Not everyone objects to Americans in Iraq

Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2004

What you have just read is verbatim from a card I received from four Iraqi people who worked with my husband in Baghdad. He has changed jobs and will no longer see them regularly, so they gave him this card so that you, all of you, and I would know how they feel.

Multiply the sentiments in this card by several hundred thousand. It's too bad that we don't hear more about these Iraqi people on the news every day.

From Iraqi family to the American family: Our great love and respect to Mr. Randy and especially Mrs. Randy, the courageous. We are all wish to be so, so proud of your father and all the Americans here or there in Iraq; those great men who did their efforts in reconstruction of Iraq and before that in the operation of the liberation of Iraq and we'll never forget what have you done for us forever. God bless you. God bless America. God bless our beloved Mr. President Bush. Your faithful friends, Firas, Rana, Ban and Rasha

I wrote this editorial because I am tired of listening to people who do not know anyone in Iraq or anyone in the U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq, complain for literally hours each day about the efforts in Iraq.

Yes, Americans are dying there. These are Americans, like my husband, adults, who made a conscious decision to go as civilians. Stop calling the military "kids." These are men and women who joined these services. Note the word "Armed" Services. These people are warriors, trained to use weapons and expect resistance, and yes, to possibly be wounded or killed. Do you think they could pick and choose the conflict to which they would be sent?

Like it or not, we are there, and all the negative misinformation repeated all over this country is a national shame.

We live in an amazing country. We have liberties these four people have only dreamt. We can all have an opinion and state it without fear of reprisal. There's a downside to this freedom: People often say things without thought, without fact, wasting precious energy, creating animosity, discontent and hatefulness.

Think before you speak; put yourself in other people's shoes.

Michelle Crawford lives in Soldotna. Her husband, Randy Crawford, is the retired director of the Alaska State Troopers. He currently works as head of project security for KBR, a subsidiary of Haliburton, in Iraq, overseeing the Iraqis who provide security for reconstruction efforts. He has been in Iraq since February and is scheduled to return to Alaska next May.

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