News from Baghdad

A small spot to describe to a certain extent what it is like for the soldiers here in Iraq. I must remain anonymous as there may be some who would view this as an "official" posting, however, it is not. Just some personal views on the politics and public views in this war that has been to oftentimes tainted by the sensationalism of the media.

Name:
Location: Home, United States

I enjoy my job to the fullest, regardless of the political climate at any particular time. My family and my soldiers are the central focal point of my existence as well as my religious viewpoints.

Monday, October 25, 2004

25 October 2004

As I lie awake this evening, my heart and my mind are elsewhere. I am enjoying my time home with my family, however, I cannot and will not be completely at ease until all of us are home with our families. I have received numerous e-mails from friends and family alike showing support for all of us whether they believe the actions taken in Iraq are right or not. It matters not to most of them as far as the soldiers are concerned. They understand that we are doing what we have been asked to do and I pray every day that we are doing it well enough.

There is the offhand pundit who disgraces him/herself with their demonstration of idiocy and illiterate attempts to goad me. I generally ignore these, with the exceptions of a few. I will take this particular moment to say, once again, that what is posted here are MY views and no one else's. I speak for no one outside of myself and have in no wise been coerced or promised anything for the content of these postings. There have been a couple who have accused me of being a "soldier voice" for the "war effort". It has been my desire and my goal to forward my views, incite curiosity among the readers and allow them to research particular items which may be of interest to them and draw their own conclusions. As with any opinion or belief in life, I disagree with attempting to force any particular way of thinking upon anyone. Make your own decisions and conclusions. Take not my words as gospel. They are just thoughts from a soldier who believes strongly in what I do and believe that continued freedoms on our own shores shall forever be possible and protected by those oftimes unwanted and forgotten men and women who have chosen a path in their lives to take up arms and defend what they love.

Below is a piece that I recieved from one of my readers and it really speaks volumes. Thank you for sending it to me and I hope that those who read it will be as enlightened by it as I.


The Sheepdogs

Most humans truly are like sheep
Wanting nothing more than peace to keep
To graze, grow fat and raise their young,
Sweet taste of clover on the tongue.
Their lives serene upon Life’s farm,
They sense no threat nor fear no harm.
On verdant meadows, they forage free
With naught to fear, with naught to flee.
They pay their sheepdogs little heed
For there is no threat; there is no need.

To the flock, sheepdog’s are mysteries,
Roaming watchful round the peripheries.
These fang-toothed creatures bark, they roar
With the fetid reek of the carnivore,
Too like the wolf of legends told,
To be amongst our docile fold.
Who needs sheepdogs? What good are they?
They have no use, not in this day.
Lock them away, out of our sight
We have no need of their fierce might.

But sudden in their midst a beast
Has come to kill, has come to feast
The wolves attack; they give no warning
Upon that calm September morning
They slash and kill with frenzied glee
Their passive helpless enemy
Who had no clue the wolves were there
Far roaming from their Eastern lair.
Then from the carnage, from the rout,
Comes the cry, “Turn the sheepdogs out!”

Thus is our nature but too our plight
To keep our dogs on leashes tight
And live a life of illusive bliss
Hearing not the beast, his growl, his hiss.
Until he has us by the throat,
We pay no heed; we take no note.
Not until he strikes us at our core
Will we unleash the Dogs of War
Only having felt the wolf pack’s wrath
Do we loose the sheepdogs on its path.

And the wolves will learn what we’ve shown before;
We love our sheep, we Dogs of War.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66



To all of the "sheep" out there...we do love all of you. Thank you all for your support and kindness to each and every one of us. God bless.

39 Comments:

Blogger Wiz said...

You probably can count me as one of the sheep. I spent twenty years in the Air Force, but outside of being in a bar in Biloxi, Mississippi one night in 1949, I was never in harms way. I do love you guys, all of you, and think of you each morning when I post my flag (Stars and Stripes) and each evening as I take it down. Be safe!

9:07 AM  
Blogger betsy said...

Wow, awesome poem! You have a great blog, keep up the good work, we appreciate hearing the real news. And don't be concerned about the people who cannot deal with good ole 'merican patriotism. We read as many military and Iraqi blogs as we can and find that any who are positive about the future of Iraq and Afghanistan get bombed by those who do not like good news. Only body counts and bad news interests them. Where was the fantastic news of the Afghans voting by the millions for the first time in over 25 years? NOwhere to be found here in the US. It's pretty sad. Thank you and your men for your service, there are many of us who DO want the good news as well as the bad. Our flag is always raised. God bless.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Brian H said...

Just an interesting animal note: it has been found that donkeys are great herd protectors, too. They also have the advantage of having no "carnivore reek"! And they positively HATE wolves and coyotes. Cheaper to feed, and they really like being with the sheep.

Sounds like the Reserves, maybe!?!

;)

6:41 AM  
Blogger Brian H said...

Sorry, can't resist.
Link for the above: Donkey shepherdsDonkeys rely predominantly on sight and sound to detect intruders. When approached, sheep will tend to move so the guard animal is between the intruder and themselves. The donkeys' loud brays and quick pursuit will scare away predators and may also alert the shepherd. In most instances donkeys will confront and chase dogs or coyotes out of the pasture. If the canines do not retreat quickly the donkeys will attack them by rising up on their hind legs and striking with both front feet. A solid blow can injure, kill or at the very least discourage the predator.

Given ample opportunity, most donkeys will bond with sheep and protect them from predators. The donkey should be introduced to the sheep as early as possible to increase the likelihood of the donkey bonding to the flock. Getting the sheep and donkey to accept each other as "flockmates" is the first step in allowing the donkey to exhibit its true guarding instincts. Under ideal circumstances the jenny (female donkey) and her foal should be raised with the sheep. The weaned foal should then be left alone with the flock.

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A big thank you to you and all who serve with you from all us sheep. You guys (and gals) never get a fraction of the respect and graditude you deserve, but we all sleep better at night knowing we have such great people protecting us. Have a great leave and I wish you the best of luck.
-Jeremy

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blog and check it daily. My husband and I pray for you and all our service men and women daily. Keep up the good work and know we stand behind you. Thank you and God bless.
Michael and Mary Ann

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Blogger Abe said...

That is a great poem. Im impressed with the donkey comment though,i think i will use that method on my farm, we have a small mexican family of 20, and a huge VW bug family car...i'm a joker...hope i at least gave you a "wtf" grin. But on a serious note, you are one of the many vertebret that hold the backbone of our country together.

Thank you

Abe

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