A Soldier's Blog tells us about his birthday. but it wasn't him getting presents. Here is are some excerpts:
"We really don't own anything in this life. Did these acts of kindness representing America really penetrate their souls like it has mine? I am unsure, and can only hope that God works ceasingly in their hearts like He does in mine.
So, I continued my spirit filled morning as we loaded up our hummer with shoes, candy, clothes, beanie babies, and school supplies. My guys were thrilled to get off the fob and help out Iraqis."
"I write a lot about seeing people smile here. Well, its a univeral language in itself, and I can relate to smiling children when they run off with a new pair of shoes, or with an old man who stood patiently till I found a cold weather coat for him. His very tan, wrinkled old face lit up like a Christmas tree when he saw what I was handing him. I will never look and feel the same as I see others smiling. We are simply all entitled to be happy and have the liberties to make life to make life the best it can be for our families. They are no different than a smiling college college student making his or her first new friend, a proud set of parents during a birth, or someone who just got promoted at their job. Other than my genes and faith choice, I am no different than them."
"Once all of the supplies were given out, we headed back to the fob. My boys talked about how much fun they had and that they can't wait to do it again. The enemy still is cowardly and does not show his/her face. IEDs, and car bombs are still the big threat here, so getting out on the roads provides a risk. Even with that risk, my guys still want to help out Iraqis. My platoon's function is maintenance, and most of the time we are working on keeping our fleet running. So, if my guys thought the risk was not worth the reward, they could probably never leave the fob till they get home. My guys think beyond their safety and want to make a difference in building this country. bbb No, despite the news reports, we are not REbuilding here. We are basically building from the ground up. In my region of Iraq, Saddam killed over 5,000 Kurds in two weeks. This was years ago and the scars still run deep. We have a local national who works on and off our fob that I can share about. Saddam's henchmen shot his brothers, his dad, and cut off his tongue. He motions a lot and makes sounds trying to communicate. He is a great guy and an extremely hard worker. He will show the world that he is worth something, just like each Iraqi. Is it worth it for the US to be here in Iraq helping these living breathing people? Yes, it most definitely is.
These are the things we never hear about much. The caring these soldiers give, even at risk for their own lives. What people don't think about is that these Iraqi children will one day be Iraqi adults and they will remember who built their school. They will remember who made the water run again. They will remember the soldiers who cared.
And they will remember who gave them presents and it wasn't even anyone's birthday that they knew of.....