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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Letter From A Marine That Was In Haditha

GM Roper just emailed this to me. God bless our troops.

(via GM's Corner)

In my local paper today, there was a letter from a Marine who had served in Iraq. He was responding to someone who had written to the Editor condemning the Marines who are being investigated in the incident in Hidatha. His letter was something that reached my heart and even without his permission, I would like to reproduce it here for you, my beloved readers, it is that touching and that important:

To The Editor:
In response to Lee B.'s letter on Haditha:

I guess you were there at Haditha to witness these acts of desperation. I am a Marine combat veteran who served at Haditha in Iraq's Al Anbar province.

Maybe I missed you there when my fellow Marines would get ambushed on a daily basis in Haditha, or when my patrol was shelled by mortars and two juveniles were spotting for the insurgent mortar team.

I guess you were there when two Marines from my company were killed when their patrol was ambushed in the city, hit by an IED (improvised explosive device) under the watchful eyes of Iraqi civilians in the area who did nothing to warn them it was there. An IED is usually an artillery round, sometimes several artillery rounds tied together and set off by a remote control device. It is intended to cause massive trauma and death. The insurgents use this indiscriminately and they don't care if civilians are near our patrols.

Were you there when we found 10 Iraqi civilians beheaded, left on the side of the road by insurgents? Or when our sniper team caught two individuals planting two IEDs along our patrol route. One of them was a police officer, the other was a teenager. They were eliminated under our ROEs (rules of engagement), which define what they were doing as a hostile act and hostile intent.

I'm sure you remember going house to house, clearing each building in Haditha, or getting shelled every day while you set up and guarded a voting site for the citizens of Haditha. We were willing to provide escort for them because of the insurgency in Haditha, but I read there were no insurgents there, just women and children.

Haditha is a very active insurgent region. I can's answer for my fellow marines with Kilo 3/1 because I was not there with them. But I have experienced their struggle and fought in the same area. You say the firs casualty of war is truth. Well then, with all due respect, go to Iraq and see the truth for yourself. It will open your eyes. Semper fi.

Rene A.
Alamo, Texas.

I've never met Mr. A, though he lives in a town just a few miles from me. I've never been to Iraq. But I can tell you this, Mr. A.'s letter smacks of truth, hardship and a firm knowledge of the combat conditions in Iraq and I honor him for his service. Mr. A. some day, I hope you will let me buy you a beer.

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