A soldier marks July 4th

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By The Staff

I am a U.S. Army soldier deployed in Iraq and I was just sitting here thinking tonight ... why am I here? What is the reason for this?

Well, this is the way I see it and what I think.

Everybody in the world knows about the war in Iraq and what a big part the United States holds in it. The news and media talk a lot about what's going on over here, how bad it is and how the U.S. should not be here. They make it out to sound like this war is all about gaining control over the oil industry, gaining control over the Middle East, causing trouble and getting our soldiers killed for no reason. They also talk like they are the ones over here in the thick of it, but the truth is they're not. They're not the ones getting shot at day after day ... we are.

There isn't a single person in the U.S. military who didn't know they were going to war sooner or later when they signed up. Whether it be the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines, everyone knew they would be deployed at some time, especially after 9/11.

You see, it takes a special breed of person to do a job like we do. Not everyone is willing to lay down their own life for the lives of the ones they love or for the people they don't even know and their loved ones. I don't know about all the other soldiers but I volunteered to come here. The way I see it is somebody's got to do it, so why not me?

One of my best friends who I've known all my life joined the Army just a few months before me. He had the same mindset as I do ... why not me. Well, just a few months ago it was him. His truck got hit by an IED, unfortunately his crew were all killed but he did make it. My friend suffered life-altering injuries that most people couldn't even imagine going through. He lost both his legs from the knees down and a big chunk of one of his elbows, but you know what? He hasn't let that stop him from living his life. I tell you this, if I know him like I think I do, he doesn't blame the Army, the president or anyone else but the people who set up these bombs for what happened to him. He volunteered to join the Army, he knew there was a chance that something could happen to him just like all the rest of us do, but he still chose to enlist anyway.

You want to know why he and I and everyone else in the military joined? To keep the terrorists out of our country and out of our homes. That way our families and friends can live in peace and not worry about being attacked every time they leave their homes or jobs. We are over here to help the innocent ones know that they can live in a world that isn't full of hate and killing. There are good people over here who are more than grateful we are here to stop the violence and corruption in their lives.

So like I said, there isn't a single person over here against their own free will. We all signed the paper and knew it would happen some time.

That's pretty much everything, the way I see it.