as an object lesson for their children. They appear nervous and take photos. The kids stand with them in line, viewing first hand this revolution in Iraqi civics.
As they came to line up earlier that morning, the men thanked us and clasped their hands over their heads, striking a triumphant pose. Some of the women cried. The kids were on their best behavior.
The gunfire began that afternoon. Insurgents started to shoot them. My unit ran to the road and formed a protective position between the killers and the citizens going to the polls. As we scanned the palm grove in front of us, bullets cracked and whined, then mortars start thumping around us. My squad pushed into the palm grove. I stayed on the road, overseeing their movement and coordinating the heavy fire from the Bradleys.
The firefight ebbs. The mortar fire ceases. A few last stray rounds streak past. A cry from behind causes me to turn. Lying in the road is a young Iraqi woman. I run over to help. She’s caught a round just below her temple. Her stunning beauty has been ruined forever.
She cries, “Paper! Paper” over and over until the ambulance arrives to take her away. An old lady emerges from the schoolhouse-turned voting site, sheets of blue paper in hand. She gives one to the wounded girl, who clutches it to her like a prized possession even as the ambulance carries her away.
The ballot was her voice. All she wanted was a chance to exercise it, just once, before she died.
The old woman returns to the school house, but drops another ballot along the way. It drifts in a gentle breeze across the bloodstained asphalt. I stoop down and pick it up. It is all in Arabic, and I have no idea what each set of candidates advocate. That’s not my place, and it doesn’t really matter. I helped make this day happen. This ballot represents the reason why we’re here, why my friends had to die.
Carefully, I fold the ballot up and put it in my pocket. Even though I was 29 at the time , I’d only voted once.
I had taken something so precious for granted for far too long.
I came home in search of that woman’s spirit in the hearts of my fellow Americans. I came home expecting to find the sacrifice of these brave patriots revered at every turn by those who overwhelmingly sent us to war from Washington.
I’m still looking.
If you can’t bring yourself to give the living the sense of accomplishment for winning a war that many claimed was endless, at least humor the dead. Allow them to rest knowing that the war that took their lives was won because of their sacrifice.
Is that too much to ask for?
No, it's not. Every damn one of you deserves the highest respect for what you've done. And every two-faced, lying, back-stabbing bastard like Reid and Pelosi and Obama deserve the greatest contempt, deserve to be despised for what they've done to you and toward you.
I confess I'm having a hard time keeping this clean. Every time I think of Reid saying "The war is lost" while the troops were in battle, every time I think of Pelosi and Biden and, yes, Obama trying to make us lose I get mad enough to set the whipping post up myself. Buy some rope.
These people betrayed our troops while they were in battle with the enemy. They encouraged the enemy. They tried to make us LOSE.
Enough. Mr. Bellavia, we care. Very much. Despite the vile beings noted above and their little minions and their treachery, we do.