Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Soldier's Letters

December 29th, 2004 2:02 PM

"I recently had the opportunity to speak to a reporter from the New York Times..."

From: Tommy W. Ogden
Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 2:02 PM
To: Michael Moore
Subject: Thank You

Dear Mike-

I am a Sergeant First Class in the United States Army with 19-and-a-half years in service. I am currently preparing myself, my family, and my unit for a second tour in Iraq. I had grand plans to retire in July of 2005 but with the phenomenally ill-conceived stop-loss policy SecDef Rumsfeld has implemented, I'll have to wait at least a year beyond that before I have any hope of bringing those plans to fruition.

My purpose in writing this letter is to offer my heart-felt thanks for "Fahrenheit 9/11", and for the constant and unwavering support you have shown for me and all my fellow service members and their families. It's extremely gratifying to see how successful your film has been and how many eyes, previously blind, have been opened to the wanton corruption and scandal rife within the Bush administration. I have watched "Fahrenheit 9/11" six times, (I ran out and bought a copy of the DVD on the day of its release), and I have to say that the anger in my heart burns brighter with each viewing. I have the deepest respect for your courage and candor, and your unwillingness to allow this nation's elected and appointed officials to conduct their business in such deceitful and self-satisfying ways.

You have also mentioned the culpability of the media in the charade that is Operation Iraqi Freedom. I recently had the opportunity to speak to a reporter from the New York Times about my opinions regarding redeployment, stop-loss, and other aspects of military life in these turbulent times. I am known around my unit as a vocal critic of Bush, his administration, and his policies, and I held nothing back during the interview I gave with the Times reporter. Sadly, when the story was published, she chose to print only selected quotes, and even those were incorrectly transcribed. This woman missed a golden opportunity to use a major media outlet to show the public how a soldier really feels about his commander-in-chief and his prospects about returning to participate in a war that he and most other soldiers do not support. She failed to mention the fact that cases of AWOL, drug abuse, and other disciplinary problems are skyrocketing, and the prevailing opinion is that these soldiers are attempting to use any means necessary to get out of deploying to Iraq. Not because they are cowards, but because they know they are not supported by their commander-in-chief and because of the likelihood that they may die for a cause that they are so adamantly against, they are willing to risk a dishonorable discharge to avoid further service in Iraq. I'm sick to death of hearing that morale is high among the troops and that the military's support for Bush is as high as ever. A bigger crock of shit I've never heard in my life.

My apologies for rambling. I must thank you again for your support, and for giving military members and their families an outlet for their criticism of the criminals who run this country. If someday our paths should cross, it would be the greatest honor I could think of to be able to meet you and shake your hand. We in the military love you, Mike...KEEP UP THE FANTASTIC WORK!

Very Sincerely Yours,
SFC Tom W. Ogden

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