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October 19, 2004
Explaining Why We Fight To Our Children, Part IV

This is Part IV in a continuing series by my friend "Mike", a Navy SEAL who spent most of the last couple of years in Iraq as both an active-duty participant and a private contractor. "Mike" explains the war in Iraq to his young sons, and has graciously allowed me to share his letters with you. NOTE: Some images may be disturbing!


In the last section we learned about the Captured Enemy Ammunition (CEA) mission that Daddy helps with. All of the planned detonations, which is when we blow things up, are closely supervised by former military explosives experts called EOD technicians. EOD stands for Explosive Ordnance Disposal. Explosive ordnance is another way of saying ammunition. The EOD techs try to blow something up almost every day so that we can get rid of the dangerous ammunition as soon as possible.

But there are many other things that have to be done to make sure that everyone is safe and Daddy helps with those things too. Sometimes Daddy goes out into the community near his FOB to meet with local people and help them with what they need. If Daddys team helps their neighbors, then those neighbors help in protecting Daddys FOB.
If they can read & write Arabic (their own language), they can even get jobs at the FOB.

It is all part of what we call winning hearts and minds. Most Iraqis are very glad we are here and are very scared about us leaving until good Iraqis can run the country. So we are teaching them the good things that we know.

Something for you to remember in Life is that No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

Now we have to talk about a very troubling topic which you have asked about Daddys work.

You have heard that Daddy is working as a contractor in Iraq. That is true. Daddy has taken a leave of absence from his military reserve unit and fire department to work as a civilian which means that he is getting paid by a company instead of the government. A contractor agrees to work for certain periods of time and when the time is up the contractor can either go home or get another contract. Daddy is definitely coming home at the end of this contract.

You may have also heard on TV or on the radio that contractors are some of the defenseless people that terrorists prey upon in Iraq. It is true that some contractors have been kidnapped and killed in Iraq. But these contractors were unarmed which means they were not carrying guns. Daddy is definitely not one of those kind of contractors.

Daddy is always well-armed while working here in Iraq and there is no possibility that he or any of the contractors he works with will ever be captured alive and killed later by terrorists. Daddy and his friends only fire their weapons at people when they are bad people who are trying to hurt good people.

Sometimes Daddy helps to search people to make sure they dont have weapons or explosives before they come on the FOB. Sometimes Daddy helps to detain people in Iraq like when they are trying to steal ammunition from his FOB or other cache sites. They steal the ammo to sell to terrorists who use it to attack us or the people of Free Iraq. After Daddys team detains the bad people, they turn them over to the U.S. Army. Sometimes Daddy shoots at bad people if they are coming to hurt people on his FOB, or a convoy that we might be traveling on.

But Daddy also works as a medic and his main job is to help people when they are sick or injured just like he does on his main job at home. Only in Iraq Daddy is usually the only medic at the FOB (or on a convoy) which is very far from a hospital so he has to do a lot more than when he is a paramedic. His first priority is to help other American contractors that he works with. Daddy also takes care of American and foreign military people when they need help.

But Iraqi people that Daddy works with get sick or hurt more than others do. So Daddy helps Iraqis when they are sick or hurt more than anyone else. Sometimes Daddy has to sew up big cuts like this one. But if the cuts or injuries are too serious, Daddy calls in a medical helicopter to take the people to an American military hospital in Iraq.

If Daddy and his team cant save the person, they die and Daddy is in charge of taking care of the dead person with dignity and respect.

Sometimes Daddy even takes care of children in Iraq. One time Daddy brought this burned child in through the main gate of a military base where there was a good temporary hospital. Even though the hospital staff wasnt supposed to treat outside local people, they got special permission and we took care of him.

His burns were debreaded each morning which means we cleaned and trimmed the dead skin. And every day he got new medication and bandages until he was all healed up.

Many children get burned in Iraq and unfortunately much worse than this boy.

We are very blessed to be born in America where we have so much and to be able to share it with others who dont.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 19, 2004 9:59 PM

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