Interview With U.S. Soldier Back From Iraq
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By KellyMc - Last updated: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 - Save & Share - One Comment

Intervention Magazine found an unhappy soldier who was willing to discsuss “the war in Iraq”: anonymously.

bq. Im thinking about a 19-year-old who was on my table. This guy could have been your next door neighbor. Smart kid, excited kid. But his life as he knew it was basically over. His legs were gone. Its hard for these soldiers to believe. Ive seen lots of people with severe, permanent injuries. Theyre going to need a lot of help when they get back home, because their lives are going to change forever. And to have the guy [President Bush] cutting billions from the VA [Veterans Administration] budget, at a time when youve got all those guys coming back from overseas with major injuries, thats disgusting! That hurts every person who ever served this country. I dont understand how someone can stand up and say, Im pro-military, when you want to cut $16 billion from the VA and close VA hospitals.

bq. Were going to need those hospitals. The veterans are going to need medical help and psychological training. Theyre not going to be able to walk out of that environment and just go back to their normal jobs. Theyre going to need therapy, theyre going to need help. …

This part covers something we’ve discussed here before — my belief that we’re investing too much in Cold War military gear and not enough in the gear neccesary for Urban warfare.

bq. We were supposed to have bulletproof vests, where we actually put the plates inside our flak jackets. We never got those. The money had been paid for those things, but we never got them. My brother had to send me a flak jacket. Theres all sorts of stuff that we had to buy on our own before we left. The types of canteens you need, water pouches that go on your back.

Read all the way thorugh this one. He’s wrong, IMO, about several things but he’s got some good inside information.

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One Response to “Interview With U.S. Soldier Back From Iraq”

Comment from Jank
Time April 1, 2004 at 8:01 pm

Suffolk Life (out of NYC Metro area) found a Marine LT recently back from Iraq who was willing to discuss the war in Iraq on the record:

“There are evil people in the world that need to be killed. As harsh and cold as this may sound, it is the truth nonetheless. You cannot fight them in a court of law because they fail to recognize any higher secular authority. Unfortunately, you can only fight them on the battlefield, where judgments are quick and sentencing is instantaneous. That is how you defeat terrorism,” said Matt Shifrin, first lieutenant with the U.S. Military Police Corps. …

Before his return, Shifrin said, “I am going to return from Iraq soon, not as a disgraced soldier who fought an immoral war, but as a proud American who has done his part in preserving our way of life for future generations. I can only hope that my fellow Americans can realize that and follow the example that these young soldiers have set. Only then we can truly begin to work towards peace and a world without terrorism.”

Echoes a lot of what we’ve been kicking around discussing Fallujah. There’s an old joke that Marine’s just an acronym for “My ass rides in Navy Equipment”. As a squid, I’ll do whatever I can to take guys like Matt anywhere.

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