Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Soldier's Letters

November 8th, 2004 1:36 PM

"No one wants a foreign occupational force in his country."

From: S. C.
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003
Subject: Bowling DVD

Hi Mike,

I've been a fan since the "Roger and Me" days. Plus I saw you speak about 2 years ago at the University of Illinois on the Stupid White Men world tour. I don't see much of Champaign-Urbana these days though. I'm currently in month #11 of my National Guard activation. I've been in Baghdad with my Military Police company since April 21.

As you can see, I use my hotmail account rather than my army email. I'm sure it makes no difference, but I feel safer this way. At least I only fear that Mr. Ashcroft is prying into my email, rather than Uncle Donny and the whole Defense Department gang.

I first caught wind of the Iraqi invasion when I was in Nicaragua on a humanitarian mission in April 2002. That's right. I used the words Nicaragua and humanitarian in the same sentence. Even our government has a sense of humor sometimes.

Despite my best efforts of writing letters and placing phone calls to my elected officials in Washington, I watched in dismay as Congress gave G. Dub's a blank war check last October. It was only a matter of time. I hoped there'd be enough time so I could leave the military. I was supposed to ETS (end my service obligation) on April 21, 2003. But as I said, April 21st ended up being the day my unit rolled into Baghdad. "Stop Loss," as the Army calls this form of drafting soldiers that've already served their time, is a bitch.

When my unit was activated in February I think I was the only one in my platoon to speak openly against the war and the president (and the cowards in congress, big business, etc). It has been a pleasure watching as people started realizing what a sham this entire war has been.

Although my duties have varied somewhat (I spent 3 months over the summer working at a police station, for instance) I have spent the bulk of my time patrolling various neighborhoods in the eastern half of the city. While many Iraqi citizens (the majority perhaps) are indeed thankful that we "liberated" them, I have noticed resentment growing the longer we are here. No one wants a foreign occupational force in his country. I believe we've even worn out the welcome from most Iraqis who celebrated our arrival in the spring.

I don't pretend to have any answers. I'd just be preaching to the choir if I told you about what's going on over here. Just tune into CNN (or FOX News if you've got a stress ball in your hand). I'm just one guy who's served his time (and then some). But who am I to complain? My dad worked in insurance, my mom was a teacher. Maybe if I were the son of a Senator I'd feel more comfortable griping. I just want to go back to the University of Illinois and finish my masters.

I, unlike yourself, never had a problem finding parking at school so I've stuck with it for a few years. Anyway, I'm going to be a librarian someday, unless the justice department gets a hold of this email and decides to blacklist me from government service (except for the upcoming Syrian, Iranian, and North Korean wars of course). Don't worry about me though. Soon enough I'll be back home putting my energy to use of the powers of good (i.e. election 2004).

Thanks for actually supporting the troops, and not just putting up a flag.

S. C.

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