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March 21, 2003 / gus3

A Notice to Our Friends

The bombing of Baghdad has begun. Please do not celebrate.

We are at war. As they say, war is hell. No soldier enjoys the prospect of going to war, but every soldier understands that war against a barbaric enemy is necessary. Fighting in Iraq is clearly preferable to a repeat of September 11th.

These soldiers have sworn an oath, to defend our freedoms granted by God and guaranteed by our Constitution. That means they are prepared to fight, even to die, in defense of our right to lip off about our government.

Some of the soldiers are fighting in the Middle East. Some are preparing to go there. Some are staying behind, teaching the ones about to leave what they need to know. And some are waiting, wondering if they’ll be given orders tomorrow to pack their duffel bags and make sure their affairs are in order.

Every one of them has a family. They all have parents; most have sisters and brothers, and many have children. They all have friends too, who love them as much as any family member can. And all those families and friends are nervous, wondering if they’ll soon be attending a funeral with a flag-draped coffin and the local Amvets honor guard.

Until Saddam Hussein is removed from power, the world waits to see if he’ll use his VX nerve gas or his anthrax on our soldiers. Those are our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, and dear, dear friends, standing in harm’s way. They have trained for this for months, possibly years. God willing, their training will serve them well.

As for us who eagerly await the end of this conflict and the safe return of our loved ones, we ask for your consideration. We may want to talk about current events in Iraq, or we may not. But we do not enjoy what is happening. We are nervous and scared. One reason we come to work every day is to distract us from thinking about what could happen.

Please, don’t remind us. It already weighs on us. And don’t celebrate yet. Save that for when our soldiers are safely out of harm’s way.

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