Sunday, July 24, 2005

Confessions from the War part III

This is taking too long, I want to say what I have to say and get it over with. I really don't like talking or writing about the war that much but there are a few things I want to "confess" before moving on with my life, I want nothing more than to move on with my life and forget Iraq. It seems egoistical but it really hurts me to think about the whole thing. When I was there I thought of nothing but the day that I would finally come home. But I feel like I left unfinished business there. The first months back I could not see any news about it because I would feel guilty about not being there helping. I feel like I went there but got nothing done. There are so many things I would like to say, but words are not freaking enough. Or rather my words are not enough, I can't put together how I feel toward the Iraqis, I love them and I hate them both at the same time. Iraqi people, I met you, I talked to you, I saw you, I learned about you, I learned words in Arabic, I shook hands with you, I gave you food, I was compasionate, I spared some of your lifes.

One day. In Iraq. I had been given an order to shoot a man I thought did not deserve to die.
It is not quite that simple, what happened was that there was a sentry post on a bridge on the Euphrates River. Some dumb iraqis used to go to the middle of that river and throw granades or explosives in order to collect the dead fish that surfaced afterwards, well obviously that did not sit well with us. Specially the sentries on the bridge. Warnings were given, Patience was running short. Days later the Captain frustated ordered that the next time fisherman used explosives on the river to shoot them. Sure enough, we got the call to go over and shoot at the poor bastards.
My section was on duty that day so we went over there, my Platoon Sgt who is wiser than most told us not to shoot at them but to shoot near them so we only scare them away, but when we called it on the Radio we heard back orders to shoot them because they were running away from us. I had this man in my sights, his back was to me and I had a good shot to the back of his head. I intentionally shot away from him, I did not think he deserved to die. But I felt very shitty afterwards, what if he, the same guy that I spared were to come back and kill one of us?
I don't know if i was being weak, or scared, but i did not want to kill an unarmed person.
If that guy went to kill Americans, I am truly sorry. I failed my brothers in Arms. I'd have to live with that the rest of my life. But, I'd like to think I spared a life.Maybe he really was an innocent civilian, it is impossible to tell. I wanted to come back with a clean concience. Killing people is fucked up business. Even though you Iraqis threw everything you could at me, from rocks to rocketts. including bullets and IEDs. I did what i could to be fair. After the incident I told no one, until now.

There is no stereotype that fits all of the soldiers and all of the Iraqis. Just one thing, I don't want to talk about Iraq ever again. The more I remember the worse I feel. There are more things that I wish I could say, but I am done for now. I forced myself to let this out because I've had it with me for months, but writing about it is not really helping.

I was starting to forget this whole thing, it is better to be ignorant, to be in a bliss. If you didn't have to go to Iraq see and live those things, good for you. You don't need to, just be grateful you live in America where you can write anything that comes to your mind in a stupid blog. Yeah the system is screwed up, but all the others systems are worse. And if you find a better place to live, America is so good you are also free to leave it.

I am going to carry on with this blog writing about other important things like my son who is due in September, IBM, the meaning of life or whether the Marlins are going to the playoffs. It doesn't matter. Maybe sometime later I will write more crap about the war. I would rather not, but sometimes i am not in charge of my own head.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your blog, and thanks for your service.
Best whishes with your family and father hood.
From Danjel dad thunder6

Anonymous said...

Wow ... I'm in awe of what you went through. I think you did the right thing, missing the guy on the bridge. But, I can see how that decision ... the "what if's" would haunt me, too.

Thanks for your service to this country - and best of luck with the birth of your child!