Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Soldier's Letters

October 4th, 2004 12:28 AM

"I'm in a bunker in Mosul, Iraq, getting mortared daily..."

From: Gerard E. Dolan [e-mail address omitted]
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 4:18 PM
Subject: Soldiers helping the children of Mosul, Iraq


I wanted to apprise you of a few things that might help you understand some of my fears and frustrations.

Did you know that American citizens at the Republican National Convetion last night were wearing band-aids with Purple Hearts on them to mock veterans (i.e. Kerry) who were lightly wounded? I'm in a bunker in Mosul, Iraq, getting mortared daily, and I have to watch my countrymen wearing Purple Heart Band-aids and getting coverage on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX?

Did you know that two nights ago, our combat support hospital took in two casualties from an IED (improvised explosive device, a road side bomb)? One kid had two broken legs, a broken arm, broken ribs, and a punctured lung. The other kid was trapped in the vehicle and burned to death. Have you ever seen a burnt human body? It's a sight you won't forget and the smell never leaves you.

I wish I could reach out to those fine Americans at the Republican National Convention and make then see what I've seen; I would show them all of the wounds and injuries our surgeons, nurses, and medics have treated. American soldiers are dying over here, and those at the convention have the temerity to mock us? While the balloons drop and the banners wave, somebody's son is taking fire, somebody's daughter is crying for her mother on our operating room table, and somebody's husband is lying cold in a "pouch, human remains." Will that be enough to convince these model citizens to take off their Purple Heart Band-Aids?

I consider myself a proud ex-pat, along with the 150,000 or so other soldiers in Iraq. Given all that us ex-pats are doing to further democracy in the Middle East, is it too much to ask for a little respect and a vote now and then? When will we be able to have some intelligent debate over real issues: health care, creating more jobs, bringing our boys home, increasing taxes on corporations, etc.?

By the way, if anyone wants to make a difference in the future of Iraq, my unit is working with our civil affiars battalion to collect school supplies for the local schools in Mosul. Apparently, there isn't enough money in the interim Iraqi budget to pay for pencils, pens, and composition books. School starts September 11th. Leave no child behind!

Gerry Dolan
US Army

[[rank omitted] Dolan has informed us that the following school supplies are needed: Pens, Pencils, Composition Books, Metric Rulers, Compasses, Erasers, Calculators (markers, crayons, and construction don't seem to be in demand).]

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