Why She Fights.

No, this isn’t the “Mother of All Blogs” that I promised last week.  It’s just something I wanted to share with you, specifically a pic I saw on The Chive and what it means to me.  As you’ve no doubt heard, the Iraq was is officially over now, with the drawdown of troops wrapping up as the last units trickled out yesterday.  Many of our military personnel did not return.  Almost 4500 of our service men and women lost their lives in that conflict and I don’t even want to think about how many have been terribly injured, both physically, mentally, and emotionally.  God bless ’em, every one.

But that’s not the discussion I want to have right now.  I want to talk about hope.  Specifically, Iraqi hope.  And it’s all summed up in this picture of a young woman soldier with the 25th Army Infantry division…

It doesn't hurt that she's pretty cute...

There are tons of great pics of American and British soldiers doing wonderful things like teaching Iraqi children how to play baseball, giving piggyback rides and so on.  It’s one of the great legacies of the American Soldier.  Their kindness and compassion is legendary.  The gratefulness of the liberated peoples doesn’t always get the press it deserves, but the kids…my God, the kids love the American grunt.  Ever since WWII, the world knows that the GI’s have good candy and an abundance of smiles.  Sure, there have been exceptions.  A few bad apples sully the good works that 99% of our men and women carry out above and beyond the great call of duty.  But for the most part, you simply have to look at the face of those kids to know how much they adore their liberators.

This photo in particular says something even more about the legacy of the American Soldier.  One can’t help but notice that the soldier in this shot is female.  A blonde, smiling female.  It appears that the children surrounding her are also female.  Little girls.  Little girls who have lived in a part of the world where they have traditionally been relegated to second-class citizens based solely on the fact that they were born without a penis.  No votes, no property, at the whim of religious and political systems designed to keep the Man firmly entrenched in a position of absolute power.  And here they are, looking up to a fully-empowered, ass-kicking, FEMALE member of the United States Army.  This woman can vote, drive a car, use birth control, and disagree publicly with her husband.  If she even HAS a husband.  This American soldier is single-handedly changing the way these little girls view themselves and their world.  Regimes may come to pass wherein conservative religious views try and relegate women to the scrapheap.  Iraq may end up being more like Iran than we want to admit.  But the seed has been planted.  What has been experienced will not be forgotten.  The image of a woman fighting and building alongside her male counterparts will be indelibly etched into the memories of these kids and the thousands around the country that have witnessed similar scenarios. And perhaps just as importantly, the young men that have been in the presence of female soldiers and airmen might just see women in a different light.  Seeing a woman in uniform being saluted by men is no doubt a powerful image for them, no matter how alien it may have at seemed in their past.

Come what may, these kids have experienced two things, at least for a little while, that will shape who they become as adults.  They have tasted freedom, and they have seen how easy it is for men and women to serve together in some of the most stressful scenarios possible.  It will be a long, trying road for Iraq.  But if the children remember what is possible, they might just realize that nothing is IMpossible.  The world certainly hopes so.  God bless the American Soldier, and God Bless the people of Iraq.  May they continue to find their way.

Pictured: The Future

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16 responses to “Why She Fights.

  1. I think this is probably my favorite blog of yours. And it isn’t even funny. Thanks Turner, I wish I had a way to post this Army wide. For all your cracking wise you get it and that is great.

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  2. Great blog Turner. And there is definatly alot of truth in this. My little cuz is in service right now and shes a very strong person, alot stronger than many men. Just hope that this experience for the Iraqi’s doesnt lead to an adoption of many of the less desirable traits of the American woman or Americans in general.

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    • I think that the women they’re encountering now will hopefully shape their behavior in the future. Plus, coming from their basically Sharia law, I doubt they’ll immediately all become Kardasians. (I hope!)

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  3. Well said Turner. This is a great blog. This is how we as Americans are able to show the world that we are good decent people who care about what is right and what is just AND most importantly, we are willing to lay our lives on the line for freedom and justice for all. It is blogs like this one that make me glad to be a veteran.

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  4. While I may disagree with Turner on a lot of things Politically, Turner, you really hit the nail on the head head man. This is why America fights, one of the main reasons we “stick our noses in other peoples business”. It’s to bring people who are oppressed, who are forced to live a life of poverty, shame, and sorrow, the Freedoms we take for granted. We are, even with our governments recent attacks on our freedoms, still the freest people ever in History, and it is our duty to help those who wish to have that same freedom.

    As JFK said – Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

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  5. What a wonderful testimony to our troops. As I read this, I was truly inspired by your insight into what that picture spoke to you. I really like listening to the Bear, but you gave me another reason to enjoy it. Thank you.

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