A Letter from a Marine

Here is one story of many that people normally don’t hear, and one

that everyone does.

This is just one story most don’t hear:

A young Marine and his cover man cautiously enter a room just

recently filled with insurgents armed with Ak-47’s and RPG’s.

There are three dead, another wailing in pain. The insurgent can

be heard saying, “Mister, mister! Diktoor, diktoor(doctor)!” He

is badly wounded, lying in a pool of his own blood. The Marine

and his cover man slowly walk toward the injured man, scanning to

make sure no enemies come from behind. In a split second, the

pressure in the room greatly exceeds that of the outside, and the

concussion seems to be felt before the blast is heard. Marines

outside rush to the room, and look in horror as the dust

gradually settles. The result is a room filled with the barely

recognizable remains of the deceased, caused by an insurgent

setting off several pounds of explosives.

The Marines’ remains are gathered by teary eyed comrades,

brothers in arms, and shipped home in a box. The families can

only mourn over a casket and a picture of their loved one, a life

cut short by someone who hid behind a white flag. But no one

hears these stories, except those who have lived to carry remains

of a friend, and the families who loved the dead. No one hears

this, so no one cares.

This is the story everyone hears:

A young Marine and his fire team cautiously enter a room just

recently filled with insurgents armed with AK-47’s and RPG’s.

There are three dead, another wailing in pain. The insurgent can

be heard saying, “Mister,mister! Diktoor, diktoor(doctor)!” He is badly wounded.

Suddenly, he pulls from under his bloody clothes a grenade, without the

pin. The explosion rocks the room, killing one Marine, wounding

the others. The young Marine catches shrapnel in the face.

The next day, same Marine, same type of situation, a different story.

The young Marine and his cover man enter a room with two wounded

insurgents. One lies on the floor in puddle of blood, another

against the wall. A reporter and his camera survey the wreckage

inside, and in the background can be heard the voice of a Marine,

“He’s moving, he’s moving!” The pop of a rifle is heard, and the

insurgent against the wall is now dead.

Minutes, hours later, the scene is aired on national television,

and the Marine is being held for committing a war crime. Unlawful

killing.

And now, another Marine has the possibility of being burned at

the stake for protecting the life of his brethren. His family now

wrings their hands in grief, tears streaming down their face.

Brother, should I have been in your boots, I too would have done

the same.

For those of you who don’t know, we Marines, Band of Brothers,

Jarheads, Leathernecks, etc., do not fight because we think it is

right, or think it is wrong. We are here for the man to our left,

and the man to our right. We choose to give our lives so that the

man or woman next to us can go home and see their husbands,

wives, children, friends and families.

For those of you who sit on your couches in front of your

television, and choose to condemn this man’s actions, I have but

one thing to say to you. Get out of your recliner, lace up my

boots, pick up a rifle, leave your family behind and join me. See

what I’ve seen, walk where I have walked. To those of you who

support us, my sincerest gratitude. You keep us alive.

I am a Marine currently doing his second tour in Iraq . These are

my opinions and mine alone. They do not represent those of the

Marine Corps or of the US military, or any other.

Sincerely,

LCPL Schmidt

USMC

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