Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I miss my boys

Two of my former students are in Iraq.

One joined the war only a couple of weeks after the first strike. His unit was in charge of guarding a road into one of the major cities the U.S. had occupied. When he came back he looked healthy and excited to be back. He told of 130 degree heat (in the shade), the Iraqis he'd met, doing the "job". He said he was going back because our troops were dying, that it was unsafe, that the military needed more competent people like him--and that, ulitmately, we needed to get all of our soldiers the hell out of there. Too many were dying, every day...his friends, his American comrades.

Another ex-student is stationed on a ship, so he doesn't see the war up close. What he does see is low morale and incompetence. He says it sadly: "I'm surrounded by people who cannot even practice basic hygiene." Many of these sailors are on the ship, he says, because they needed a way out of a crappy existence. They don't follow orders, he says. They don't want to lead. He says it is up to him to teach them discipline and raise their self-esteem, that the "great" U.S. military is anything but. I can hear how tired he is through his writing. Each month I get another communicado, and I can hear how isolated he feels: a smart, clever young mind, a noble guy wanting to do good and surrouded by mediocrity.

If either of these men were to come to harm, I don't think I could ever recover my hope for our country and our world. Sometimes, it is necessary to die, and sometimes it is necessary to sacrifice our young people. This is not one of them. I want them home.


At 7:21 PM, Blogger cmaters said...

You are brilliant and you are my hero

At 11:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



Post a Comment

<< Home