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There But For The Grace of God go I

By       Message Elaine Brower       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   4 comments

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The call finally came, my son left Fallujah and is on his way home. He has escaped with his life and not a scratch on his body, but has seen too much of the death and destruction in Iraq. I finally exhaled and realized what a burden I had been carrying around all of these months. Knowing this was about the time he was scheduled to leave I waited for our dear friend "Rummy" to use his back door draft to keep the Marines fighting in the civil war of Al Anbar Province.

The last patrol, as I learned from my son over the weekend, was 2 night patrols, which meant little or no sleep for the entire Company. These Marines were constantly out in the dark digging up IED's and finding "insurgents", only to discover the return of both the next morning. Fearful that those 2 last patrols could mean the worst possible nightmare for me, I held my breath. Then the email came. On the last day of their deployment a Lance Corporal in my son's platoon was killed. The email began with "By now you have heard, we have lost another Marine..." and continued, "What he talked the most about, though, was going home and getting married to his sweetheart."

All the military families who received this message had their hearts broken, I could hear them. What we all feared, happened to another son. A close friend of my son. In minutes, I received emails from all the military moms who have been on edge since the beginning of this deployment into the bowels of Fallujah. The tone was of hysteria, and horror for the family. I remained speechless and could not understand what made that IED explode and kill another Marine and not my son. They were only yards apart. That night my son packed his friend's belongings to be shipped home to his grieving family and fiancÚ.

How could this keep happening every single day to our families across this Country without the media, our Government and other citizens stomping into the streets in a complete outrage. Pain, suffering, fear, sleeplessness, and devastation are just the tip of the iceberg for soldiers and their families. What is this Country thinking? Or maybe not thinking at all. Iraq is a total unmitigated disaster, and will continue to be so.

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How arrogant we are to even think we could force "democracy" down the throats of people from an ancient culture. How can we even allow this Government to mislead us into thinking the brut force of our military will win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. I realized that night when this Marine lost his life, Iraqi citizens had died also. Did those mothers receive emails of their sons' death? Or do they have to go out searching the war torn and blood-bathed streets looking through bodies. The pain we feel is the same. Iraqi citizens are not our enemies. We cannot send our children to fight and kill other children.

Feelings of happiness are not allowed to enter my heart, not yet. My son is coming home, but other sons are not. I feel guilt, remorse, sadness, anger and lots of pain. Lurking within all of these feelings is another, I am committed to driving this Administration from power and seeing to it that they all stand trial for war crimes. I plan on dedicating myself to this cause because in an old saying that my mother repeats to me many times: "There But For the Grace of God go I."


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Anti-war activist, mother of three combat tour US marine; member of the national steering committee for the "World Can't Wait" and member of Military Families Speak Out (my opinions do not reflect the national position of MFSO).

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