“I’m proud to be an American,
Where at least I know I’m free;
And I won’t forget the men who died,
Who gave that right to me.”
God Bless the USA
There seems to be a misconception
By many who advocate continued war
That those who do not agree are ‘Anti-Soldier’
And frankly that notion I deplore
Many who are against this war
Are war veterans themselves
Many who see the sheer folly of it
Have endured war’s tragic hell
Hardly a single soul in this country
Questions the valor of our brave troops
But that certainly does not mean
We must all join in frenzied war whoops
Our soldiers have always been heroic
And their patriotism consistently true blue
But not everyone has to agree with politicians
For dissent and disagreement are still allowed too
There seems to be an ever growing belief
That we can force democracy onto this divergent planet
But many believe that there is about as much chance of that
As producing a bumper crop in a field paved in granite
Most nations don’t want to be force fed another’s religion
They won’t let someone pound a new government into their heads
Most countries in the world still want to pursue their own way of life
And most of them truly want to clean up their own messy beds
Our government declared this war was over
Way back on May 1, 2003
How many more of our troops must die
Before we implement a Withdrawal Policy
We seem to continuously try
To force our will on the world
And it’s always our valiant soldiers
Whose lives always tragically unfurl
War advocates very often persist
In rallying our troops to the necessity of war
Yet when these troops outlive their usefulness
Their combat injuries are far too often ignored
Please take a long stroll through a Veterans Hospital
Stop in on their Spinal Cord Injury and Burn Unit Wards
Then slowly wander down the lanes of a Military Cemetery
Gazing down upon many of our soldiers’ final rewards
Our troops once again tragically die
In yet another protracted battle
While many in this nation persist
In their war cries and their rattles
All of us must fight for our freedom
When our country’s shores are attacked
But perhaps we should leave other nations alone
Until a declared enemy provokes our attack
Three years ago we encountered such an enemy
But we’ve ignored him for other pursuits
Now he still mocks and ridicules our nation
And he’s still very much on the loose
This country has not yet provided justice or closure
For the thousands of victims of the 9-11 Tragedy
Yet many consistently clamor for additional wars
And pursue a World Domination Agenda with glee
I will always salute our noble veterans and soldiers
They are truly Heroic True Blue Patriotic and Tough
But how many more of them must die
Before every one of us stand ups and shouts, “Enough!”
And yes, I’m still proud to be an American,
In a nation where all still have the right to speak freely;
And I will never ever forget the soldiers who have died,
Who have suffered, and who have been maimed,
Who very courageously and unselfishly gave this right to me.
I proudly served 4 years on Active Duty,
Adding a 30-year career as a Veterans’ Advocate;
I have personally visited over 130 Veteran Hospitals,
And I haven’t given up the struggle for our nation’s vets yet.
To zealous war advocates we must continue to state,
That many veterans find your penchant for war,
To be extremely disturbing to many of us,
And something many of us must continue to deplore.
Have you ever sat down for a woefully sad chat,
With a combat burned veteran who no longer has a face?
Have you ever peered into the lost eyes of a Spinal Cord Injury patient,
Who knows that a cold steel gurney will forever be his living space?
Have you ever shared your lunch with disabled homeless veterans,
Who’ve been constantly told they’re no longer fit for the human race?
Have your ever vehemently protested intolerable food served to our veterans,
And been ridiculed by government bureaucrats, and called a disgrace?
Have you ever informed a severely depressed mentally ill man,
That our government hadn’t gotten around to his veteran’s claim yet?
Only very sadly to learn several weeks later that he had hung himself;
In his mind he had become a statistic – yet another discarded, used up, vet.
Ever since the horrific days of Vietnam, now more than 30 years ago,
Our government has maintained an abysmal record of caring for our vets;
And for improvements to occur for Gulf War and Iraqi Freedom veterans,
Many who have been in the trenches, can no longer hold their breath.
But in our country anyone is free to call me unpatriotic if they’d like,
Although I spent well over 30 years serving U.S. veterans and our nation;
And to every single man and woman who has ever served on Active Duty,
I shall always give my Profound Thanks, and my Highest Salutation.
And although I’m now growing old,
I would still gladly Stand Up
To Defend These Shores Today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt in my mind
That Myself and Many Many Others
Who Disagree With This War:
Also Passionately Love
Our Country, our Soldiers,
And Especially our Veterans,
BUT GOD, PLEASE HELP SAVE OUR USA
In Washington recently, the Defense Secretary said Iraqi insurgents would likely continue to put up a very tough fight for a very long time to come.
"Listen, these folks are extremely determined. They're getting money from all around the world. And they're getting many more recruits," he told reporters.
Meanwhile, a National Public Radio correspondent embe dded with our Marines in Iraq continued to report high rates of desertion among Iraqi troops - with 255 members of a 500-man Iraqi battalion recently quitting.
The Secretary of Defense called these continuing reports of Iraqi troop desertions ‘an insignificant problem’, since U.S. forces are doing most of the fighting in Iraq.
And U.S. Army officials in Iraq just announced that at least 200 Iraqi soldiers have abandoned their posts in the U.S. led assault on Fallujah.
Meanwhile, the Islamic Party in Iraq has withdrawn from participation in their interim government and has urged all Iraqis to boycott the pending January elections. They have also urged all Arab and Islamic countries to support their brothers in Iraq against our troops.
Yesterday, the Army and Air Force announced an increase in the number of reservists called to active duty in support of our mobilization. The net collective result is 590 more reservists mobilized than last week.
This brings the total National Guard and Reserve personnel, who have now been mobilized, to 180,184.
