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I saw my best friends die & for months I patrolled among Iraqis I knew there were insurgents in the towns & the crowds. I felt their eyes when I patrolled through the markets. I was filled with rage when they took my best friend. Did I want to exact my revenge on all of them?
I did. What stopped me? Several things did. Once I felt death was getting closer to me I realized that if death came I wanted to leave this world with a clean conscious. I would not become the monsters that were trying to kill me and other innocent Iraqis.
I realized too that if I survived the war that I would have to live with what I did. I had to come back home with my honor and humanity. Serve honorably, don’t cower when the bullets fly and bring as many of my friends home.
Humanity, don’t let the war take away the one thing that defines us. Compassion, sympathy, sorrow. I knew PTSD was waiting for me in the future but I would not let regret over killing innocent humans be one of them.
But it was above all else one driver that kept me, me. This was not about me, I joined to serve my country. My actions would dishonor the generations of men and women that had served before me honorably. It would be a blemish upon my country who I only wanted to serve.
The modern US Military liberated Concentration Camps, destroyed facism, stopped the slaughter of Muslims in Kosovo. I was part of this heritage.
This is what @realDonaldTrump doesn’t understand. He isn’t just threatening the lives of millions of Iranians. He is destroying our national honor, he is destroying what makes America, America. We are the beacon of good not the shadow of bad.
.@realDonaldTrump can not be allowed to define who we are in our toughest times. I carry a lot from the war. It has hurt me. But I will carry to my grave that in the worst of times I was the best human.
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