Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A Soldiers Plea: Honor Our Sacrifice in Iraq
US Dept. of Defense News ^ | Nov. 5, 2004 | US Army Sgt. 1st Class James Martin

Posted on 11/05/2004 1:54:55 PM PST by valleygal

When Sgt. 1st Class James Martin deployed to Iraq, he had firm, negative opinions about the Iraqi people. Now, the Army National Guard soldier's perspective has changed.

By U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class James Martin 230th Forward Support Battalion

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Today I was sitting in the foyer of the clinic in Iraq. It had been a fairly busy day: a couple of cases of pink-eye, a few upper respiratory infections, many muscle strains, a broken leg. We treated about 50 soldiers and one Iraqi civilian who was trying to get something out of a car just before it exploded. I am not convinced he was not a bad guy.

One thing is for certain, he would be dead by now if not for our medics, who gave immediate care to his injuries, and our providers who had given subsequent care for weeks now.

When he was first brought in, I thought he would lose his hands, but today it appears he will be all right. The look in his eyes tells me that he knows it too. He may have been a bad guy, but now he is a thankful man, happy that he met American soldiers.

Two men, Iraqi nationals — one a soldier and the other, his brother, in the typical white robe — came rushing up to the entrance of our hospital. As the platoon sergeant, it is one of my jobs to explain to Iraqis that they cannot be seen in our clinic unless it is a matter of life, limb or eyesight.

When I started toward the door to issue my explanation for about the fifth or sixth time this week, I noticed a small boy about 7 years old in tow of the man in the robe. In the arms of the soldier was a crying baby wrapped in pieces of cloth. Neither man spoke English more than a few words, "Baby, no good. Please."

I unwrapped the baby to expose a terribly distended belly, feet and legs that looked like filled water balloons ready to explode. His cry was pitiful. I told a medic to call for a physician and the surgical team. I escorted the two men and two children to our exam room. It was evident that there was a serious problem with this tiny baby.

After assuring the men we would try our best to help, I was able to ascertain that the baby was 3 months old and that the civilian hospital in Baghdad had sent the soldier away, telling him they could not help.

I saw a man who very much loved his son begging us to save his baby. He frantically tried to soothe his cry, gently kissing his cheek. My heart went out to him. I took the baby's vital signs as the physician assistant examined him. He determined that we needed to get the baby to Baghdad to our larger military hospital as soon as possible.

We had the father get out of his uniform and put on a scrub top so he would be a little less conspicuous — Iraqi soldiers are often targeted in Baghdad. The baby and his father were on their way to hope.

I came to this country hating Iraqi people. I did not want to be here. I have a 14-year-old son that I have raised alone. He needs me more than this country does. I have a 21-year-old daughter who has been having problems, and I want to be there to help her.

Just over a year ago I married my true soul mate. I did not want to put my life on hold and come to this God-forsaken desert, full of people who have been suppressed for thousands of years and, in my opinion, would never be able to run their

own government because they had been told what to do for too long. Their spirits are broken beyond hope.

As the sole custodian of my son, I was told I could get out of the deployment. And I had been denied the re-enlistment bonus offered to medics because I was in a non-deployable unit. "Non-deployable" meant I would never have to leave my son and wife.

But non-deployable unit does not mean non-deployable soldier. I thought about it. If I did not go and my replacement was killed, I would never be able to forgive myself. And I have the peace of knowing God has a plan for me. If this is where He leads, He will protect me or bring me to His presence. I remember as a kid learning about freedom and the sacrifices our forefathers made to grant us that freedom. Now it was my turn to do my part.

Today, I sit in Iraq, my family and loved ones in America. But I have new friends and loved ones here who serve with me. I think of the look in that soldier's eyes as we helped his baby. The look in the eyes of the children as we provide medical attention and toys. The smile from a mother who knows that there is truly hope for a better life for her children.

This road we are on is long and by no means without pain. I have had friends killed. I have seen children blown to pieces. We are here fighting for their freedom while some of their own set bombs in front of schools, knowing we would be less likely to suspect danger in these areas.

Many times I wonder if it is worth it. Then I think of the 3-year-old boy dressed in a suit watching his daddy graduate as a new Iraqi soldier. As he runs toward me, I am in battle uniform and ballistic armor, with weapon at high ready. He smiles big, waves and says, "I love you, American!" Yeah, it's worth it.

Many would have you believe this operation is a failure. Easy to say when they are sitting in their air-conditioned office, speculating about something they know nothing about. There are many awful things about war.

Many parents will not be returning to their children. Many husbands will not return to their wives. Sons and daughters will not return home. Don't let their ultimate sacrifice be for naught.

