If I die before you wake…
Back home now I know you’re probably sleepin’
Over here it’s the middle of the day
I finally found the time to write a letter
Sittin’ here a half a world away
I heard about all them folks protestin’
As if I really want this war
But that don’t stop me from believin’
There’s just some things worth fightin’ for
And if I die before you wake,
I pray the world will take
A good look at what God’s given us
That we could only understand,
everything is in his hands
All we need is a little faith and trust
I want you to know it ain’t too high a price to pay
If I die before you wake
Tell everybody that I miss them
And I can’t wait to get back home
But until then I’ll serve my country
And be proud to wear this uniform
No it ain’t too high a price to pay
If I die before you wake
Written by Dustin Evans, Rick Tiger and Dave Brainard
Performed by Dustin Evans and The Goodtimes Band
I received this in an email from Brat at Tanker Brothers.
Now watch this:
This phrase came to my mind as I was commenting in the post I did honoring SFC Matthew Blaskowski.
I couldn’t remember which war it had come from, so I googled it and found this article that Joe Galloway had written in 2004. I do believe I posted it on my other blog but sadly, the editor I was using fried my data base and I lost 2 years of posts. (side note: Can anyone tell me how to back up blogs??!!)
But with all the disrespectful treatment of our troops going on in this country and in Congress, I felt I needed to post it again. You see, the troops on watch tonight, all over the world, not just in Iraq, are not just “numbers” or “body counts” or fake crosses in a field or on a beach in CA. They are our flesh and blood, doing a job not many can or will do.
Disrespect is not an option here.
June 23, 2004
WASHINGTON – The Internet, which fills our inboxes with spam and scams every day and keeps our delete keys shiny, occasionally delivers a real keeper, such as the words below, which were written by a graduate of West Point, Class of 2003, who’s now at war in Iraq.
We tracked down the author, who gave us permission to quote from his letter so long as we didn’t reveal his name.
Old soldiers in the Civil War coined a phrase for green troops who survived their first taste of battle: “He has seen the elephant.” This Army lieutenant sums up the combat experience better than many a grizzled veteran:
“Well, I’m here in Iraq, and I’ve seen it, and done it. I’ve seen everything you’ve ever seen in a war movie. I’ve seen cowardice; I’ve seen heroism; I’ve seen fear; and I’ve seen relief. I’ve seen blood and brains all over the back of a vehicle, and I’ve seen men bleed to death surrounded by their comrades. I’ve seen people throw up when it’s all over, and I’ve seen the same shell-shocked look in 35-year-old experienced sergeants as in 19-year-old privates.
“I’ve heard the screams – ‘Medic! Medic!’ I’ve hauled dead civilians out of cars, and I’ve looked down at my hands and seen them covered in blood after putting some poor Iraqi civilian in the wrong place at the wrong time into a helicopter. I’ve seen kids with gunshot wounds, and I’ve seen kids who’ve tried to kill me.
“I’ve seen men tell lies to save lives: ‘What happened to Sergeant A.?’ The reply: ‘C’mon man, he’s all right – he’s wondering if you’ll be OK – he said y’all will have a beer together when you get to Germany.’ SFC A. was lying 15 feet away on the other side of the bunker with two medics over him desperately trying to get either a pulse or a breath. The man who asked after SFC A. was himself bleeding from two gut wounds and rasping as he tried to talk with a collapsed lung. One of them made it; one did not.
“I’ve run for cover as fast as I’ve ever run – I’ll hear the bass percussion thump of mortar rounds and rockets exploding as long as I live. I’ve heard the shrapnel as it shredded through the trailers my men live in and over my head. I’ve stood, gasping for breath, as I helped drag into a bunker a man so pale and badly bloodied I didn’t even recognize him as a soldier I’ve known for months. I’ve run across open ground to find my soldiers and make sure I had everyone.
“I’ve raided houses, and shot off locks, and broken in windows. I’ve grabbed prisoners, and guarded them. I’ve looked into the faces of men who would have killed me if I’d driven past their IED (improvised explosive device) an hour later. I’ve looked at men who’ve killed two people I knew, and saw fear.
“I’ve seen that, sadly, that men who try to kill other men aren’t monsters, and most of them aren’t even brave – they aren’t defiant to the last – they’re ordinary people. Men are men, and that’s it. I’ve prayed for a man to make a move toward the wire, so I could flip my weapon off safe and put two rounds in his chest – if I could beat my platoon sergeant’s shotgun to the punch. I’ve been wanted dead, and I’ve wanted to kill.
