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Old 11-25-2009, 05:04 PM
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03Fox2/1 03Fox2/1 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Mount Pleasant, Carolina
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Jim,
First off, I do hope I'm not coming across as some kind of whiner. I'm sure, since this is a public forum, there will be those who either label me that or some kind of a person with a huge grudge, also not true.
I'm actually just having a very meaningful conversation with a brother Marine whose story I want to hear as it does give a more complete picture of the Corps back then.
I am bitter at what transpired to me on my journey and many others who also happened to fall into that particular moment in history, but I'm not ashamed or sorry for my service to my country and Corps during a time of war.
I fought the honorable fight and my buddies and I persevered under very difficult circumstances but that's what you do in war and that's what Marines are known for.
My main gripe is how we were treated with far less dignity then we deserved and almost no compassion or understanding on our return and discharge and my main complaint and intention was for this to never happen again to combat troops in any war we send troops to fight in.
Since we have been in Iraq and now Afghanistan, there are plenty of similarities that are almost haunting but some of the major differences, like how the troops are treated by the government and the public, during and after returning from combat, I think are indicative of the terrible mistakes made with us and the lessons learned and also the fact that people like me are still around to remind the government that we have not forgotten.
You know we had some very restrictive rules of engagement back in '68-'69 but nothing as complicated and seemingly never ending as our troops now face. And the latest ones that seem to put American casualties probably increasing because of lack of supporting arms being approved, subject to the likelihood of any civilian casualties reeks of a political war that is already being lost.
When you put political considerations ahead of the safety of our people and require these same people to have such restrictive rules of engagement, I believe we are going down the same slippery slope that we found ourselves on late in the VietNam War when men were still fighting and dying for nothing more than a suitable time and reason to leave.
I see our current President must also see the many similarities and I think he may be the first to actually address an exit plan since we seem to not want victory. When will we learn to keep ourselves out of harms way unless we actually have realistic and achievable goals with some expectation of either a victory or a rapid exit. We should not try to be the policeman of the world, let those who reside near the Taliban fight them. Where are the Indian troops or the European troops, not just token numbers either.
Yes, with hindsight you probably made the best and most important decision of your life when you opted to stay out of WestPack and I don't fault you at all.

Semper Fi, Scott
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