The Kurds hold a special place in many of our memories. Their strongholds flourish while others do not. Their schools blossom while others do not. While they have had to overcome many obstacles (and have many more to overcome), their tribe is a strong one.
It is strong because of it's people and because many people have given much to allow the Kurds to determine their own fate. Because they are worth it.
A Kurdish Warrior (which is propbably the most redundant title I've ever written) serving in the Iraqi Army, Major Ahmed Jamil, has paid the price for his peoples' freedom...and his American brothers miss him.
Although I have a lot of Good news abut the elections, I will share that with you in a near future day. In this e-mail, I wish to share something with you that is weighing very heavy on my heart.
I found out hours ago that Major Jamil was killed by an IED, a few miles north of here. As you will recall from my e-mails to you all, during the big operation in Sarai in September (Operation Restoring Rights), Jamil and I became very close and bonded, as though we knew each other for a lifetime.
I very much admired, respected and and treasured this warrior's company and for the love for his country, Kurdistan. He told me, during one of our many conversations over dinner, that he and his men came to fight in Tall'afar, so the insurgents would never enter his homeland. He wanted to see his son grow up without violence, killings or ever seeing a gun.
His son was four months old when I met Jamil in September, I only hope and pray that his son will come to know one day, what a great sacrifice his father made, as well as what a great leader he was, brave, courages and beloved and respected by the men he led.
Jamil and I often worked on missions together, many times without the knowledge of our higher knowing about it, because we were able to accomplish much without all of the delays of the red tape. What makes his death even more tragic, is the fact that he had just returned from his home, where he went to mourn and bury his brother, sister and his nephews, all killed in a car accident.
I do not know how his parents are facing all of these deaths? I know that when I heard about my friend Jamil, I had to go away from everyone and be by myself. And be alone as I cried and mourned over my fallen friend and comarade.
We promised each other, that one day we would meet up after the war, in Kurdistan, where he was going to open his home to me and my family. In his phone he had placed a photo, our photo, and he was saving it till I would come to Kurdistan and we could take a new one together.
I have a great many photos of him, as well as many gifts that I was bringing to him, the next time I was supposed to see him. God willing, I will be able to visit Kurdistan and pass them along to his wife and his young son.
Please remember his family in your prayers, and remember, that there are many here, besides us Americans,who have also left the safety and security of their families and friends, to sacrifice for their futures.
I share his sacrifice with you, because he was my friend, because I had shared with you about our work together during the Sari operation, and because his death and sacrifice will not be broadcast on CNN. His sacrifice is not something that woud go well with all of the bias that is propogated about this place and this war. But I believe his sacrifice should be shared, as a testimony to his courage, his strenght of character and his convictions. And because he was my friend, and someone I loved and cared for, as did he for me.
There is no greater love than a man laying
down his life for his friends. - John 15:12-13
Godspeed, Major Jamil, Godspeed...
Update 01-03-06: It turns out that Major Jamil was not killed. Another Major Jamil was hit by an IED, but not SSG George's friend. As you can imagine, SSG George is both elated that his friend is alive but is saddened that another died.