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thedrifter
06-10-06, 07:06 AM
Marines Aren't Out To Offend

June 9 2006

I read with concern the June 6 letters about Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines in Fallujah and their use of a loudspeaker to broadcast music ["Readers Respond To Charlie Company Articles"]. It was particularly painful to read the negative reaction of some readers to what they assume is insensitivity toward the local population in Fallujah.

As the father of one of Charlie Company's Marines, I can tell you that the training these young men went through before they deployed to Iraq focused heavily on sensitivity awareness and a solid grounding in the language and culture of Iraq.

The Marines went to considerable trouble to construct an Iraqi town in the Mojave Desert and populate it with Iraqi expatriates. Their days were filled with training on how to conduct themselves and complete their mission while giving minimum offense.

Yet there is no escaping that they are now in an isolated post in the middle of hundreds of thousands of mostly hostile Sunnis who do not view us as liberators.

Fallujah was a recruiting ground for Saddam Hussein's military and secret police, and had a tough reputation well before Charlie Company got there. The Marines view the music as morale-boosting in a location where we have few friends.

Our Marines are doing a tough job in a dangerous environment. They deserve more understanding and support than some of the letters indicate. They do not make national policy, but have a duty to uphold it. How about showing some restraint and respect?

William Shepard, Windsor

I wonder if the people who have a problem with what 1st Sgt. Ben Grainger is doing have family or friends over in Iraq. Some people are to quick to judge a situation before they know the whole story.

I admit that at first I wondered if this was instigating Iraqi civilians. Then I talked with my husband, who is serving with 1st Sgt. Grainger. My husband informed me that it is a way that they can relax and enjoy themselves, and separate themselves from the danger they so very often face. If this is how they deal with the horrific sights and unbelievable pressure to perform to the best of their ability, then how can we not support them?

I want my husband to come home, and while he is away, I want him to have an outlet that keeps him in good spirits and sound mind. It would be the worst thing in my world to hear that my husband was depressed and could not serve his country with pride any longer.

"Americantology" has kept our men upbeat and full of American pride. I thank 1st Sgt. Grainger for being there for his men.

Jessica Gadarowski, Athol, Mass.

Anyone who thinks 1st Sgt. Grainger's little 30-watt stereo can be heard outside Camp Fallujah needs a reality check.

Do they really think these Marines have some super sound system capable of being heard over all of Fallujah? Ha! They are lucky to have a microwave oven, for heaven's sake.

Do they really think the Marines are so stupid as to disrupt the worship of people we are desperately trying to help and befriend?

Now, thanks to a handful of complaints, 1st Sgt. Grainger may have to shelve his little stereo - one of the few links these brave men have to the United States.

Confucius say: Man who remains silent may be thought a fool, but a man who opens his mouth removes all doubt.

William Boylan, Middletown
The writer is the father of a Charlie Company Marine.

Ellie