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Voices from Iraq

I read the following letter from a book excerpt What Was Asked of Us by Trish Wood in the “The Last Word” column in the Week, a weekly news/political magazine. 

Garett Reppenhagen, Cavalry scout/sniper, 1st Infantry Division, Feb. 2004-Feb.2005, Baquba
One of the worst injuries I remember happened during an ambush.  He was in a personal-security detachment for the colonel.  They were going out to a spot that was ambushed earlier, and they stopped and he actually got out of the Humvee, dismounted, pulling security while the colonel got out to talk to some people.  As soon as he got out of the vehicle they detonated an IED right in his face.  It blew him backward with such force that his chin hit the Humvee and just shattered his jaw, and his chin and his throat were torn out pretty badly by the blast.  It blew his Kevlar off of his head because the shrapnel busted his strap, and it blew his Kevlar completely over the Humvee, and the helmet landed on the other side.  He had his jaw all reconstructed.  It was wired shut for the longest time.  Then he was speaking with a little electronic voice box that you hold up to your neck.  He’s one of those people who just can’t accept that the war is wrong.  He wanted to come back to the unit.  He wanted to fight.

When we got back from Iraq, he was there, and he spoke to us once.  He stood up in front of everybody and told us in his little robot voice how much he wanted to be in Iraq.  That was too much to bear because I know how brainwashed he was and how he’ll never think differently about it.  Always support the war and what we did there because it’s hard to admit that you’ve been duped and that you got all f---ed up for nothing.  You can’t go up to the guy and say, “Hey, man, you’re wrong.  You got f---ed up for no good reason,” and just pat him on the back.


Posted by Nuttshell on 01/16 at 03:07 PM in Blogging

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