Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Marine in Iraq, Some Surprises

Kevin Drum links to a letter from a Marine officer in Iraq, including this bit:

"Highest Unit Re-enlistment Rate - Any outfit that has been in Iraq recently. All the danger, all the hardship, all the time away from home, all the horror, all the frustrations with the fight here - all are outweighed by the desire for young men to be part of a 'Band of Brothers' who will die for one another. They found what they were looking for when they enlisted out of high school. Man for man, they now have more combat experience than any Marines in the history of our Corps. [Italics added]
The last sentence struck me. It's a reminder of how long the war has lasted. [Pause to digest thought.]

It's possibly also mistaken. My wife's uncle was a Marine whose service spanned WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. (He wasn't in combat but I'm sure there are Marines who were.) So a Marine who served on Guadalcanal with the First Marine Division might have had several other landings, then the Chosin reservoir in Korea and then engagements in Nam.

Still, the Marine's points are worth noting--he finds O'Reilly a buffoon and the Iraqi police surprisingly resistant to terror so it's not a simplistic letter.

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