Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Marine Plans His Return

Early this week I spoke with a Marine who had just returned from 7 months in Iraq. He is an infantry company commander, so his unit saw some real action. He lost 2 Marines from his company and had 18 wounded, and based on my limited knowledge of the area where his company was operating, his unit dealt some significant death and destruction to the terrorists and militants seeking to prevent the spread of freedom in Iraq.

He has 2 priorities. First, he was preparing to go see the families of the Marines from his unit who had been killed. Second, he talked a lot about how he would prepare his unit for their next tour to either Iraq or Afghanistan.

Think about that for a second. Here is a young man who has just gone through a very tough time and been under continuous stress for months, but his first thought is of those families rather than of himself, and his second thought is of his command and his men and his mission.

He said that reenlistment levels in his unit were off the charts, and that if he lost more than 5% of his Marines upon return he would be surprised. He said his unit experienced zero cases of low morale beyond the normal grunt griping and that his men were as ready to go back as he is.

I think there are thousands of guys like this out there. You may not see them interviewed as much as the whiners and shirkers, but meeting one of them and sharing a few beers certainly made me think the MSM is even more negligent in their reporting than I previously believed.