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Friday, May 2, 2008

The End of Combat Phase - An Anniversary for the Ducks

Whitney M. Duck
Yesterday, May 1, 2008, Andrew and I had an Anniversary. It was not our wedding or the day of our first date. No, this was the Anniversary of the Ending of the Combat Phase of the Iraq War. I do not think that I cheered harder that day then on any other deployment! I had just found out that Andrew was in Camp Commando when a scud missile exploded early that was headed for his building! It was the closest that I had ever come to the stark reality of what he did for a living.

Andrew was never keen on the war and the actions running up to it. Yet, he was a very small voice in the Army who some labeled a trouble maker for not going along with the plans without making a fuss. Andrew never did believe that oil would pay for the war. There was something about stealing another country's resources under international law. However, no matter what he did or said, it was full speed ahead for the US Armed Forces! Victory would be easy and after 9 to 12 weeks everyone would come home! I know this because I attended the briefings for family members. Alas, this was far from the truth and even farther away from the reality.

I truly believed that he would call me that evening and tell me that he would be leaving Iraq in a few weeks. If you can not trust the Commander in Chief, who can you trust? Sadly, this was not the case nor was it even close! Andrew went special operations and we did not speak for another 6 weeks.

When Andrew returned he was angry and hurt. He had tried to integrate the Iraq Army with U.S. forces only to have Paul Bremen, the Presidential envoy to Iraq step in and stop everything in its tracks. Sad to say, little has changed and too many have died and had lives forever changed since May 2001. Many Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines from Maryland have served and died for this folly of the George W. Bush Administration. Too many to count!

This weekend while we are running here and there, take time out to think and remember the men and woman of the Armed Forces for a moment. I am not asking you to support the war or wrap yourself in the flag and shout "Go get them!". No, I am asking you to just think of those in the armed services who have died and those who live this war everyday! Those who serve, do so for many different reasons.

As a nation we need to give back no matter how we feel about the war. It is just a thought.

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