Tell Us the Truth
John Scripsick's speech - March 22, 6 Year Iraq War Memorial Walk.
When a recruiter was talking Bryan into joining the Marines I was trying to talk him out of joining. One day I thought I was making progress when he looked at me with a big smile and said "most people are followers and a few are leaders." He said, "I'm a leader."
I said that's good, but they won't let you lead.
I'm not against the military, but I am against Bush and Cheney sending young men and women to war over lies so that Halliburton, KBR and other private contractors could get rich. It's not right to use our military to take over a country so a few companies can drill for oil.
Following Bryan's tracks through boot camp. I've seen the bond created between him and his buddies. It was a new family he had become part of. Attending his graduation from boot camp, I noticed how proud each young man was. They had truly changed from boys to men in a short period of time.
While in Iraq, Bryan only called home a half a dozen times. I listened to how they were looking for IEDs or anyone looking suspicious. More or less patrolling the streets. I'd wonder how a nation could drop bombs with GPS guided accuracy, but yet send our soldiers to the streets without bomb dogs to find IEDs before they exploded. They were in 120 degree heat, up for 20 hours straight, and needed care packages from home to have something to eat.
He ended up in a position at a checkpoint to stop a suicide bomber from reaching 40 to 50 marines. If a checkpoint was set up with the same cameras you see at high school football and basketball games, with one or two bomb dogs, the troops could watch from a safe distance.
It's a simple solution of planning which could save lives. Try to tell our leaders some solutions to our troop's problems and you run into a brick wall.
The last one and a half years I've met many of you here who have seen our troops not being treated the way they deserve. Many of you have served in the military and have enough patriotism to see wrong and stand up and say so. It must be the oath you took or the brotherhood bond that connects old soldiers with our young soldiers. All of you speaking out has helped in the VA's care of returning soldiers, to body armor, to even meals in the field.
One more thing we owe our troops and that is the truth of why we went to war.
If we cannot get our politicians to tell us the truth of why we went to war, I guess we just as well make a law that says war is legal. At least that way they can't go to the opposite of heaven for lying.