Two weeks ago, as I was starting my sixth month of duty in Iraq, I was forced to return to the USA for surgery for an injury I sustained prior to my deployment. With luck, I'll return to Iraq in January to finish my tour. I left Baghdad and a war that has every indication that we are winning, to return to a demoralized country much like the one I returned to in 1971 after my tour in Vietnam. Maybe it's because I'll turn 60 years old in just four months, but I'm tired:Meanwhile, some do understand victory at Deuce Four's Punisher's Ball :
I'm tired of spineless politicians, both Democrat and Republican who lack the courage, fortitude, and character to see these difficult tasks through.
I'm tired of the hypocrisy of politicians who want to rewrite history when the going gets tough.
I'm tired of the disingenuous clamor from those that claim they "Support the Troops" by wanting them to "Cut and Run" before victory is achieved.
I'm tired of a mainstream media that can only focus on car bombs and casualty reports because they are too afraid to leave the safety of their hotels to report on the courage and success our brave men and women are having on the battlefield.
I'm tired that so many American's think you can rebuild a dictatorship into a democracy over night.
I'm tired that so many ignore the bravery of the Iraqi people to go to the voting booth and freely elect a Constitution and soon a permanent Parliament.
I'm tired of the so called "Elite Left" that prolongs this war by giving aid and comfort to our enemy, just as they did during the Vietnam War.
I'm tired of anti-war protesters showing up at the funerals of our fallen soldiers. A family who's loved ones gave their life in a just and noble cause, only to be cruelly tormented on the funeral day by cowardly protesters is beyond shameful.
I'm tired that my generation, the Baby Boom - Vietnam generation, who have such a weak backbone that they can't stomach seeing the difficult tasks through to victory.
I'm tired that some are more concerned about the treatment of captives then they are the slaughter and beheading of our citizens and allies.
I'm tired that when we find mass graves it is seldom reported by the press, but mistreat a prisoner and it is front page news.
Mostly, I'm tired that the people of this great nation didn't learn from history that there is no substitute for Victory.
U. S. Army
101st Airborne Division
Ever the master of the moment, Erik Kurilla turned the microphone over to Bruce Willis. Bruce had taken the time to fly in as a guest speaker to thank the members of the Deuce Four. He gave the most impassioned speech I can remember, using clear terms—including some well-selected profanities to describe terrorists—to express his admiration and support for the troops. Bruce’s speech was so accurate in his description of the war, and so charged with emotion, that he seemed ready to lead the troops himself back to Iraq; and they were ready to go.Speaking of being a soldier, here is a study looking at the composition of the US military:
Interestingly, I learned later—and I am not sure Bruce wants this to be known—Bruce actually tried to join the military to fight in this war but they told him he is too old. He doesn’t look too old. Not judging by the reaction of all the women in attendance at the ball that night.
This paper reviews the demographic status of the all-volunteer military and refutes the claim that enlisted troops are underprivileged and come from underprivileged areas. In terms of education, household income, race, and home origin, the troops are more similar than dissimilar to the gen eral population.Finally, a link to a page dedicated to honoring the fallen soldiers.
Put simply, the current makeup of the all-vol untary military looks like America. Where they are different, the data show that the average sol dier is slightly better educated and comes from a slightly wealthier, more rural area. We found that the military (and Army specifically) included a higher proportion of blacks and lower propor tions of other minorities but a proportionate num ber of whites. More important, we found that recruiting was not drawing disproportionately from racially concentrated areas.