“I’ve sworn at the radio when I heard one of my classmate’s platoon sergeants call over the radio: ‘Contact! Contact! IED, small arms, mortars! One KIA, three WIA!’ Then a burst of staccato gunfire and a frantic cry: ‘Red 1, where are you? Where are you?’ as we raced to the scene…knowing full well we were too late for at least one of our comrades.
“I’ve seen a man without the back of his head and still done what I’ve been trained to do – ‘medic!’ I’ve cleaned up blood and brains so my soldiers wouldn’t see it – taken pictures to document the scene, like I’m in some sort of bizarre cop show on TV.
“I’ve heard gunfire and hit the ground, heard it and closed my Humvee door, and heard it and just looked and figured it was too far off to worry about. I’ve seen men stacked up outside a house, ready to enter – some as scared as they could be, and some as calm as if they were picking up lunch from McDonald’s. I’ve laughed at dead men, and watched a sergeant on the ground, laughing so hard he was crying, because my boots were stuck in a muddy field, all the while an Iraqi corpse was not five feet from him.
“I’ve heard men worry about civilians, and I’ve heard men shrug and sum up their viewpoint in two words – ‘F— ’em.’ I’ve seen people shoot when they shouldn’t have, and I’ve seen my soldiers take an extra second or two, think about it, and spare somebody’s life.
“I’ve bought drinks from Iraqis while new units watched in wonder from their trucks, pointing weapons in every direction, including the Iraqis my men were buying a Pepsi from. I’ve patrolled roads for eight hours at a time that combat support units spend days preparing to travel 10 miles on. I’ve laughed as other units sit terrified in traffic, fingers nervously on triggers, while my soldiers and I deftly whip around, drive on the wrong side of the road, and wave to Iraqis as we pass. I can recognize a Sadiqqi (Arabic for friend) from a Haji (Arabic word for someone who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca, but our word for a bad guy); I know who to point my weapons at, and who to let pass.
“I’ve come in from my third 18-hour patrol in as many days with a full beard and stared at a major in a pressed uniform who hasn’t left the wire since we’ve been here, daring him to tell me to shave. He looked at me, looked at the dust and sweat and dirt on my uniform, and went back to typing at his computer.
“I’ve stood with my men in the mess hall, surrounded by people whose idea of a bad day in Iraq is a six-hour shift manning a radio, and watched them give us a wide berth as we swagger in, dirty, smelly, tired, but sure in our knowledge that we pull the triggers, and we do what the Army does, and they, with their clean uniforms and weapons that have never fired, support us.
“I’ve given a kid water and Gatorade and made a friend for life. I’ve let them look through my sunglasses – no one wears them in this country but us – and watched them pretend to be an American soldier – a swaggering invincible machine, secure behind his sunglasses, only because the Iraqis can’t see the fear in his eyes.
“I’ve said it a thousand times – ‘God, I hate this country.’ I’ve heard it a million times more – ‘This place sucks.’ In quieter moments, I’ve heard more profound things: ‘Sir, this is a thousand times worse than I ever thought it would be.’ Or, ‘My wife and Sgt. B’s wife were good friends – I hope she’s taking it well.’
“They say they’re scared, and say they won’t do this or that, but when it comes time to do it they can’t let their buddies down, can’t let their friends go outside the wire without them, because they know it isn’t right for the team to go into the ballgame at any less than 100 percent.
“That’s combat, I guess, and there’s no way you can be ready for it. It just is what it is, and everybody’s experience is different. Just thought you might want to know what it’s really like.”
Only one who has seen the elephant can speak of it in all sincerity, but rarely does to those who have not.
I just found out that my daughter is going to reenlist in the Army. That will mean 3 more years of active duty. Being that she is in the Veterinary Corps, there’s less chance of her being deployed to the Middle East. But as those of you who have family members in the military know, things can change in an instant. So I live with the gnawing in my gut of potential deployment. I am fortunate that it’s just that so far. I’ve talked to many parents not so fortunate but who live 24/7 with the reality of their children in combat, many for multiple deployments. Most all of whom I’ve talked to handle it with grace and courage. They understand that their child is a Soldier, Marine, Sailor or Airman, voluntarily so. They understand what that means.
But that does not mean it’s easy, in any way, shape or form.
