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May 25, 2004

A Marine Emails Home

Nice email from a Marine in Iraq:

Dad -

You probably heard that Mike was wounded this week. We take rockets and mortars from time to time and he got caught outside when a rocket came in. He was lucky as he only got hit with some shrapnel in the back of the head. Grateful that it was only a flesh wound. He was medivaced to a surgical unit. I got word that he was going to be medevaced to the surgical unit on my camp and went by that evening looking for him only to find out he went to a different treatment facility. They put some staples in his head and he hopped a helo to return to his camp and was back at work that night. He is a tough guy. In fact, I actually saw him yesterday as I had to go to his position for some business. It is always a quietly thankful moment when you see a guy who has been wounded or who you think was wounded and he turns out to be ok. Mike was actually embarrassed about the whole thing and shrugged off any mention of it as he feels like he is not "doing enough" right now.
We only were able to talk for a short time and I swear that within a few minutes I had forgotten about the whole thing until we shook hands when I had to go. He turned to leave and I saw the zipper of staples on the back of his head. He was going back to work.
You would be very proud of the Marines as they have been able to switch gears from intense offensive operations back to what we call "stability operations." Stability operations simply translates to getting out into the countryside and teaching Iraqi Police and soldiers how to do their jobs. More importantly, our priority is just making contact with them and trying to instill a sense of confidence and pride in what they are doing. As I have shared with you over the past 15 months or so, it is hard to imagine trying to establish a police force or "national guard" (the equivalent of what we are working with) out of a population that has never even seen such entities as we understand them. If you said National Guard in Missouri, most people would think "the guys who show up when there is a flood, blizzard or tornado to help people." Or maybe after 9/11, that guy at the drug store who left for Iraq for a year as part of an engineer unit.

Keep reading...

This isn't Peter Jenning's Iraq. Thanks to JarheadDad for the tip.

- Cassandra

May 25, 2004 at 08:06 AM | Permalink


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Tracked on May 25, 2004 10:24:20 PM


"He was lucky as he only got hit with some shrapnel in the back of the head". Staple me up doc, I gotta get back to work.

He's lucky?

We're lucky.

Posted by: Pile On® at May 25, 2004 9:03:28 AM

Contrast that with Monsieur Jean Francois Kerrie of the three-flesh-wounds-and-I'm-outta-here camp.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2004 9:14:26 AM

These are the finest young men this country has to offer. Another example is the story of personal heroism and self-sacrafice exhibited by Cpl. Jason Dunham. That story appears on the front page of today's Wall Street Journal and I hoped will be blogged from wall to wall today.

So what do I find in my mail this morning? This message: "Member of [redacted] National Guard (and VP Sales of a client) has been called to Iraq and is resisting going. Do we have any experts or could we recommend any?"

Yeah, I can recommend a few experts. But they are dodging bullets and RPGs at the moment, as***le.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 25, 2004 10:01:00 AM

Cass, I was thinking of the same contrast as I read that e-mail, but did not want to bring it up in the first comment. The second seems more appropriate.

Posted by: Pile On® at May 25, 2004 11:44:09 AM


Just as a contrast, we have been tapped three times for volunteers to augment other units going back over to Iraq. Each time, we have had to turn away people - we've had more volunteers than we had slots for. Our Reserve BN commander (a Colonel select) is going over just as soon as he relinquishes command this summer. I've seen two of our guys' names in emails from the front on other blogs so far - one on Spirit of America and one who suffered a severe head wound and went right back on duty at the front - both officers by the way, for those who think officers don't work hard or pull their weight.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 26, 2004 1:24:55 PM