If you hear someone talking about the senselessness of this war, politely remind them of the price. I cannot think of anything worse for a child than to hear that his or her father died without purpose in a land of no importance. Do not allow others to forget or lessen the heroism of our fallen soldiers and those who have sacrificed a part of their lives to help our brothers and sisters in God.

My heart has softened for the Iraqi people, and my resolve to rid our world of bad guys has increased. Do not allow politicians to convince you that we need to leave before the mission is complete. I do not want my son here in 10 years starting over.

Sgt. 1st Class James Martin of China Grove, N.C., is a medic and platoon sergeant with Charlie Company of the 230th Forward Support Battalion, Army National Guard, out of Goldsboro, N.C.


TOPICS: War on Terror
KEYWORDS: children; honor; iraq; iraqis; irqa; medic; plea; sacrifice; soldier
This was sent to me by my friend in Baghdad.

"I love you, American!" brought tears to my eyes.

1 posted on 11/05/2004 1:54:55 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: valleygal
Indeed, I don't think any Freeper will read through this with dry eyes.

GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS!!

2 posted on 11/05/2004 1:59:55 PM PST by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: valleygal
This was a great post. Thank you. I have some certain insights as well as to how most (certainly many) Iraqis feel toward Americans. They do not hate us or our Troops.

The Media has been lying about certain things for a long while now. I suppose that will never change.

I will post a link to this thread in the Canteen!
3 posted on 11/05/2004 2:01:59 PM PST by Radix (Yasser Arafat finally gets his own State. It is called Comatose!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Former Military Chick

Good news from Iraq *ping*


4 posted on 11/05/2004 2:02:06 PM PST by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: DTogo

God bless our troops and the innocent iraq civilians.


5 posted on 11/05/2004 2:02:24 PM PST by TexKat (Just because you did not see it or read it, that does not mean it did or did not happen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

amen brother

Doogle


6 posted on 11/05/2004 2:02:48 PM PST by Doogle (USAF..4077thTFW...Wolf Pack...408MMS ....Ubon,Thailand in "69" Night Line Delivery.AMMO)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TexKat

Amen!


7 posted on 11/05/2004 2:03:02 PM PST by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: valleygal; Ragtime Cowgirl; MEG33

Ping


8 posted on 11/05/2004 2:03:25 PM PST by TexKat (Just because you did not see it or read it, that does not mean it did or did not happen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

Thanks valleygal for the great post... as a vet I can understand the tossing back and forth about the deployement that went thru his mind.... he is a true american Patriot he did the right thing.. God Bless him and his squadmates, and all the US military personel in Iraq and around the world.


9 posted on 11/05/2004 2:04:34 PM PST by Americanwolf (Message to Democratic Underground trolls and Mike Moore... You lost..... PFFFFFTTTT!!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

Story at 11! (/sarcasm)
Great post. We need more of these even if they only make the pages of FreeRepublic.


10 posted on 11/05/2004 2:05:59 PM PST by rocksblues (No more Kerry, no more polls!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DTogo
I sure didn't. Kind of embarrassing to have tears in your eyes at work.
11 posted on 11/05/2004 2:08:13 PM PST by horizondb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

"I love you, American!"

So do we! God bless our brave fighting men and women!


12 posted on 11/05/2004 2:09:15 PM PST by Abigail Adams
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

High time to help this soldier out by ridding Fallujah of terrorists and enemies.


13 posted on 11/05/2004 2:13:52 PM PST by taxesareforever
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

Well, I'll repeat it to our soldiers, "I love you, American" but I would add hero.


14 posted on 11/05/2004 2:14:06 PM PST by tiki (Won one against the Flipper)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

Thanks valleygal. You can count on our prayers.(HOLY ROSARY)GOD BLESS AMERICA,IRAQ $ OUR TROOPS.


15 posted on 11/05/2004 2:17:13 PM PST by RC+TIHM (rc=tihm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Radix

Thank you, Radix, for linking it. I wish with all my heart that everyone could hear these stories from our very own soldiers.

I spoke with a teenager this morning about some of these things. She didn't have a clue. Her parents voted for Kerry ( and her uncle is over there)!

I am sending care packages to Iraq and was buying more stuff to send at Target this morning and mentioned what I was doing to the lady checking me out. She said it was wonderful, that she and her husband were retired military. She said several times , "it's so sad over there" I agreed and said, "but there are good things happening, too ", and she replied, "I hope so."


16 posted on 11/05/2004 2:23:13 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Americanwolf

You are so welcome. God bless you and thank you for your service, as well. I just want to go up to people in uniform when I see them in public and thank them!


