A fairly common phrase by the Marxist Left is “I support the troops, but I don’t support the war.” Taking them at their word and believing that they honestly do support the troops, the obvious question then becomes: well, how do you support them? The Department of Defense has posted a page outlining what American citizens can do to make the lives of the brave men and women of the armed forces better as they stand “between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.”

My wife and I have decided that we don’t need Christmas presents this year, and we have informed our families. We would much rather have everyone pick a program for sending wanted or needed items to the people serving our nation. After all, we can drive down the street to pick up the things we need, but our fighting forces usually can’t do the same. The DoD link above lists lots of different ways people can support the troops. Personally, we have decided to go with Any Soldier as our way of doing our bit. So far we have sent off one package of stuff to a specific group of marines in Iraq, and we have a second package almost ready to send. (Hi there, guys!) This year, I urge you to skip a few presents and a night out, and put that money towards a few items our men and women in uniform would like to have. Whether you voted for President Bush, Senator Kerry, or Foghorn Leghorn, this is a simple way of showing – not merely saying – that you support the troops.

Talk is cheap, but actions count.

Speaking of talk, there’s been a great deal of discussion in the news about the marine shown shooting a wounded man in Fallujah. The Marxist Left have been crying and beating their collective chests over the shooting, and they are demanding the marine’s head on a platter. But the Left cuts this both ways: they have their video showing the marine acting in a not-so-peaceful manner to the voice-over commentary of “More tragic deaths today in a war we never should have started,” but had the marine kept his gun lowered and been subsequently killed by a bomb-wired insurgent, the voice-over commentary would have been “More tragic deaths today in a war we never should have started.” I pray that this marine will be completely vindicated in the upcoming court martial, regardless of what the clueless are saying about the Geneva Conventions.

Hindrocket posted this email he received from a Marine in the 11th MEU that explains the situation much better than I could:

This is one story of many that people normally don’t hear, and one that everyone does.

This is one most don’t hear:

A young Marine and his cover man cautiously enter a room just recently filled with insurgents armed with Ak-47′s and RPG’s. There are three dead, another wailing in pain. The insurgent can be heard saying, “Mister, mister! Diktoor, diktoor(doctor)!” He is badly wounded, lying in a pool of his own blood. The Marine and his cover man slowly walk toward the injured man, scanning to make sure no enemies come from behind. In a split second, the pressure in the room greatly exceeds that of the outside, and the concussion seems to be felt before the blast is heard. Marines outside rush to the room, and look in horror as the dust gradually settles. The result is a room filled with the barely recognizable remains of the deceased, caused by an insurgent setting off several pounds of explosives.

The Marines’ remains are gathered by teary eyed comrades, brothers in arms, and shipped home in a box. The families can only mourn over a casket and a picture of their loved one, a life cut short by someone who hid behind a white flag.

But no one hears these stories, except those who have lived to carry remains of a friend, and the families who loved the dead. No one hears this, so no one cares.

This is the story everyone hears:

A young Marine and his fire team cautiously enter a room just recently filled with insurgents armed with AK-47′s and RPG’s. There are three dead, another wailing in pain. The insurgent can be heard saying, “Mister, mister! Diktoor, diktoor(doctor)!” He is badly wounded. Suddenly, he pulls from under his bloody clothes a grenade, without the pin. The explosion rocks the room, killing one Marine, wounding the others. The young Marine catches shrapnel in the face.

The next day, same Marine, same type of situation, a different story. The young Marine and his cover man enter a room with two wounded insurgents. One lies on the floor in puddle of blood, another against the wall. A reporter and his camera survey the wreckage inside, and in the background can be heard the voice of a Marine, “He’s moving, he’s moving!”

The pop of a rifle is heard, and the insurgent against the wall is now dead. Minutes, hours later, the scene is aired on national television, and the Marine is being held for commiting a war crime. Unlawful killing.

And now, another Marine has the possibility of being burned at the stake for protecting the life of his brethren. His family now wrings their hands in grief, tears streaming down their face. Brother, should I have been in your boots, i too would have done the same.

For those of you who don’t know, we Marines, Band of Brothers, Jarheads, Leathernecks, etc., do not fight because we think it is right, or think it is wrong. We are here for the man to our left, and the man to our right. We choose to give our lives so that the man or woman next to us can go home and see their husbands, wives, children, friends and families.

For those of you who sit on your couches in front of your television, and choose to condemn this man’s actions, I have but one thing to say to you. Get out of your recliner, lace up my boots, pick up a rifle, leave your family behind and join me. See what I’ve seen, walk where I have walked. To those of you who support us, my sincerest gratitude. You keep us alive.

I am a Marine currently doing his second tour in Iraq. These are my opinions and mine alone. They do not represent those of the Marine Corps or of the US military, or any other.

Semper Fi, brother. Semper Fi.

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