Monday, December 06, 2004

Letter from an American Soldier

60 Minutes had an interesting piece last night about former soldiers who are being recalled into the military in some cases many years after their active enlistments ended. A friend of mine and my partner's just happens to be in one of the units that Bob Simon interviewed. Here are a few of her comments:

Just in case they edit it to the negative, I wanted to tell you a bit about several of the soldiers interviewed. Not sure if I know them all as I wasn't there that day but I know of most of the key speakers.

1. CW4 Margaret Murray, Upstate NY, 35+yrs service, 50 something (she won't give exacts). "Little Chief" as we call her. (Note: Net search "fort living room military murray" and you can read the article that I believe the AP News put out about her last Sat.) What a dynamic women and inspiration to us all. They followed her around as she qualified with her weapon. She had trouble the first time because it was literally too big for her. She ended up with a completely bruised upper lip, eye and right bicep. No complaints though, just mocked "You should have seen the other guy". She's 4'10" and maybe 95lbs soaking wet. I can't speak highly enough of her. She's become our mascot and the local celebrity, which she casts off. She hardly speaks, though I probably know her best as we are studying together everyday. She and I are both Personnel Officers.

(Our friend described several other recalled soldiers whose interviews did not appear. All of them are interesting, remarkable people. We should be proud and reassured to have such people in our military)

I'm not sure who else was interviewed but I'm sure they will try to hammer the point about those that didn't show up. We here pretty much feel the same way. We don't know their circumstances and it's not our place to judge. We have been called to do a job and serve and defend our country and so we will. We're not here to judge others, that's for the courts and politicans and those who find great glee in judging others "just because." We have more important issues to deal with, and we will.

If the people I've met here are any indication of all those called back from "Fort Livingroom", you can rest easier as I'm not sure that I've ever been amongst such a diverse, professional and truly awesome group of individuals. As an American, I'm proud to be serving with them. As a soldier, I feel blessed.

Hope you can all keep all of us and those already serving in your prayers as we head off to Kuwait, Iraq, Djibouti, Afganistan, Qatar or other places in the "sandbox" and also those that will stay stateside to serve. It's for you and you families and friends that we do so. God bless you all and may you have a wonderful holiday season.

Amen.

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