The Best War Blog You'll Ever Read
My brother-in-law, Staff Sergeant Frank Lefler (Army), is in Samarra in Iraq. A real paradise. But he's been blogging his experiences. Check out the blog and tell your friends to read it. Especially liberal friends who were giddy about the 2000th soldier. Here's part of his most recent post:
Lately things have been slow around here. Being in a war zone, doing what I do, that is a good thing. It means that for what ever reason the insurgents or AIF (Anti Iraq Fighters/Forces) haven’t been causing too much trouble (knock on wood). So you can see how that is a good thing. There are many theories that circulate about why that is. Originally I thought that it was Ramadan, but that ended a couple of days ago. My personal favorite is that it is too cold. Apparently the principles that drive the AIF don’t stand up to the chill that sets in each night. So perhaps it is the cold weather that is the unlikely hero of late, keeping us soldiers out of harms way. What ever the case is, we’ll take it.
Lately, when I find myself slipping into a funk, I force myself to remember just why it is that I am here. Many think of this war as little more than a political football, using war anecdotes as a conversation piece or as fodder to justify their own, often
narrowly formed, opinions. Well to those of us living it, it is so much more than that. My Dear Wife and I were also talking the other day about how while it has become our plight to endure this separation, there are also so many things to be thankful for. Occasionally we are cut off from using the phones or Internet because someone in this area was killed. It’s called a blackout, designed to give the Army time to notify the families of the fallen through the proper channels without fear that the family will find out via hearsay. While this represents a bit of a confounding situation for the soldiers who are prevented from contacting their families for any reason, it is also a time of reflection and a time to give thanks. Reflecting on the sacrifice that those soldiers and their families gave and being truly appreciative of it. Not running to some tally board so the grand total KIA can be scrolled across the bottom of a screen or posted as a headline, but really allowing their sacrifice to sink in and affect you. Being over here, separated from my loved ones as we head into the holiday season it is my opinion that I have been privileged with the opportunity to serve and contribute to the cause those men and women died for.
And no, that cause isn’t oil or cronyism and it certainly isn’t to generate revenue for any of our media outlets who capitalize off the sensational aspects of war. I have to believe that it is something much greater than that. It is to afford us and our loved ones and everyone back home the right to celebrate the holidays, and to pursue what ever life we deem worthy of pursuit. It is a moot point to argue over why we got here, the fact of the matter is that we are here, and we have been given a chance to effect a change. All of this must serve to contribute to a greater cause than even the protection of our own interests (a worthy cause in and of itself). I suppose history will be the judge of this war and it’s proponents, but it is my heartfelt opinion that in 50 years time that perhaps the people of Iraq and this region will recognize, as I do, the reason why these men and women gave their lives, like so many before them. For me remembering the dedicated service of our country’s ancestors, including my own lineage having two grandfathers who served a combined 60+ years in defense of our nation and ideals, is what provides me with all the motivation I need.So as you prepare for the festivities of this holiday season try to see beyond the commercials, and the catchy jingles of what ever the “must have” item this year is, and remember the ideals and aspirations that make the season worth celebrating. Give thanks for the freedoms we often take for granted and give respect to those who died to give it to you. I know I will.
Read the whole series of posts. This guy is giving up a year of his life to give you the luxury to do what you want to do.