Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Soldier's Letters

November 19th, 2004 5:58 PM

I'm writing because my brother can't

From: THOMAS T.
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 9:07 PM
To: soldiers@michaelmoore.com
Subject: I'm writing because my brother can't

I come from a family that has always been conservative and had a lot of pride in this country. All of us were Bush voters in 2000. I only had one sibling, a younger brother who graduated from high school a year and a half ago. He was probably my best friend, and was the pride of my family as an all county defensive back on his high school football team. He decided not to go to college right out of high school--he wanted to serve his country before moving on with his life. My whole family was so proud of him--I was too.

Not unexpectedly, he got sent to Iraq. He was happy to be going, and though we were worried, we were still happy for him. At this point we believed what Bush was saying, that we were helping the Iraqi people.

But in his letters, we soon found out this was a great lie. My brother couldn't interact with the population because it was too dangerous. Just going off the base was basically a combat mission because the people were so upset to see American soldiers there. We are conquerers to the Iraqis, not a liberation army. All they want is for us to leave. It is so bad the whole country is enemy territory.

Once my brother saw this, he wanted to leave. Most in his unit did too. He didn't believe in the mission anymore--thousands of Americans have been wounded, over a thousand killed, and now we found out 100,000 Iraqis have probably died. All for nothing. This war is the first great crime of the 21st century. But you can't just go home in the military. He had signed up, and had to stay.

Then a few months ago my brother was on patrol and an improvised explosive device went off near him. Three people in my brother's unit were hit, but only my brother died. He had just turned 19 years old. My parents are completely crushed. I am crushed. I just can't believe this happened to us (or to the world). I can't help but think that I may live to be 80 and my brother will still have been killed for nothing in Iraq. He will never grow old, never get married, never go to college, never have any more of the experiences we just take for granted. I don't know if my parents will ever get over this.

Needless to say my family cast its votes for Kerry (though it didn't help). I just want to give the message to those that may be thinking of signing up: Don't do it. This war is a lie, and your life is too precious. Instead serve your country by writing your congressmen and senators and telling them that you want to see this war brought to an end.

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