local guard unit heads to Iraq

Brent Finnegan -- June 25th, 2007

I remember posting about this a while back, but the day arrived faster than I thought it would. Troops of the National Guard’s Company A, 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry said farewell to family and friends today. 80 National Guard troops from the Harrisonburg area are traveling to Mississippi for training, and then shipping off to Iraq for a year.

36 Responses to “local guard unit heads to Iraq”

  1. I pray daily for everyone’s safe return home and hope to offer comfort to their families during this stressful time.

    Please, if anyone knows of any of thes brave men and women, please ask them to sign up for the Adopt-a-Platoon program. We would be honored to help these “guys” get anything they should need.

    Thank you.

  2. Emmy says:

    I saw a lot of these brave men at bible school this past week. I pray all of them make it home to see their kids at bible school next year.

  3. Lowell Fulk says:

    Although there are those who think it cheesy to talk about prayer, right now and for the future of these bright and dedicated young folks and their anxious families, prayer is precisely what we need to offer. Our heart is out to you, and our prayers are for you.
    Dear Lord, please watch over and protect these our sweet and precious Children, bring them home that they may continue to bless our lives with the richness of who they are. You know best Lord, thy will be done…

  4. Ditto, Lowell and Emmy and Frank

  5. JGFitzgerald says:

    Go bind your sons to exile
    To serve your captives’ need;…

    To seek another’s profit,
    And work another’s gain….

    And reap his old reward:
    The blame of those ye better,
    The hate of those ye guard–…

    Kipling, 1898 or so.

  6. I believe this is the way it actually reads, Joe..correct me if wrong.

    Take up the White Man’s burden–
    Send forth the best ye breed–
    Go bind your sons to exile
    To serve your captives’ need;
    To wait in heavy harness,
    On fluttered folk and wild–
    Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
    Half-devil and half-child

  7. JGFitzgerald says:

    It’s actually several stanzas. I excerpted what I found relevant. What’s your point?

  8. JGFitzgerald says:

    One hundred nine years ago, or thereabouts, in 49 succinct lines (seven stanzas of eight minus the line repeated seven times), one of the greatest narrative poets to write in English warned the U.S. as it entered the world stage that the seed of empire bore bitter fruit. The seven lines excerpted encapsulate the Nobel laureate’s theme that our best and brightest would be sacrificed for the profit of others and that the sacrifice would earn us only the hatred of those we condescendingly stooped to help.

    That was Kipling’s point. Mine is that we haven’t learned a whole hell of a lot since then.

  9. But then again, Iraq was _much_ better off with Saddam Hussein, right Joe?

    Ah, what four years in any branch of the armed forces would have done for your outlook on life, Joe.

  10. Or, perhaps an afternoon up at Walter Reed AMC visiting troops that have returned home missing various parts of their bodies…and who’s only voiced complaint are people who think like you.

    Our troops, however, appear to be safer in war, than in peacetime…at least, that’s how the CDC sees it.

  11. Joe,
    Although I may agree with your last statement, I would have much rather heard in your own words how you felt…not exerpts from a poet 100 years ago.
    It’s not whether you support the war or not, Joe. It is about supporting our brave troops that are there trying to do the right thing for their country. Just remember one thing…those are someones children going to war. It could be YOUR child…and I bet if it were your child, Joe…you’d be damned proud of him.

  12. finnegan says:

    I think for many parents it’s a mixture of pride and fear.

    I do support our troops. But I suppose I’m one of those “support em: bring ’em home” types.

    Dave wrote: “But then again, Iraq was _much_ better off with Saddam Hussein, right Joe?”

    I think the Iraqi poll results are mixed enough to make a case either way:

    Support for the coalition forces based in Iraq is low – with 82% expressing a lack of confidence in them and 69% thinking they had made the security situation worse.

    But I think you and I both know that this wasn’t a humanitarian “save the Iraqis” kind of mission. If this were all about helping the helpless and saving innocent people from atrocities, the troops would be going to Uganda or Sudan right now, not Iraq.

