Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Soldier’s Story of His War on Terrorism

I have just finished reading the July 2008 article in Texas Monthly entitled “Soldier” by Matt Cook.

The article starts on September 11, 2001, the first day of Matt’s basic training one month after he enlisted following college at the University of Texas at Austin. It isn’t until late in the day when the new recruits are introduced to their company’s first sergeant that they learn what has happened. Here’s a passage from Matt’s description of what the first sergeant said to them:

“Listen up,” he says. “Does anyone here have parents who work at the World Trade Center in New York City?”

No one responds.

“Good. Does anyone here have parents who work at the Pentagon in D.C.?”

No one responds.

“Even better.”

The article goes on to describe Matt’s first tour in Tal Afar, a northern Iraqi city near the Syrian border. And then his next tour in Iraq.

The end of the article describes his feelings after he fulfilled his enlistment commitment and returned to civilian life. This is the end of his last paragraph:

I never found the war hero inside of me, but in my rite of passage I found a worldliness and particular understanding of life that has made me a better man. And I never won my ex-girlfriend back, but I do not regret a day I spent in uniform – I’m immensely proud of my service. If I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned what a truly remarkable thing it is to be a combat veteran. Now I want to live an exceptional life for those who never left the desert.

If you’re in tears as I am at those last words, please consider supporting the troops who are in the desert right now. Donate to Operation Soldier Care. Read the eMailOurMilitary blog post at http://tinyurl.com/67srcm to find out how you can help. And, remember, the deadline for this project is August 18th.

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nancymkqueen said...

Thank you for taking the time to show everyone why we are doing Operation Soldier Care! I appreciate your support on this project!

Trish | eMailOurMilitary said...

Incredibly powerful and moving. I wish I could have caught the entire article in Texas Monthly. It seems pretty obvious Matt Cook is an exceptional person and one anyone would be proud to know.

Though I don't know Matt myself, I do hope that some of what we do at eMail Our Military makes a difference to those that are serving.