After coming through the election-maelstrom with more than a few “you-voted-Kerry-so-you’re-gonna-go-to-hell” remarks still in mind, I felt I should post a letter from my Mother working in Fallujah as it sheds some light on why I believe our presence in the region is a mistake. On a side note, the marine mentioned, Justin, is one of the brothers which I’ve often spoken of here.
- Hey guys. This place is sometimes a living nightmare. A kid was killed three days ago when shrapnel blew his brains out. My God this place is something else. I worry so much about Justin now that I’m here because I get information and I sometimes know what he is doing and it kills me. I’m getting old fast. It looks like we are about to redo the map of Iraq and take Fallujah completely off of it and my son is out there. So are all these other sons. . .I sometimes think I lost my mind completely by coming here. We get bombed every day. People die here every day in horrible ways. A few days ago as I was going to work I saw a Humvee with a group of marines around it crying. I then saw that it must have run over an IED because the engine was blown completely out of it, blood was all over the inside and the back tires were gone. Then I was told about a kid who was killed and by an RPG which took his head completely off and it was never found. They sent him home without it. Every time I see them open the morgue doors (it looks like a refrigerated unit for food) it makes my stomach turn. I hear outgoing and incoming rounds so often here that I don’t even flinch anymore even when the whole building looks like it is about to come down. I just keep working. Two days ago I was off work and waiting for my ride back to camp and marines kept coming outside where I was sitting to talk to me. They were nervous about the hell that is about to be unleashed here and had to get some things off their chest. I don’t want to hear anymore. I can’t stand it. I’m crying right now because I just can’t stand it. But still, I listen, and I console and I tell them that they are heroes and that I love them. But in my heart, I know they are telling me the things they do in hopes that if they come home in a body bag, I will tell their stories. Jesus. I don’t even take pictures anymore. I can’t take photos of most of this base anyway and I don’t want another picture of a boy who is going to go home with his entrails still leaking blood into this Iraqi soil. I guess I just need a pep talk. I give pep talks all day long, but there is no one to console me over here. I can’t stand having to be strong all the time. Even my poor TCNs (Phillipinas and Indians) are scared and need to talk. Hell, I can’t even understand them most of the time. Tonight, Iraqi men sat around me as I was working on Christmas decorations and talked a long time about their hopes and dreams. All I could think about is how many more of our boys are going to have to die so they can have their country back and their freedom. No one can understand what I’m going through unless they have been here; I know this, but I just need to talk to someone sane for a while. We have men over here who are so scared they want to go home, but can’t until this mess is over with. I don’t want to come home, but I’m exhausted from not getting sleep because of the rockets. Rockets are worse than mortars. Although mortars have a lot of shrapnel, rockets tear the guts out of everything. It’s a good think these insurgents don’t seem to know shit about algebra and trajectory. Anyway, thanks for reading. I’m battle fatigued and have no one to turn to and couldn’t get out of the country now if I wanted to. I don’t want to. I can’t leave my son. He comes over when he can to talk and get things off his chest so I have to stay, but God only knows how much I’d like to fly out right now.
We are having a storm here, and I used to love storms, but now I can’t tell the difference in thunder and warfare, so it is not comforting. Well guys, I have to get back to work. I love you all and miss the hell out of you. I’m feeling better already, but I just can’t stop crying inside.
Linda & Mother
Do we even need another reason?