President Obama… this morning you went to welcome home 18 Fallen men. You watched as their flag draped caskets were walked solemnly from the plane. You saluted and I assume you looked into the eyes of their families. I hope you listened to their words. I hope you asked about who these men were in life and not simply how they died. You see, how they lived is so much more important than how they died. I hope you understand that exhaustion played a role in their death because the request for more support troops is being ignored and “thought about” by you. I hope you understand that we the families of the military now hold you accountable and do not care what the past administration did or didn’t do. Now of us can change the past we must deal with this moment. I hope you know every single one of those men took upon the responsibility and role they played in this war voluntarily knowing they would be deployed. Think about that for a moment… they wanted to fight this war on terrorism knowing full well they may die in this fight. My son knew it was possible that he would die.. and yet he chose to go. And even if he had known for sure he would lose his life in Iraq I think if he also knew that one day it would make many other lives better he would have still gone. Military men are truly peace keepers and the only ones in the world who truly understand and hate war. But they do it because they also know that sometimes you have to value something beyond yourself and be willing to fight for it. And yes even die for it.
I hear a lot of talk about winning the hearts and minds of the people of Afghanistan, well I think we should start with the hearts and minds of our own troops. Because you sir are losing them. Are you listening to them, the men and women who wear the uniform that are fighting this war? Are you listening to the ones that would be sent to support those already in afghan? The ones that feel betrayed and abandoned by their commander? The ones here stateside are frustrated because they want nothing more than to go and fight alongside those there. I listen to them I hear what is being said. They want to go and make afghan safe for the people there and the world safe from the virus of terror that I incubates there. If you haven’t spoken to the enlisted men of our military, the ones who would be going, you should. It’s their lives you claim to be so concerned about… ask them if they are willing to take the risk. The enlisted men.. the ones who face the front line… don’t just take their commanders word for it. I can promise you they want and need to go do this job in the largest numbers you can imagine. I know men getting out of the military, great soldiers and leaders at the NCO level because they feel you have betrayed them. YOU! Not Bush.. Not the world.. YOU!
There is a bond in the military you will never understand. I’m not saying that to be insulting I am saying it because it is a fact. Unless you wear the uniform and fight side by side with these men no one can truly comprehend that bond. And the desire that it fuels to go and help and fight with their brothers. But you won’t allow them to follow their heart and enact the bond and honor they cherish and go fight with and for their brothers.
There is an old quote. Not sure who it is from but it is “When in doubt empty the magazine” That is what you have to do. Empty the magazine. Put all we have into this fight! We started a job and we must finish it or it will simply be left to the next generation.
There will be more knocks upon doors to deliver the news of a fallen loved one. There will be more tears and pain for military families but I truly believe that by giving our troops the support hey need and deserve and by changing the rules of engagement to allow our commanders and troops to use the good judgment they have to fight this war we can end it quickly with as little loss of life as possible. You have to LET THE MILITARY do its job and give it all the tools it needs to do it. Or you are guilty of betraying the very men you are commander and chief of.
You stood at Dover and welcomed 18 men home early this morning…. Please don’t let their deaths be in vain… and don’t leave this for another generation to finish. Don’t abandon those who we as a Nation have asked to go and fight. Win the hearts and minds of our troops so they in return can win the hearts and minds of the people of Afghanistan. Give them the tools, support and morale to do it. Or bring them home and take upon yourself the defeat, because a defeat would be Yours and yours alone. Our men did not quit and will not quit.
Do something now.. not this afternoon or tomorrow but this instant. Make a decision. Right or wrong, doing something, anything, is better than nothing at all.