View Full Version : Thank you OIF Vets

08-18-10, 10:29 PM
Just saw the story up on the news feed that the last convoy of combat troops has left Iraq: http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/08/18/iraq.combat.convoy/?hpt=T1

I know this is the media making more of a big deal than it is. We still have 50,000+ troops there and I would assume most of them are capable of "combat." Regardless, this is a milestone of sorts and made me take a moment to reflect.

I was a freshman in college when we invaded Iraq. I remember watching it in awe on TV, as we demolished an entire country in almost no time. I also remember the feeling of uneasiness, knowing that my older brother who was about to graduate from college and commission into the Army from an ROTC program would likely be going there. One year after we invaded he was finishing up artillery officer basic and heading to Ranger school. 18 months later he was a forward observer at a patrol base in Samarra. He served a total of 27 months in Iraq in two tours. He's now on his second tour to Afghanistan, his fourth combat tour overall.

I remember the middle years of the war, how everything seemed like it was going to hell. I remember the stories of heroism from places like Fallujah and Ramadi. I remember how politicians tried to use the war as a pawn in their political games.

I also remember the Sunni Awakening, the tide turning and our forces snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Instead of the news channels and politicians praising our forces they just shifted focus to doom and gloom in Afghanistan and basically ignored our success in Iraq.

Throughout the 7+ years we had combat forces in Iraq the American public for the most part went about its daily business. Sure, people had some yellow bumper stickers and people said thank you a little more to troops around town, but by large and it was business as usual. Meanwhile, you and your buddies went to the sands of Iraq time and time again, and left behind your blood, sweat and tears to accomplish the mission.

I apologize if this has gotten too sappy, but I just want to say a simple thank you to each of you, whatever your role was. Your nation called, you answered and you accomplished the mission. For that I am grateful. I'm just starting my career as a Marine, but I hope that I will be able to continue the legacy you have begun. You often hear WWII veterans referred to as the Greatest Generation. I think that title is well deserved. At the same time, despite all its faults, I think we are living in the midst of another Greatest Generation. What you men and women accomplished in Iraq was nothing short of amazing, and I know that we as a nation will see many more great things out of all you. So that's it, off my soap box.

08-18-10, 10:34 PM
Yut your welcome Sir!

08-18-10, 10:44 PM
Great post Lt!! I agree that the 9/11 brand of patriotism has died down. It's pretty much been business as usual in this country. That is unless you have a loved one or family member in the mix.

We as a nation don't seem to learn from our own history. It's sad!!!

And I'd like to add my own thanks to all who put on the uniform and went in harms way!