Here's another must read forwarded by Jarhead Dad (who's son is a 2/2 Marine in Iraq). It's written by Marine Major Dave Bellon (Operations Officer of 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion) who talks about the Marines around Fallujah. Here's just a taste of the Must Read letter:
You probably heard that Mike was wounded this week. We take rockets and mortars from time to time and he got caught outside when a rocket came in. He was lucky as he only got hit with some shrapnel in the back of the head. Grateful that it was only a flesh wound. He was medivaced to a surgical unit. I got word that he was going to be medevaced to the surgical unit on my camp and went by that evening looking for him only to find out he went to a different treatment facility. They put some staples in his head and he hopped a helo to return to his camp and was back at work that night. He is a tough guy. In fact, I actually saw him yesterday as I had to go to his position for some business. It is always a quietly thankful moment when you see a guy who has been wounded or who you think was wounded and he turns out to be ok. Mike was actually embarrassed about the whole thing and shrugged off any mention of it as he feels like he is not "doing enough" right now.And he writes not just of Marines, but of the Iraqi forces the Marines are training:
We only were able to talk for a short time and I swear that within a few minutes I had forgotten about the whole thing until we shook hands when I had to go. He turned to leave and I saw the zipper of staples on the back of his head. He was going back to work.
I could tell you stories of individual heroics of Iraqi soldiers. One specific example is of an Iraqi SgtMaj who came into our lines during the first days of fighting in Falluja. He made his way through the mujahadeen and risked being killed by us to tell us that he was concerned about the ICDC (Iraqi Civil Defense Corps) armory in town. He knew it was only a matter of time until the muj went for the armory to take the weapons. Honestly, I would have thought that they had already done it as the police stations and every other good piece of ground seemed to be occupied by the muj by that time. In short, he wanted to let us know that he was going back into the town to get the weapons. The Marines asked him if he wanted us to help. No. He only wanted us to take the weapons from him when he came back through. This guy took a couple young Iraqi soldiers with a truck and drove back through our lines into the hornets nest of Falluja. He went to the armory, emptied the weapons and ammo stored there and brought it back out through the fighting to us. We expected him to want to stay with us or to move on to Baghdad or some other safe area. He refused and stated that he was going back into the city as that was where his duty was. Not a coward by even the most cynical standard.And finally, for those of you who see John Kerry surrounded by veterans, there's a few more million veterans that you don't see because we don't support him. Major Bellon has something to say about Kerry and Dan Rather, too:
...I punished myself by watching CBS news. I saw the anchor come on and just before he spoke, I told my rack mate "Lets see what the opening line is going to be...." Sure enough before he said anything else, he said "It just keeps getting worse and worse...." Yes, he was talking about Iraq. Honest to God we laughed at him. I'm not kidding. It is getting to the point where the Marines are getting past their anger at the talking heads and are laughing. To really get a rise out of them, requires a retired military officer who betrays his oath and stokes the fear mongering.So go check out the whole letter. It's long and I've only given you about 20% of it.
From what Major Bellon has to say, it looks like Wretchard at the Belmont Club was right about Fallujah.