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thedrifter
03-25-07, 09:46 AM
Ted Nugent: Behind lines with freedom's warriors

By Ted Nugent, Texas Wildman
Sunday, March 25, 2007

FALLUJAH, Iraq — The huge, jagged crater from the previous day's IED blowout could have swallowed up our Humvee. My U.S. Marine driver, however, did what U.S. Marines do so well. He improvised, adapted and overcame the cavernous obstacle as we motored vigorously into this city.

My Kevlar helmet banged back and forth against the bulletproof interior of my military ride. My heavy flak vest cushioned the body slams against the door and frame.

With a mind-jolting bang, the door violently swung open. I frantically grabbed and pulled it back, but it would not latch shut.

I bounced like a rag doll on a Baja 1000 off-road race, I yanked my belt tool from its pouch and set to jimmying the broken door latch, hanging on for dear life.

I felt a bit cocky, an old guitar player from Detroit having just jury-rigged a busted military vehicle on the fly. The USMC hero warriors winked and smiled, humoring me, I'm sure.

I never served in the U.S. military. My Army drill sergeant father's gung ho discipline was as close to boot camp as I would can get, indeed as close as any civilian could get — legally.

Yet here I was in Iraq, with the Marines, rockin', and I instinctively knew what to do. It felt good.

Proudly yet humbly representing the great USO charity, I spent two wild weeks on the frontlines of the war on terror with American BloodBrother Toby Keith, hanging with and learning from the bravest souls who ever lived.

In the un-named mountain passes of Afghanistan, the sand pit deserts of Iraq, and the third world hellzones of Baghdad, Tikrit, Taji, Kandahar and U.S. military camps too numerous and remote to identify, I was honored and privileged to share campfires and tented mess-hall meals with the best of the best.

There is no question that these young American men and women are the finest, most dedicated, most intelligent, most well-trained warriors the world has ever known. And that's really saying something, for the Greatest Generation from WWII would be hard to beat.

But I most certainly can attest to such an upgrade, one wholly essential for fighting the war on terror.

Thank God we have a commander-in-chief who understands the self-evident truth that America's only hope is to confront evil over there in its face instead of waiting for the terrorists to call the game elsewhere and otherwise.

Ignorance

It is shameful how so many fail to grasp this proven truism. That there exists an American alive today so entrenched in ignorance and denial that the putrid and soulless words "war is not the answer" could possibly be spoken is beyond comprehension.

I feel like an idiot that I have to ask them: What could possibly have been the answer when the Japanese and Nazi monsters attempted to enslave the world?

Could anyone be so conveniently disconnected as to not understand the essentiality of waging war against evil?

Could the very concept of good over evil not register with some human beings in the inescapable historical evidence of genocide, tyranny, kings, emperors? Of Hitler, Mugabe, Amin and Saddam Hussein? Meanwhile, the U.S. military warriors sacrifice on. God bless them all.

Being an honorary member of the 101st Airborne, and having the amazing experience of training with various elite commando units of the U.S. military and law enforcement, I can truly say I have been to the mountaintop of freedom.

To be in the presence of such absolute greatness reminds me to dedicate myself to be the best that I can be every day, allowable only for the ultimate sacrifices and blood of these heroes.

On the official military firing range in the secured Green Zone of Baghdad., Toby Keith and I settled in for an afternoon of machine-gun fun with the professionals. The lovely M60 belt-fed .308 is a piece of mystical ballistic artwork — its black finish and skeletal framework begging for a solid grip and down-range hosing of hot lead.

The mighty M16 .223 is a thing of beauty.

Firing the behemoth .50 caliber sniper rifle was truly amazing, registering consistent headshots on the 200-yard bad-guy target to rounds of cheers and celebration.

As is the case every time civilian families gather back home in the good old U.S.A., the joys of shooting provided even these frontline warriors a gratifying relief from their volunteered life-and-death workloads.

Much laughter, high-fives and shared stories of hunting and fishing back home took us all to an escape zone of better places, better times.

For a moment there, evil did not exist just outside the fort walls. Remember the Alamo, indeed.

At the military hospital, Toby and I wrapped up our incredible journey in a place where smiles and laughter would turn a hard and somber corner.

Saying good-bye to a dying hero is a gut- wrenching, heart-slamming lesson in the cost of freedom.

Ward after ward we visited severely wounded, mutilated and burned men and women. To a person, they expressed unwavering commitment to fighting and stopping the voodoo monsters of extremist Islam who live to destroy America and freedom wherever and however they can.

Young soldiers, Marines, airmen and seamen simply wanted to get well so they could return shoulder to shoulder with their American BloodBrothers to keep fighting and crush evil.

My soul is deeply fortified to stand with them in any way I possibly can.

We saluted too many flag draped coffins to ever forget. God bless and Godspeed the warriors.

Ted Nugent is a Waco-based musician and television show host.

Ellie