    Let’s call this what it is: these troops are going because they’ve been told to. They’re following orders. They joined the armed forces out of a sense of family tradition or brotherhood or duty for their country (or in some cases, to help with college tuition) and now they’re going. These troops did not decide to invade. Bush did.

    So, is it possible to support the troops and oppose the war? I say yes, and so do many others like me. Is it “unpatriotic” to stand up for what you believe in? Hell no. My friend who recently joined the Marines would likely agree with me.

  13. JGFitzgerald says:

    When one reads a Greek lyricist and finds wisdom from three thousand years ago (Go, stranger, and tell the Spartans, that here according to their laws we fell) there’s a twin purpose in quoting the source. One is because it would be hubris to try improving on the original, and the other is to point out that things that had became obvious to thinking people a millennium before the birth of Christ are still being ignored today.

    My world view is not so limited as to believe that military service is a better path to knowledge than classical literature. I believe that as with most wars, great literature will come from our misadventures in the Gulf region, and I look forward to that. And I know that much of it, while updated to include new weaponry and technology, will reflect the futility of the overall effort while focusing on the average soldier’s only wanting to keep himself and his comrades alive, and to hell with the policy initiative that put them in harm’s way.

    I’d love to be wrong about that. It would mean we’d learned something. But Kipling says we haven’t.

  14. kestrel9000 says:

    Briggman:
    But then again, Iraq was _much_ better off with Saddam Hussein, right Joe?
    You know, I get heartily sick of that nonsensical line of reasoning.
    1) If by, “Iraq”, you mean the average Iraqi on the street, the answer could easily be said to be “yes.” Suicide bombers were not blowing things up at random, WP was not being dropped on residential neighborhoods, and in most areas, the power and water worked 24/7. As to the economic conditions? Well…there’s apoint. If only Saddam had given up those nasty WMDs when we asked him to, perhaps we could have lifted those punishing economic sanctions. Good thing we went in there and got rid of..hey..wait…ok, never mind that.
    2) Making Iraq a better place was not why we went in there.
    We went in there because your President told us were were in danger.
    And for no other reason.
    Just that simple.
    Typical Bushie: redefine the mission once your original casus belli was shown to be bullsmoke. “The smoking gun…a mushroom cloud. Hidden in large groves of palm trees. ” Or have you forgotten? Oh, yeah, it’s that conservative selective recollection. Works like a champ.
    Puh-leeze.

  15. Kestrel,

    I didn’t vote for Bush — either term.

    Keep your stereotypes to yourself — you miss everytime you try to apply one against me.

    finnegan,

    Anyone who’s joined the military since, say, September 11, 2001, probably envisioned going off to either Iraq or Afghanistan.

  16. David Troyer says:

    Dave… if I remember correctly the Iraqi/Al Qaeda link took at least a couple weeks to fabricate.

  17. I know both our daughters, one as you know is on the ground in Iraq, and Sarah, who just got delivered to MEPS in Roanoke knew it was a possibility and are very happy about their decisions.

    No matter WHAT happens to them I as a father am very proud of them.

    Too bad not enough others feel the same way. Thank you Emmy, Finnegan, Lowell, Briggman (although I still prefer the Orange Kool-aid) and Christa.

    May GOD BLESS you for your thoughts towards others.

  18. Rapanu says:

    Yes Briggman, Iraq was better off with Hussein….and so were we. The region was much more stable…..and the US treasury was much richer…..and US citizens safer……

    To paraphrase….

    Allow the president to invade a nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose – and you allow him to make war at pleasure.

    Abraham Lincoln

  19. Rapanu.

    I must admit, I’m flabbergasted.

    I’ve never heard or read anyone actually state that Iraq was actually better off WITH Saddam Hussein.

    Might I extract a sample of your DNA? :-)

    I won’t argue with the issue of more money in the Treasury, but as I wrote yesterday, even the Center for Disease Control and Prevention statistics shows are military has lower mortality rates now than in pre-war service.

  20. David Troyer, I have Dan Rather and many other news anchors on DVD postulating the idea that the 9/11 attacks were “masterminded” by Osama Bin Laden/Al Qaeda — a man in a cave half a world away — on 9/11 news coverage beginning with some reports around the time the missile hit the Pentagon.

