Daily Letters

A selection of letters received.

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September 10, 2004

A simple girl with simple dreams

Dear George:

I'm your average 20 year old girl from the Midwest. I'm a simple girl with simple dreams. To get married, settle down, have a family and live happily.

I've accomplished the first of these aspirations. I was married the day after I turned 19 to my high school sweetheart David. The middle of senior year he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and headed out to boot camp leaving me alone to finish out my senior year and plan our wedding for when he came home on boot leave. 3 months later we had the finest wedding a girl could ask for. Nothing fancy. Just all the family and friends one could ever ask for. Truly a night to remember. David and I knew this was the start of our life. And what a perfect life it would be.

Not shortly after our brief, well...nonexistent, honeymoon, David left to go to his training school. We weren't together again until mid fall when I could finally move with him to his duty station at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. What a trip it was for us. So far away from home and no money in our pockets. We lived on base and finally it seemed as if we were given the chance to settle in.

But with the war in Iraq David had to learn all sorts of new training. Being home usually 1 or 2 weeks out of each month. Working from 4 am until 11 pm most days. We hardly got to see one another. He would be gone for months at a time preparing for deployment which was to come in August of 2004.

Come May of '04 we were told they'd be leaving early. July 5th at the earliest. So we braced ourselves and tried to spend more time together. Only to find that he'd be leaving June 19th instead for yet, more training.

He missed my birthday and our one year anniversary. He'll miss Thanksgiving, Halloween, his 20th birthday, Christmas, New years and Valentines day before his tired heart can come home to me where it belongs.

But most of all he's missing out on our life together. And I'm missing out on that too. Like so many other men and women serving over seas, in this war that we're not all too sure about.

And I have to go to bed every night wondering, if we'll make it through another day. If he'll make it through another day. Pray as hard as I might. I can't make him come home early. Or the Iraqis understand he's not there to hurt them. I can't keep a shield around him. And I can't talk to him every time I need him to be there with me.

Now he's a simple man, with simple dreams. And knows what he signed up for. To protect freedom in America. To keep those he loves safe and sound. Which I assume is what most service members sign up for. And they know full well, as do their spouses and family members, that there is danger involved. And all we ask of you Mr. President is to make conscience decisions and only send our boys in when you absolutely have to.

And I don't think you've done that Mr. President. I don't think you made a good decision or a right decision in sending my husband and other men and women to Iraq.

And they'll continue to die while we here at home continue to try to figure out why we went there in the first place.

Mr. President, how much blood must be shed before you'll step up, be a man and admit you were wrong?

Sincerely,

Emily
Age 20
Traverse City, Michigan

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