17 posted on 11/05/2004 2:26:32 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

Thanks for the post. Great stuff.

I've read stories similar to this and never cease to be amazed with the reality that the MSM just can't bring themselves to share tidbits like this at least once in a while to balance all the negative stuff they broadcast...

How sad.


18 posted on 11/05/2004 2:26:37 PM PST by armyavonlady
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: taxesareforever

I saw today that some of it has already started. They showed night pics and it was lit up over Fallujah.


19 posted on 11/05/2004 2:28:30 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

bump


20 posted on 11/05/2004 2:29:06 PM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

You mean I'm not the only one in the line at Target explaining why I'm buying 30 tubes of lip balm and 40 packages of peanut butter crackers?!

We have a troop support program where I work and every time I go somewhere to get goods together for A'ghan or Iraq, I tend to draw curiosity. I don't hesitate to tell people what I'm doing to make them think, at least for a moment, about those who serve and to take their focus off of the negative. Don't know how long "the spell" lasts, but I do my best.

See you at Target, Valleygal!


21 posted on 11/05/2004 2:33:23 PM PST by armyavonlady
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: TEXOKIE; Alamo-Girl; amom

I though you might like to see this (kleenex alert).


22 posted on 11/05/2004 2:36:15 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

When I stop crying I will send this to everyone on my address list. Thank you for posting this and tell your friend in Baghdad that I pray for those wonderful military people every single day.


23 posted on 11/05/2004 2:36:33 PM PST by SwatTeam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SwatTeam

I'll tell her, Swat Team. I have posted some of my friend's letters her before with her permission. She volunteered to go and didn't have to. We have some amazing people over there.

And thank you for sending it out. I plan to do the same!


24 posted on 11/05/2004 2:43:09 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

I saw today that some of it has already started. They showed night pics and it was lit up over Fallujah.

My prayers go with these great American heroes.


25 posted on 11/05/2004 2:58:07 PM PST by taxesareforever
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: taxesareforever

BTT


26 posted on 11/05/2004 3:58:32 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

BTT


27 posted on 11/05/2004 3:58:55 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

Just, wow! Another tug at the heart strings tear-jerker.


28 posted on 11/05/2004 4:47:30 PM PST by PatriotGirl827 (God Bless America!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: armyavonlady; valleygal; Radix
Thanks, Radix, for the link at the Canteen. I have to laugh with you ladies.....

You mean I'm not the only one in the line at Target explaining why I'm buying 30 tubes of lip balm and 40 packages of peanut butter crackers?!

I do the same thing..."How come you have 10 toothpastes, 10 eye drops, 10 hand soaps, etc.... People always thank you, and usually know somebody "over there". I have the same hope as you...maybe they will think about what they can do.

God bless and keep safe our military as they help keep us free and safe.


29 posted on 11/05/2004 7:24:56 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (God Bless America and Our Troops Who Protect Her)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: valleygal
"A Soldiers Plea: Honor Our Sacrifice in Iraq"

59,000,000 Americans have started the process.

30 posted on 11/05/2004 7:26:20 PM PST by CWOJackson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

Jeepers. Thanks for the ping...


31 posted on 11/05/2004 8:40:06 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: armyavonlady; Kathy in Alaska

The dollar store is a pretty good place to find things, too.
My only problem is I keep wanting to buy more and more stuff. Right now a corner of my living room is starting to look like a warehouse. A friend and I started a drive at church and people have been donating.

I wish I could send to every single one of them. But since we're all pitching in I'm sure we are reaching alot of them.

Take care, girls. You're the best.


32 posted on 11/05/2004 10:15:48 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: valleygal; armyavonlady
d:o( No dollar stores here. I hear everyone saying all the good stuff to be found. Fortunately, we do have Wal-Mart.
33 posted on 11/05/2004 10:34:48 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (God Bless America and Our Troops Who Protect Her)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

Bookmark


34 posted on 11/06/2004 1:09:43 PM PST by PatriotGirl827 (God Bless America!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PatriotGirl827

BTT


35 posted on 11/06/2004 3:36:09 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

BTT


36 posted on 11/06/2004 3:36:29 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

BTT


37 posted on 11/06/2004 3:36:42 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

BTT


38 posted on 11/06/2004 3:36:57 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

BTT


39 posted on 11/06/2004 3:37:11 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

BTT


40 posted on 11/06/2004 3:38:22 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: valleygal

BTT


41 posted on 11/06/2004 3:38:33 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: petercooper

This is a good one to help me bump!


42 posted on 11/06/2004 3:39:04 PM PST by valleygal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson