How are the Iraqis doing?
Read this and decide for yourself.
Just got back from lunch with the family mentioned in one of TJ's posts below. One of their sons was shot by a sniper while guarding a checkpoint last week. He's well on the road to recovery now, having been shot in the clavicle and released from the hospital within 24 hours. What I never mentioned after that happened, and what amazes me still today, is what I saw later that night. I dropped by their shop again after visiting the son in the hospital. The tears were not yet dry in the mother's eyes. The father was stoic, greeting me as if nothing had happened. Another young son was playing a computer game, shooting bad guys from a water tower with, get this, a sniper rifle.The Iraqis need our help because they aren't "manned up" yet, but they don't need our help on the courage and determination front. They've got that in spades.
And amidst all this, yet another 20-something son was putting on his body armor, tactical gear, and Kevlar helmet. As he slipped a magazine into his rifle, I asked him where he was off to.
"Work!" He smiled and headed for the door. When I asked him where, he named the checkpoint to which he was assigned for duty that night. I looked around the room to make sure it wasn't a joke. It wasn't.
Only hours after his brother was shot at a checkpoint by an unseen terrorist, this young Iraqi soldier marched proudly out the door to man the exact same checkpoint for the rest of the night.
How I wish Americans could remember what it was like to ache for freedom.