Cavmom has an exceptional and very personal post up that answers the question she gets from many first deployment parents:
Everyone should read it, not just military parents. Your neighbor might just be one such parent. Or the clerk at your grocery store. Your mailperson. Your car mechanic. Your doctor. Your insurance agent. Your child’s teacher.
The non-military folks in this country are so detached from our military at this time, that most don’t have a clue as to what having a child in the military during wartime means.
As one soldier wrote on a wooden board:
“We’re at war. America is at the mall”.
It would behoove everyone to know that there are parents sitting up at night in the kitchen wondering if their child is in harm’s way – after all, they haven’t heard from him or her in a couple of weeks. (Military parents’ mantra is “No news is good news”.) There are parents sleeping with their cellphone under their pillow. Parents who every day, check their driveway for an official looking car as they come up their street after work. Parents who put on that smile in public even though they just heard on the radio that another US soldier has been killed, not knowing if it’s their soldier. They go to school functions for their other kids. They go to church on Sunday. They do the grocery shopping, pay the bills, send off care packages, and hold conversations with people who are totally insensitive and blast them with their political views.
So please read Cavmom’s post and send it on to as many people as you know. She’s been through it more than once.
Then when you notice a military decal on a car, a Blue star banner in a window, a military flag in their front yard, say a prayer, not only for the soldier but also for his or her loved ones here at home who wait and pray 24/7.
And help them keep laughing.
Our kids are.
Yes, we do have an enemy. They are murderers, liars and arrogant haters of anyone not of their thinking. And they are killing anyone who gets in their way.
Video Execution of Iraqi Government “Apostates”
September 19, 2007
by Bob Parks (Black & Right)Apparently, this execution was broadcast to make an example of two men who switched sides and was working with the Iraqi government.
WARNING: Graphic video.
The following is the “Google translation” of the statement released with the tape.
Confessions 2 Cronies government apostasy and establish the rule of Allah including Baghdad
Thank Allah Mu’izzaddin Islam and Muslims, humiliating infidel and apostates, peace and prayers be on the Mujahideen, Commander presentation Mahglin Alihok fighting, and his family and companions and marched on the approach and guided to Bahdehem on religion .. After:
Almighty said: (O people had come admonition of the Lord and healing in the hearts and guidance, and mercy for believers) [Yunus: 57]
We offer you the tape shows photographed confessions of two of Cronies government apostasy Rafidiyah been arrested Pkemen arbitrator by the Mujahideen brothers heroes black supporters in the capital Baghdad, former Iraqi working at the Center for Counter-Terrorism (combat uniform and Sunni) and the other works for the Ministry of Defense feedback, this tape shows the moment including the implementation of the rule of Allah, shot by a court order and legitimacy revenge every Muslim and Sunni unarmed and caught for example Drossiness angry
And this is the “honored person” Columbia Univerity is letting speak to it’s students:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Zionists Cause Turmoil in the World to Prevent Europeans from Eradicating Them August, 2007
A man who wants to wipe Israel off the map and is supplying weapons to kill our soldiers.
And our “esteemed” politicians ~ Pelosi, Kucinich, Reid and those on the left who would so love to be our next President, want more talks with these people.
U.S. Congressman and Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich: The U.S. Must Pay Reparations to the People of Iraq September 3, 2007 shown on Syrian TV
Yes, he’s an elected official of the United States.
Syrian Minister of Culture Riyadh Na’san Agha: CIA and Mossad behind London Bombings and All Other Bombings in Europe February 28, 2007
And if you are a woman in Egypt: again, graphic material warning
The media doesn’t tell the whole story about our troops, focusing more on car bombs and trumped up accusations than on the good that is coming about in in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The media doesn’t tell the whole story about those who are bent on destroying us.
Our politicians are more concerned with votes and earmarks than with the threat against this country or the reality on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. They impune the honor of one of the finest Generals this country has and uses our tax dollars to go have a chat with the heads of terrorist countries.
The anti-mosteverything folks who scream out loudest for the rights of detainees hardly whisper about little girls getting cut up, beaten and sold in marriage.
And too many in this country could care less.
Thank God for the ones who do.
I watched the CSPAN airing of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker’s hearings on Monday and Tuesday. I have to say with heartfelt sincerity that I have never been more disgusted or ashamed of our Congress as I was watching the dhimmis harrass and all but call General Petraeus a liar. Nevermind the bungling of the microphone set up and the disturbances by Code Pink, etal.
