Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Soldier's Letters

March 25th, 2005 6:35 AM

"...count to 10 when the memory hits..."

From: Sgt. [Omitted]
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2005 6:36 AM
Subject: a soldier under stop loss in Iraq for his 2nd time

Hello Michael Moore,

I remember watching Fahrenheit 9/11 with my wife late one night before Bush was reelected. I also remember crying at the end when I was watching what we (yes I was there during the invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003) had done. I am in the 3rd ID based at FT Stewart, GA. Additionally, I am a translator for the army (you guessed it, I am an Arabic translator). I am currently under stop loss and serving in Tikrit, Iraq.

I am writing this to ask for a copy of your book and also I would like to share something with you... It is something so horrible that I still have nightmares from it. It was during a raid near Abu Ghraib. I was to help interrogate the detainees, and a soldier had opened fire on a truck. There were no weapons in the truck and it wasn't even driving toward us.

That is when I saw that a little boy (about 3 years old) had been shot in the head and had to interpret for his uncle who was holding him with pieces of skull and brain on his immaculate white shirt splattered with surreal bright red) it actually gets easier to bear... It will never go away (or I have been told) but I can go on with my life now. For about 8 months it was always in the forefront of my mind (constant daydreams about the incident).

It makes me sick still to really think about it, but it is like a memory that I always go back to and wonder around in... You know how you might have something you remember and as time goes by it gets fuzzy? Not this, it stays crystal (I mean fuc**ng crystal) clear the way the corn field next to the truck was, how the shirt looked, the boy's head, the drink of water I took after....etc... I wish that I never had to see that but even more I wish that the family who's son had been killed by U.S. soldiers was still alive.

What is worse is that things like that still happen and the media doesn't even care enough to report it... just collateral damage. The army mental health clinic has told me that to help deal with this memory I should buy some stress tapes and also count to 10 when the memory hits...

Thanks for letting me share that. Feel free to put it on your website if you wish. I am glad that you have spoken out for those of us who have no voice, for I have seen that if we (soldiers) speak out against the atrocities that have been committed, we are silenced by our commanders and leaders.

Please don't use my name or address on your website.

Thank you for respecting my privacy.

Sgt. [Omitted]

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