Long time readers of BON and my old blog will remember a college friend of mine named Eric who is an officer in the U.S. Army.Â Â I was on his email distribution list when he was in Iraq and I and posted all of his letters on my two blogs.Â He was actually injured by a car bomb back on Aug 1, 2005 and was sent home to heal.Â Here’s a picture of him after the car bomb.
I actually have a picture of both of us together when he had a layover at DFW, but for the life of me I just can’t find the darn thing.
Well, I just got word from him that he’s heading back to Iraq.Â Â As he writes, I’ll make sure to post his letters as soon as I get them.Â His first letter is after the jump.
Subject: Iraq Bound
…and here we go again.
Friends and loved ones…many thoughts run through my mind as I prepare for my second tour in Iraq. I leave in less than 48 hours. What I can tell you right now is that I will fly from Germany to Kuwait, stay in Kuwait for several weeks getting our final preparations in order and then we will be heading from Kuwait to a FOB just north of Baghdad.
It’s been a great two years since I last left Iraq on the 2nd of August 2005. I took command of a great battery, moved to Germany, traveled Europe, and most importantly spent some awesome time with my beautiful wife Heather. We seen places most only dream about…Paris, London, Rome, Berlin, Prague, Canary Islands, Malta, Munich….to name just a few. We have been greatly blessed these past two years. Now it’s my time again. Time to earn the money the American tax payer gives me.
I cannot lie and tell you I do this with thoughts of grandiose patriotic feelings and servitude to my nation. Because I don’t. I do this for my brothers, the men who stand around me and next to me. Being with them when they need someone there at that one crucial moment, that’s why I do it. It is so very hard leaving my wife behind, but in a way, it would also be hard watching my brothers leave without me. Truthfully I do not have a choice, but to go. But in my mind, in a soldier’s mind, we made the choice when we raised our right hand. We made the choice to follow the orders, even if it meant leaving our wives and families behind for months and years at a time.
I also do this, because I know, and have first hand knowledge that to
most in Iraq, we are making a difference. Many Americans must ask
themselves this question. If they could go back 200 years in history, would they have not rebelled against the British rule, because they were scared of the backlash? Or because they new that times ahead for them might be full of freedom but were also be full of unknowns, financial difficulty, and hard times? I hate to say it, but I think many of our current citizens would be living in modern day colonies, because they don’t have the stomach for the hard decisions that lead to future greatness. Well this is the decision we have in Iraq. And as much as I hate leaving my comfort behind and leaving my wife and facing that fact that at any moment I could be killed by an IED I do it with a clear conscience. Because I know that someday, when I’m old and retired, I’ll know that I did what I could for those people, instead of talking about it or complaining about it when truthfully it didn’t even personally affect me or my family.
So, I go again, with the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment. To fill you in, I am the Squadron’s plans officer or during peacetime what most call the Assistant S-3. Sounds exciting doesn’t it. Well, its not. It is a very glamourless job. And for many of you who do have your concerns…I will basically be desk ridden. But as Heather says….”if there a way to go out on missions….Eric will find it”. She’s right.
For those of you who want to keep informed by my letters just as I wrote last time, I am going to get that going again on a very regular basis (give me something to look forward to other than the daily grind over there). And please, share my letters with anyone. I would love for the American people to see at least one God fearing soldier’s ground view truth over there. You know, my sister told me of a lady that took my letters to a local radio station where they were read over the air.
That truly humbled me. If you know of anyone else that wants to be added to my distro list please let me know. It doesn’t take much on my part. Plus, my lovely wife has signed me up for a MySpace account, which I will update with pictures when I get the chance. You can look me up now or I will send that out once I start putting Iraq pictures on there.
Well, the next time I will update everyone will be once I am in Kuwait.
I always look forward to getting your responses. They are the highlight of my day.
And again, this goes without saying, but please, continue to pray for us and for our mission. Pray God’s protection over us and the quick passing of time. Your support last time meant the world to me….this time it will mean even more.