A soldier in Iraq
asks in despair: Why are we here?
By Donald C. Hudson Jr
TN" -- --- After watching his
roommate fatally wounded in a roadside bombing, an
Army private wonders why the lives of good men are
being lost when the Iraqis pose no threat to us and
don’t want us there.
BAGHDAD, May 12 — My name is Donald Hudson Jr. I
have been serving our country’s military actively
for the last three years. I am currently deployed to
Baghdad on Forward Operating Base Loyalty, where I
have been for the last four and a half months.
I came here as part of the first wave of this so
called “troop surge”, but so far it has effectively
done nothing to quell insurgent violence. I have
seen the rise in violence between the Sunni and
Shiite. This country is in the middle of a civil war
that has been on going since the seventh century.
Why are we here when this country still to date does
not want us here? Why does our president’s personal
agenda consume him so much, that he can not pay
attention to what is really going on here?
Let me tell you a story. On May 10, I was out on a
convoy mission to move barriers from a market to a
joint security station. It was no different from any
other night, except the improvised explosive device
that hit our convoy this time, actually pierced
through the armor of one of our trucks. The truck
was immediately engulfed in flames, the driver lost
control and wrecked the truck into one of the
buildings lining the street. I was the driver of the
lead truck in our convoy; the fifth out of six was
the one that got hit. All I could hear over the
radio was a friend from the sixth truck screaming
that the fifth truck was burning up real bad, and
that they needed fire extinguishers real bad. So I
turned my truck around and drove through concrete
barriers to get to the burning truck as quickly as I
could. I stopped 30 meters short of the burning
truck, got out and ripped my fire extinguisher out
of its holder, and ran to the truck. I ran past
another friend of mine on the way to the burning
truck, he was screaming something but I could not
make it out. I opened the driver’s door to the truck
and was immediately overcome by the flames. I
sprayed the extinguisher into the door, and then I
saw my roommate’s leg. He was the gunner of that
truck. His leg was across the driver’s seat that was
on fire and the rest of his body was further in the
truck. My fire extinguisher died and I climbed into
the truck to attempt to save him. I got to where his
head was, in the back passenger-side seat. I grabbed
his shoulders and attempted to pull him from the
truck out the driver’s door. I finally got him out
of the truck head first. His face had been badly
burned. His leg was horribly wounded. We placed him
on a spine board and did our best to attempt “Buddy
Aid”. We heard him trying to gasp for air. He had a
pulse and was breathing, but was not responsive. He
was placed into a truck and rushed to the “Green
Zone”, where he died within the hour. His name was
Michael K. Frank. He was 36 years old. He was a
great friend of mine and a mentor to most of us
younger soldiers here.
Now I am still here in this country wondering why,
and having to pick up the pieces of what is left of
my friend in our room. I would just like to know
what is the true reason we are here? This country
poses no threat to our own. So why must we waste the
lives of good men on a country that does not give a
damn about itself? Most of my friends here share my
views, but do not have the courage to say anything.
About Donald C. Hudson Jr.
Donald C. Hudson Jr. is a private assigned to the
1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade
Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
My thanks to Allen Roland’s
http://blogs.salon.com/0002255/ for bringing
this item to my attention.
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