I also have never been more impressed by two gentlemen than I was by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. They sat there with poisoned arrows coming at them over and over again and never once flinched. Or were hit. In fact, I would say that by their very bearing during the hours and hours sitting before the House and Senate members, it was never more clear who the real Statesmen were. And it most certainly wasn’t those who are officially known by that title.
You can see and hear the dhimmis’ responses before and after the report by going to Nancy Pelosi’s YouTube page here. (Yes, Pelosi takes YouTube’s”broadcast yourself!” to heart…there 722 videos all together!)
and they have the audacity to call Gen. Petraeus a liar.
From AlJazeeraEnglish: (more unbiased media – NOT!)
Well, the debates starting next week ought to be fun to watch ~ I’m sure to get lots more done around the house listening to the traitors of this country yakkity-yak their truthisms. Heh!
Hope to see you in DC on Saturday!!
This just occurred in New York just 2 days before 9/11. Can we say sell-out???
From DanNY at GOE:
‘Muslim Day Parade’ on Madison Avenue
Atlas Shrugs Pamela manages to fill her blog with excellent photos and video. The sharp eyed reader may even catch a glimpse of Charles W. ourGOE Northeast Coordinator!
Definitely watch Pamela’s video!!
Urban Infidel UI starts off with her usual excellent photographs and commentary. Her effort is hampered by internet issues at the moment but I am sure the rest of her pics and video will be online shortly.
Driss-a-Blog Shira writes a cogent and insightful report on her experiences today observing the parade and the counter protests. I look forward to reading more of her reports in the future.
One little ditty being chanted by fully covered ladies:
We are the Muslims
Mighty, mighty Muslims
We are the Muslims
Might, mighty Muslims
Wherever we may go
People want to know who we are… (repeat)Gateway Pundit has some pictures and commentary from Rocco DiPippo who was there.
Slavery, submission under pain of death, Jihad, beheadings, wife beating, honor killings, using our jets as weapons against us, using women and children as human shields as well as homicide bombs, torturing our soldiers in an unspeakable manner (and it wasn’t waterboarding), anti-semitism, sharia law, the Caliphate, liars, killers of Christians, Buddhists,etc. homosexuals and their own people.
I Will Not Submit.
And this was in April!
Rock Of the Marne!!!
Watch (with tissues handy)
Thank You, Tim Reinhart
Prime example of what we’ve been up against for longer than I care to think about:
CJ has a post up about the 7 Soldiers’ editorial published in the NYT; Veterans For Freedom’s response which was not published in the the NYT – anyway, go now and read his post if you haven’t already. (I’m a bit behind in blog reading. So much to do and not enough time in a day lately.)
Okay. Now read this:
I’m going to buy the book tomorrow when I go to town before one of my adopted “sons” comes to visit. I’ve written about him before ~ he’s with the Old Guard and is on casket duty. His missions are to respectfully bring his brothers or sisters home to their final resting place in Arlington. He’s all of 20. He has more respect and dignity in his shoelace than the goddamn media traitors have in their whole species.
Now that I’m thoroughly disgusted ~ again ~ and I hope you are too, (If not, go away. I don’t like your kind.) read here and do something to support this. This country has it’s head so far up where the sun don’t shine, it hasn’t seen daylight in what, 35 years or so and it’s killing our Soldiers and Marines. It’s up to those of us who are thoroughly disgusted to keep fighting the fight. The Government isn’t going to protect our troops, the media isn’t even in that room, we have looneybin military mothers doing everything in their power to spread the lies and help the enemy, within and without, and vets that have turned against their brothers for a few minutes of dhimmi media fame.
So are you going to sit there and let our troops ~ our children ~ be slandered?
No need to – you now have a way to get active. Support the Truth! Support the Tottens and Yons and all the others courageous enough to put their lives on the line so the Truth will be told.
It’s going to get uglier as the Surge continues to be successful. The politicians (on both sides of the aisle) are already doing their smoke and mirror bit by directing (and certainly not without design) your focus on Maliki and all the “faults” of the new Iraqi government and anything else they can put out there to keep you from hearing the good news. The MSM is more than willing to aid and abet the politiking politicians.
I’m with Wolf – I’m getting more raspy and angry by the day. Which is why I’m going to be in DC in September and support the independent embeds.
That March of Uppity MilMoms on Capital Hill that I’ve been thinking about (see comments here) might be a good thing to have happen in October ~ who’s available???