This Marine Doesn’t Hate Me

Shortly after I posted my blog tonight, I got another letter from the same Marine.
His second letter:
I had you a little wrong! i didnt mean to degrade your service. what i was saying is you signed up as a reservist to be there if the time is needed where i enlisted to live it. the marine corps is my life as yours from how it sounds. i just dont care for the image your show put out on our troops in iraq and afghanistan. granted yes there was and still is alot of shaddy stuff going on over there but it makes us all look bad in a way. i do respect you for your service and that you hold to your morals. sometimes i feel i have lost some of mine just beacuse of what i have seen and done. i was diagnosed with PTSD in 2005 but have worked through most of it. i thank my wife everyday for putting up with it untill i got a grasp on it. but i do thank you and keep doing what your are doing if you feel it is right everyone has a right to there own opinions. And dont think i hate you you are a brother to me as anyone in my marine corps is.

Thank you!!

My response:
Bro, I’m so glad to get this message. Even though I expected to get some flack for my beliefs, I expect it will never not hurt when another Marine doesn’t “get it” or whatever.
I’ve been interviewed a shit-ton since I went public and when the movie was going around to the film festivals or when we do an audience discussion after the play, I ALWAYS stand up for my Marines. Yeah, there are some bad apples and some of the shit we see coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan now make me cringe. I met some of the most awesome folks I’ll ever know when I was still active, still more while I’ve been working with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans who are speaking out like I have. Regarding the “sport shooting” and all the other heinous actions of those who, in my opinion don’t deserve to wear the uniform, I hate it when the actions of a few sick bastards casts a negative light on the service of good people like yourself.
I grew up poor working class in Alabama and the things I’ve learned since I tried to educate myself more after I came home, I got even more and more pissed off. When I just look at the numbers, follow the money trail and look at the sons of bitches who are getting rich off these occupations, I want to kill them. They are literally murdering our brothers and sisters. Not to mention the multitudes of innocent people over there. The bad guys always do the same thing too, “Look at the schools we built or the people who want us there or how terrible Saddam Hussein was…” It just ads insult to injury. They that by the time the last one of us OIF vets dies, the US will have spent three trillion dollars on the war in Iraq. Three TRILLION! I can’t even think that high. And then I look at the hard working American people and think of how much of their hard earned tax dollars are going to afford the war profiteers the lifestyle of KINGS! It’s criminal. All the while our sick, hungry and poor stay sick, hungry and poor. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for keeping our nation safe. But you could give my ten-year-old niece a small fraction of that money and tell her to make us safer from terrorism and she could do it. Our occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan is the best recruiting tool the Al Qaeda could ever hope for!
One more thing that you addressed in your first message got me to thinking. I had a real hard time when I came back thinking, “Well if our going there wasn’t just, then the lives of my brothers and sisters who died there are wasted.” Nothing could be further from the truth. IF America is able to learn from the terrible failures in our foreign policy over the past few years, the blood we’ve shed from American uniforms in the Middle East since 9/11 could be of the most valuable ever given. We may literally owe the survival of our nation to those selfless thousands. There is a better way.
I’m so glad to hear that you have a wife who loves and supports you. We are so lucky in that way to have the support of our spouses. All are not that lucky. There are those who feel as if they don’t have anyone at all or that the burdens of the psychological aftermath of war are too much. A tragic number of us have already taken their own lives. You and I both can do what we can to let them know there is another way.
I won’t keep you any longer. I remember how precious personal time is when you’re in the Corps. Let me know if I can be of any help to you. I’m glad to know you don’t hate me. And again I say…
Semper Fi

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