    Not that I believe it.

  21. JGFitzgerald says:

    “Better off.” Hans Blix, Kofi Annan.
    “Too early to tell.” Ron Paul.
    Please note that this comment is meant to address only the word “never” in the previous comment. As a boomer, I’m most concerned about whether the U.S. is better off as a result of the war.

  22. Rapanui says:

    By “better off” I’m not stating that his rule was a good one. What I am saying is that, relatively speaking, his stable country was better than the civil war and chaos that exists today.

    Again, I admit that hussein was a despot, partly of our own making, but the world has always had despots and now we become concerned for civilian welfare?

    Is over 100,000 civilian deaths since the “liberation” better..?
    Is a destryed infrastructure that will take hundreds of billions of AMERICAN dollars better?
    A recent poll of Iraqs showed that 72% felt “deep dispair” over their future..is that better?
    Is the angerthat we are creating in their younger generation better?
    Is the destruction of irreplaceable and priceless museum artifacts, many of which date back to the earliest civilizations, better?
    Is a 10x increase in insurgency better? Or the fact that Al Quaeda is in fact now in Iraq ?(the experts agree it was not during Husseins reign).

    As you well know, I could go on and on and on…the facts, data and opinions of experts are on my side. You know this but yet you still keep wishing, hoping and telling yourself something different.

    The old appalachian proverb (i’m sure it’s well know to Valley folk) is so true…

    “it ain’t what you don’t know that makes you look like a damn fool, it’s what you think you know that ain’t so.”

  23. David Miller says:

    God Bless our troops. God damn the man that sent them into danger under extremely false (to the average IQ/Informed) circumstances.

  24. It was Bush’s dad’s beef to begin with.(Saddam Hussein)

  25. Frank Witt says:

    “God Bless our troops. God damn the man that sent them into danger under extremely false (to the average IQ/Informed) circumstances.”

    By George I think he’s got it !

  26. Rapanui says:

    Hey Briggy, have you seen the latest poll numbers on cnn.com regarding the war?

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/06/26/poll.iraq.schneider/index.html

  27. zen says:

    Briggmann>>
    Could you provide us a link to where you got this data?

    “Center for Disease Control and Prevention statistics shows are military has lower mortality rates now than in pre-war service”

    I wonder if there’s anything there about the number of wounded service people in relation to current- and pre-war service?

  28. David Troyer says:

    Dave… I apologize for the misunderstanding. I was not questioning Al Qaeda’s involvement with 9/11. Let me rephrase what I said…

    The idea that Iraq or Suddam were involved with Al Qaeda and thus 9/11 took a few weeks to fabricate.

  29. Deb SF says:

    Count me in on those who think that Iraq was better off under Saddam. It’s a matter of very very bad under SH vs. horrendous under the terrible and intensifying civil war. A year ago, I would have said that they’re better off now. Not anymore. Iraqis who can are voting with their feet; according to reports, whoever can leave does.

  30. David Miller says:

    The scary thing to me is wondering whether or not there is a country out there who recognizes Bush as the despot that he is and is plotting the Operation American Freedom bombing campaign. Would we be better off?

    sorry, bad joke

  31. Rapanui says:

    Hey Briggy,

    Here’s some more numbers that I’m sure you don’t want to hear….
    Iraq is worse now

    Deb, at last count over 2 million refugees have fled Iraq to neighboring countries. I doubt if that endears us even more to those countries…

    David, you’re right on the money. Kind of two-faced for us to argue with other countries against using the same pre-emptive strike mentality that got us into the Iraq mess. If we can do it, why shouldn’t Israel? Or North Korea? Or any other sovereign nation?

  32. Rapanui says:

    Sorry it didn’t link correctly..here’s the link
    http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/55407/?page=1

  33. Benny Neal says:

    Hey! Frank Witt,
    Good article on you, Barb and “Kitchen Classics”, in the
    Daily News-record today.

  34. Frank J Witt says:

    Benny, thank you. I just called Jenny Jones and thanked here for keeping it about the troops and nothing else.

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