Monday, January 16, 2006

Brrrrrrrrrrr!


It's a very cold night here in Iraq. If I had to guess, I'd say it's in the thirties. I, being the glutton for punishment that I am, just returned from a run. My lungs are hurting from breathing the freezing air, my knees are aching and my legs are screaming. I couldn't feel any better! What I absolutely love about running, especially in the cold, is that it gives me an opportunity to push myself...it gives my body an opportunity to battle with my mind. The first shots were fired in tonight's skirmish as soon as I exited my hooch and sucked in that first lung-full of frigid air. I knew this was coming and stepped off before I could give my mind a chance to convince me otherwise.

This may seen trivial to some...this whole mind/body game that I play with myself. But every battle that my body wins over my mind makes me mentally stronger. And in my environment, mental fortitude is essential. There have been so many times here that I have wanted to give into my mind when it has told me to slow down or quit. Not an option. Please don't misunderstand me...I do not have a large red "S" painted on my chest, nor do I change my clothes in a telephone booth. I am not trying to portray myself as anything other than a simple man learning lessons about what it takes to be successful in combat and in life. Every one of these lessons that I learn, by God's grace, may save lives. It may in fact one day be my own.

Today, I saw some fruits of our labors here. As I was on a patrol with the Iraqi army, I saw large groups of children walking to school. Backpacks, books, and smiles. It was a real joy. I saw an American soldier help a young girl fix her shoe which had broke sometime on her way to school; 550 cord and duct tape will fix absolutely anything! It was moving. I have said all along that among other things, this is a generational war we are fighting. These young children will one day lead this country. Every simple gesture, such as what I witnessed today, will be a memory tomorrow that will eventually lead to our long-term success in this country. It has without a doubt been a collective effort, but I gained a real sense of personal satisfaction by what I witnessed today, and I hope and pray that tomorrow will bring the same.

There is currently a very expansive reconstruction effort in Iraq currently being conducted by the coalition forces and our leadership. In many respects and in many cities, we are giving a large number of Iraqi's better living conditions than before we arrived. It is an unfortunate fact of warfare that infrastructure is often damaged or destroyed to accomplish a mission. By helping to rebuild (and in some cases, build) this infrastructure, we once again show the Iraqi people our commitment to their stability and their country's independence. It is our desire to have the Iraqi citizens to row with us, not against us and this can only be when we convince them of our intentions and show that we are here for the long haul.

Sgt Cann was laid to rest today at Arlington National cemetery. His memory and dedication go with all of us who knew him. America is a stronger nation as a result of his selfless service. He will be missed.

9 comments:

Barb said...

Running in the cold/snow? You *are* a glutton for punishment!

How wonderful to see the future of Iraq in the faces of those children, and to know that you are a part of the memory they will carry forward all through their lives.

I found a real nice article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Adam, including a great pic of him with Bruno.

"Frankly Opinionated" said...

Hello in the sandbox. Another star shines over Arlington today. Was Adam special? Of course, but then each and every one of you who are doing for our country what this 65 year old vet would like to be doing, are special.
As for your running- I am a runner, (no more marathons, no more 15 k's), aging faster than I care to. I have one tip, the one that has meant the most to me: "The runs that make you ache from the time you hit your first step, and last til the completed last step, are the ones that truly count. The easy ones, the "slides", are just to keep you fit for these punishing types. And while you are running the ones that are really "bitches", you can reflect on just how few the real runners are, and how unfit they've become. hang in there. Incidentially, I started my running at 50, running up hill in Sorels and Carhardts, at 9,200ft above Denver, a month after I quit smoking 3+ packs a day.
A bit of levity next: : Know what a sniper feels just as he puts one in the forehead of Haji? Recoil! Keep running after 'em! And, as always: YER GITTIN' 'ER DONE DUDE!
nuf sed

CJ said...

God bless you all. You continue to be an inspiration and an example to the rest of us. Keep strong. We love you!

AMERICA'S WAR CHICK said...

I love your blog! May I email you my articles? I've written about several men in Iraq and Afghanistan. Korean War is my specialty, but since communism and Islam--Islammunism--are joining forces, that brings me into your territory. Of course, I bow to your expertise, and would love the chance to pick your brain. Please email me at reslaru@gmail.com.

Keep the faith, bro...you already have the courage.

Resa LaRu Kirkland
www.warchick.com

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