So Our Brave Soldiers Continue to Valiantly Fight On;
National Guardsman and Reservists Continue to be Called Up,
In what many in our country still proclaim to be an All-Volunteer Force;
And More of our Courageous Soldiers Continue to Die,
In yet another war that supposedly ended back in 2003;
And in a conflict in which Iraqi soldiers themselves seem to have little desire left to continue, in an ancient extremely militant and religious Islamic country now soliciting support from other Arab nations to fight our troops, and yet an embattled country in which many in America somehow now believe its people are eagerly willing to become a democracy.
I am also extremely saddened and disheartened when I hear people proclaiming
That those of us who oppose this war ‘just don’t get it.’
I sincerely believe that we do.
Our troops’ first mission in Iraq was to find weapons of mass destruction; they searched relentlessly, but didn’t find any. Then their mission became the ouster of Saddam Hussein; they nobly accomplished this task. Then their mission became rooting out terrorists; they’ve valiantly found a few, but many believe our troops could remain in Iraq for the next 30 years and never dig them all out. Now our troops’ mission seems to be fighting Iraqi insurgents who are vehemently opposed to the January elections we have imposed on them. And it seems we call up more troops every week.
What if a militant Islamic religious leader is elected in Iraq in January? Will our troops’ next mission then become policing Iraq until their next election? And then until their next? And their next?
I also wonder if some of our war advocates today have already forgotten, or perhaps are too young to remember, the tragic mistakes we, as a nation, once made in Vietnam; the tragic mistakes many of our veterans all still living with today.
I also pray deep within my heart and soul that the same horrific mistakes do not await our brave soldiers now serving in Iraq, who seem to be suddenly increasing in number, and who could be entrenched there for a very long time.
Terrorists are not only hiding in Iraq; they are hiding in many nations throughout the Middle East and throughout the entire world. Are we now to believe that we must invade every nation on earth that may pose a potential threat to our national security, or who we believe may be harboring terrorists?
I fervently hope not, for our troops’ sake, and for our own.
Many in this country also once believed that the Soviet Union would annihilate us.
And many in this country spent years pontificating on behalf of war;
And years building bomb shelters and weapons;
And years mobilizing and demanding an increase in troop strength.
And many of us in America went to bed each and every night,
Convinced that our country would no longer exist the next morning.
But thankfully, it was a ‘Cold War,’ not a hot, violent, bloody one;
And thousands more of our troops did not have to perish.
And thankfully, President Ronald Wilson Reagan pursued Peace Through Strength,
Instead of War Through Intimidation.
And we are all still here today because of his Wisdom.
But so are the terrorists of the world; and they will always be here;
No matter how many nations we eventually decide to invade;
No matter how many troops we eventually decide to mobilize;
No matter how many ‘free elections’ we demand;
And no matter how many of our courageous troops tragically die.
If you visit the Iraq Coalition Casualty Website listed below,
You will find that our courageous troops tragically lead the way
In this department, too, as they usually valiantly do,
In what many still claim is a ‘Coalition of Many Nations’ in Iraq.
As of today, Veterans Day 2004, the number of U.S. troops
In Iraq approaches 150,000.
As of today, Veterans Day 2004, the number of U.S. troops
The Last Known Hiding Place of the Diabolical Terrorist
Who Joyously Admitted Responsibility for our 9-11 Tragedy,
The gravest, the most blatant, the most cleverly accomplished
Enemy Attack Upon Our Nation’s Shores,
Remains under 20,000.
As a veteran, and having met thousands of soldiers and veterans
In my 30-year career attempting to assist them,
And having befriended hundreds of them,
And having laughed and drank with them,
And having wept with them,
And having listened to their heroic tales,
And to their extremely tragic stories,
And having attended far too many of their funerals,
I am extremely confident
That the vast majority of our courageous men and women in uniform today
Would much rather fight and die in pursuit of Osama bin Laden,
Than be forced to fight and die in what many now perceive
To be an extremely futile attempt
To ensure a ‘free election’ is conducted
In an Islamic country
In which its own citizens
Do not seem to have much interest.
But our valiant soldiers never get to decide;
They always loyally follow orders;
And many of them are horribly maimed;
And far too many of them perish;
For each and every one of us.
U.S. Troop Casualty Totals in Iraq as of Veterans Day, 2004:
And Department of Veterans Affairs Officials
Have recently estimated that
One in five soldiers serving in Iraq
Will develop some type of mental illness
War truly is Hell, as General Sherman so profoundly proclaimed.
And I firmly believe that most American citizens
Who are not in favor of continuing this war in Iraq do ‘get it,’
And they ‘get it’ extremely well.
But this does not mean that we have to agree with war advocates
That continuing this war, and sending even more U.S. troops
Into Harm’s Way in Iraq,
Is the best course of action,
For either our nation or for our courageous soldiers.
And this certainly does not mean
That we are anti-soldier, or anti-veteran.
But I sincerely believe that we have the right to our opinion,
As war advocates surely have the right to theirs.
But no matter what your own opinion is on the war in Iraq,
Please find it in your heart to visit some veterans
In your community,
Or in your local VA Hospital this week.
They will truly appreciate your company,
And your concern – especially this Veterans Day Week.
Happy Veterans Day,
To All My Many Veteran Friends.
Thank You From the Bottom of My Heart,
And God Bless You All.
“You cannot qualify war in harsher
Terms than I will. War is cruelty,
And you cannot refine it;
War is Hell.”
William Tecumseh Sherman
“Ours is a world of nuclear giants, and ethical infants.
We know more about war than we know about peace,
And more about killing, than we know about living.”
Omar N. Bradley
“Old men declare war,
But it is our youth,
Who must fight and die.”
“The military don’t start wars;
Politicians start wars.”
William C. Westmoreland
“History teaches that wars begin,
When governments believe
the price of aggression is cheap.”
Ronald W. Reagan
“Mankind must put an end to war,
Before war puts an end to mankind.”
John F. Kennedy