We’re at the 5th anniversary of the Iraq war, and still it is very hard for most people to get anything approaching an accurate picture of life in Iraq. It’s understandable enough; that picture would be a mosaic, you’d have to get a lot of little shards and pieces to fit together somehow, always running the risk that you’d mistaken a piece for the whole. If you talk to returning vets, they will invariably tell you that they can’t talk about Iraq as a whole, only about what they saw and what they did. If you hear a soldier much below the rank of lt. col. talking as if he had a big picture, just ignore it. He’s faking.
With that in mind, here are some very moving excerpts from a communication from and Australian soldier in Baghdad to his dad back home. It shows that our military guys are appreciated–loved, even–by at least some of their peers. There’s so much snarling out there, I thought you’d appreciate this bit of moral uplift, which I think accurately describes most of our guys in uniform:
Before I came over here I thought we (the Australian Army) were pretty…hot….. was I ever wrong!….The Yanks (I hope you don’t mind me using that word) are so professional from the top to the bottom that it is almost embarrassing to be in their company, and to call yourself a soldier….don’t get me wrong, we are good at what we do but the Yanks are so much better…..they are complete at what they do, how they do it and their attitude is awesome….they don’t complain they just get on with the job and they do it right…..I carry a Minimi (SAW) so I am not real worried about a confrontation but I tell you I feel safer just knowing that the US Army is close by….If we got into trouble I know that our boys would come running and we could deal with it but they would probably be passed by a load of Hummers. No questions asked, no glory sought, the Americans would just fight with us and for us because that is their nature, to protect those in need of protection…..We use the American Mess so you could say that we are fed by the Americans…..they have every right to be pissed at that but they don’t bitch about that they just make us feel as welcome as possible….what gets to me is that the Yanks don’t walk around with a “we are better than you attitude” and they could because they are, they treat us as equals and as brothers in arms. If nothing else, coming here has taught me that the Americans are a truly great Nation and a truly great bunch of people…..Let’s face it they don’t HAVE to be here, they could stay in America and beat the shit out of anyone who threatened them, BUT THEY ARE HERE because they believe they should be here, and the Iraqis would be screwed if they weren’t here…..When I come home, you and I we are going to the US, we will buy some bikes and we are going riding….