I received an e-mail from one of our dear readers who’s a father of a marine serving in Najaf now.
The marine sent his father the message below in which he provides some interesting observations from there. He’s also asked for some help in providing stationery for kids in Najaf.
If you want to contribute, you can contact his father at this address.
1. Not much to report on here in Najaf. Its been quite but we have heard about things being hot in other parts of Iraq so we are still being vigilant. Just recently the Mosques here in Najaf have re-opened and people are returning to them for prayer for the first time in almost a year. When the militia came into the city they took over the Mosques and used them as hideouts, even though it's against their own religious beliefs to use a holy site in such a way, but they did so because they knew that we wouldn't bomb there. The people kept asking us to just go in and get them, but we didn't want to destroy their Mosque, and some of my friends died as a result of sniper fire from inside, but we know it was the right thing to do.
As we were driving through the city on a security patrol the other day we drove by the newly re-opened Mosque. As we drove by many people came out and waved at us and some parents even held up their children and said "thank you America." I remember thinking that how lucky I was to be able to be from a country where I don't have to worry about someone using my church as a battle position, or that someone might shoot me and my family for trying to go to church. Some times I forget how lucky I am and I can't ever believe that I thought of going to church as being a "chore" We should feel blessed to be able to go in and pray as we choose. And I thank God every day that you and my family are safe and sound in the U.S. I love you guys so much that I would gladly lay down my life so that you never loose a single freedom that you enjoy today. And if anything should happen to me, don't worry there are a lot of guys like me out there who will never let that happen.
Lately we have been doing public affairs stuff, going around to different schools and seeing what kinds of stuff they need to be fixed. Things like desks and chalkboards and stuff. The hard part is dealing with all the little kids that come out to see us and they all think that we are going to be giving away food and candy. And it's not like it's just a couple of kids, we get mobbed by like a hundred kids. Instead of more candy or chocolate or stuff me , if you could send some basic school supply stuff to me we can get it right to the school kids. Things like pens, pencils, protractors, rulers, etc and we will get it out. I will also get some pictures of the kids for you that I will send. Oh, and don't forget those little hand held pencil sharpeners. Apparently they need some of those too......