Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I wanted to share this with you all!

I received a copy of an email from a dear friend of mine, Karen. She is a huge supporter of our soldiers. She shared with me a letter from a Maj.Mark Aitken, I can't begin to express this nearly as well so with out any further hesitation here is his email.
Wolverine "5" Christmas Message

Yesterday, December 20, 2006, I sat down to write a Christmas message to all who have supported the officers, non-commissioned officers, and troopers of the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment (Wolverines), but was distracted by our President’s news conference and the plethora of bad news emanating out of Iraq. It disturbed me greatly to learn that our country is losing patience with the progress or lack thereof to date. These statements motivated me to alter my Christmas message from one of hope and support, to a message requesting one thing, "Time."

The United States Army, "Your Army," has a distinguished history of overcoming insurmountable adversities eventually resulting in decisive victories. There are many heroic battles, but none more famous than when the Continental Army under General George Washington, during the Revolutionary War, reversed the tide of British victories in 1776 by crossing the frozen Delaware River on Christmas Eve to defeat the Hessian Garrison at Trenton, New Jersey. This tradition continued through the years, and was again illustrated during World War II during the Battle of Bulge when elements of the 101st Airborne refused to surrender to advancing German Forces. General McAullife’s response of "Nuts" to the German Commanders request for surrender was a stroke of genius that motivated our soldiers to stand their ground against overwhelming odds. These are only two examples of the many heroic and valorous acts performed by our Armed Forces during the Christmas season. Many of our fellow countrymen believe that this is only in our history, but I remind you that our men and women in uniform continue these fine traditions and epitomize the values of what it means to be an American!

Therefore, this Christmas I am asking for "Time." Time for us to do our jobs and bring peace and stability to the country of Iraq! We don’t need tanks, airplanes, artillery, or even more soldiers; we just need "Time!" We need "Time" to develop the Iraqi Army, improve security, and eventually show the local population how to enjoy the privileges of freedom. I know it is difficult to fathom but in the years following World War II, our country maintained large numbers of troops in both Europe and Japan in order to sustain peace and stability. It is interesting to note that even today we retain troops in both of these countries. I doubt that either Japan or Germany would have flourished and grown as democracies if we had abandoned the "Marshall Plan" and withdrawn our troops because of setbacks or casualties.

In closing, I would like to remind everyone of a conversation between General Washington and Congressman Benjamin Rush on the eve of their crossing the Delaware River. They were both concerned of the state of the militia army and their capability to execute a nighttime attack in extremely bad weather. During the course of the conversation Congressman Rush noticed General Washington holding a small crushed piece of paper in his hand. When queried regarding the contents of the paper he showed there were three words, "Victory or Death." This note, while profound during that time, affected me deeply here in Iraq. While most Americans today can not fathom or understand that kind of dedication, our troops serving in Iraq fully understand its implications. If we fail here, we may not perish, but all the good that we have accomplished over the past five years will wither and die! With that, I wish all a Merry Christmas, and pray that God grants our government and people the patience in order that we, the men and women of your Army, can emerge victorious.

MAJ Mark Aitken

1st Squadron, 89th United States Cavalry

FOB Striker, Iraq

We began something we need to finish. I agree with this man 110% and I only wish I could thank him personally for all he has done for this great country.