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Thursday, February 17, 2005

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I want more....

....like this please.
Raider Platoon's final combat patrol in Iraq hardly felt like a transition. During the miserable graveyard shift, the rain-lashed armored vehicles cut along a dark ribbon of highway, east of Fallujah, scouring the cold night for enemies.

None could be found. Raider's last mission closed in gray daybreak, with mudcaked boots and little fanfare.

The dream of homecoming is finally turning to reality for the US marines of the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR), Charlie Company, a key element of the invasion of Fallujah last November.

Their war over for now, this week the marines turned in excess ammunition, grenades, and explosives before beginning the long convoy to Kuwait, by ship to Okinawa, Japan, and finally a mid-April flight to Camp Pendleton, Calif. But as that day draws nearer, the marine scouts of Raider One - the "Death Dealers" - are grappling with emotions that range from joy at safe deliverance to anxiety about slotting back into mundane lives that lie ahead.

In Fallujah they fought and bled, testing themselves in ways they never imagined - leaving an entire city in ruins while hunting insurgents house to house, room to room.
This is a fascinating look at the Marines who took Fallujah — what they did, how they felt, how they dread returning to "routine" lives where there is no danger. A well-written piece, the story draws you in and makes you feel a part of the Raiders, winding down and preparing to leave the place that one Marine calls "the best of times and the worst of times; the most exciting, the most eventful and extraordinary; and the most scary, most miserable, most death-defying."

"I feel like [Fallujah] was the pinnacle of my existence - that nothing I will ever do will be like what I have done,".

If more writers could tell stories like this (or even cared to), I doubt there's be anything like the opposition to war that we have now. These are our "boys", coming home from the battlefied, just as they did after World War II. We should be proud of them, and we should pray for them. They will carry with them, for the rest of their lives, memories that can only be shared with others who were there.

And deep in their hearts, they will feel pride for having defended freedom and beaten evil.