A SOLDIER SPEAKS
I hope in the future to bring you more from him, as he is a very outspoken young man and has a lot to say.
I was looking at some of the thoughts that I wrote when I was in Iraq and I came across this one. Until now, I have not been able to allow others to read this because of the emotional turmoil that I face each time that I think about it. To be honest with you, my eyes are tearing up right now as I think about this case and the internal struggle I had (still have).
To put this in perspective, every time a Soldier dies on your table or shortly after, you are always asking yourself if there was something that you could have done better so that you can save the next Soldier. This particular day was really, really hard (sorry, starting to cry again) - we lost a few Soldiers in the last 48 hours. The fighting was very intense and our government has so many restrictions on the behavior of our Soldiers that many of them are dying in vain. I had had enough....these were my thoughts
I have grown so much being here in Iraq. I have learned that war is not pretty. War is not something that should ever be taken lightly. I am not the Soldier that is out in the "red zone" blowing people up or getting blown up. I am the Soldier that tries to sustain the life while the surgeon tries to save it - good or bad. Some days I am able to sustain the life long enough for the surgeon to do what he/she needs to do. Some days, I can not.
Some of things that I have learned here is that although we may change the minds of some of the people here, we will not change the minds of most. This culture of 3000 years will not change because of our "nice" presence. A culture that will dip their children in boiling oil to see which is the strongest, or a culture where they will kill their own child and place a bomb in the child just to kill another person will not or cannot be changed in this lifetime.
However, that aspect of the war is not my job. It is not my job to look at things from a right or wrong view. It is not my job to bring troops here or to take them home. It is not my job to make any decisions in this war.....at least not yet!
My job is to stare death in the face - look at her eye to eye. Nearly everyday I have to face death and plea with her. To be totally honest with you, there are times that I request her presence (like the day the man walked into the orphanage and blew it up) - I wanted that man to die (which he finally did). But most of the time I have to fight with her. Sometimes I pray for her not to see what is lying on the table (like the day we had a 19 year old kid (US Soldier) that was burned over 90% of his body) - but she saw him.
I have seen the face of death and she is not pretty. I have touched her, held her devastation in my arms. I have cried because she took a green eyed, two month old little girl. But today....today was different. I stood toe to toe with her as we fought each other for the life of a 23 year old US Soldier. I refused to let him go and she refused to let me have him. But enough was enough. Before I realized it I said, "NOT TODAY!!!" Death, you will not take him today. For today - we have fought and I have won....Not today, Death - not today!