April 8, 2004

A Marine Writes Home

Things have been busy here. You know I can't say much about it. However, I do know two things. One, POTUS has given us the green light to do whatever we needed to do to win this thing so we have that going for us. Two, and my opinion only, this battle is going to have far reaching effects on not only the war here in Iraq but in the overall war on terrorism. We have to be very precise in our application of combat power. We cannot kill a lot of innocent folks (though they are few and far between in Fallujah). There will be no shock and awe. There will be plenty of bloodshed at the lowest levels. This battle is the Marine Corps' Belleau Wood for this war. 2/1 and 1/5 will be leading the way. We have to find a way to kill the bad guys only. The Fallujahans are fired up and ready for a fight (or so they think). A lot of terrorists and foreign fighters are holed up in Fallujah. It has been a sanctuary for them. If they have not left town they are going to die. I'm hoping they stay and fight.

This way we won't have to track them down one by one.

This battle is going to be talked about for a long time. The Marine Corps will either reaffirm its place in history as one of the greatest fighting organizations in the world or we will die trying. The Marines are fired up. I'm nervous for them though because I know how much is riding on this fight (the war in Iraq, the view of the war at home, the length of the war on terror and the reputation of the Marine Corps to name a few). However, every time I've been nervous during my career about the outcome of events when young Marines were involved they have ALWAYS exceeded my expectations. I'm praying this is one of those times.

I see three salient points in this letter.

1) Bush is not a micromanager. You can thank his Harvard MBA for that. He is the quintessential manager. He believes in finding the best people he can and then getting out of their way and letting them do their job. My take is Bush is results oriented, not task oriented.

2) This country is blessed with the finest young men and women in uniform on the face of the planet. Where do people with such professionalism, patriotism, and dedication come from?

3) Pray for their safety and their success. Pray frequently, pray fervently, and pray as the beggars we are. I have no personal link with God. I do not know his mind on the Iraq war. But, perhaps if enough people beseech God with enough intensity their prayers will be answered. Let me remind you of this passage from 1 Samuel 1:12 of Hannah praying to God that her womb would be opened:

As she kept on praying to the LORD , Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine."
"Not so, my lord," Hannah replied, "I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD . Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief."
Eli answered, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him."

Hannah later became pregnant and gave birth to a son – Samuel.

Posted by Ted at April 8, 2004 7:28 PM