Friday, March 03, 2006

One Soldier answers the "Why" question

A recent poll asked servicemembers in Iraq about their reasons for being there, and the results (at have been discussed at Castle Argghhh (check the comments) and Villainous Company, among other fine places. FOr some reason, it all reminds me of Mark Twain and "there are lies, damned lies and statistics".

That poll and discussion, however, was on my mind as I read the essay "Why am I here?" by Lieutenant K of Wordsmith at War. It is admittedly the viewpoint and feelings of one soldier, no more and no less. But it is the essay chosen by Trevor, of the Will to Exist blog, as the best entrant in his "Why am I here" contest.

I’m in Iraq because I believe the attack on September 11th, 2001, ushered in a new era for terrorism. I agreed that it was best to “go global” right then and establish lines of demarcation across our humble little planet, clearly exposing those who stand against terrorism and those who would harbor and aid terrorist groups.

Most importantly, I’m in Iraq because of my children, and all the children of the world. It’s ironic that I would agree to leave my children for 18 months and fight in a land that has no more substance to their innocent little minds than a fairy tale. But one day they will read about what we’ve done in their history books, hopefully find themselves in a society relatively free of terrorism (there will always be some violence), and understand the importance of what we’re doing here. This fight is physically in Iraq and Afghanistan, but symbolically and historically it stands for much more. We’re fighting in the present, but for the future. We’re fighting in Iraq, but for our own country as well. We’re fighting adults, on behalf of children.

You really need to go read the whole thing.

Then go read some of the other fine posts from Lieutenant K at his blog. Like Leadership and Parenthood, or A Letter to the Republic for Which We Stand (II), or just start at the top, and work your way down.