Thursday, November 11, 2004

Veterans' Day


Excerpts from letters to his parents from Pfc. Moisés A. Langhorst of the Marines. Private Langhorst, 19, of Moose Lake, Minn., was killed in Al Anbar Province on April 6 by small-arms fire.

March 13

As far as my psychological health, we look out for each other pretty well on that. ... I've been praying a lot and I hope you're praying for the Dirty 3rd Platoon, because there is no doubt that we are in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

March 15

After standing in the guard tower for seven-and-a-half hours this morning, we went on our first platoon-size patrol from about 1200 to 1700. It was exhausting, but it went very well. I had to carry the patrol pack with emergency chow, a poncho and night vision goggles. That's what really wore me out.

We toured the mosques and visited the troublesome abandoned train station. The people were friendly, and flocks of children followed us everywhere.

When I called you asked me if Iraq is what I expected, and it really is. It looks just like it does on the news. It hardly feels like a war, though. Compared to the wars of the past, this is nothing. We're not standing on line in the open - facing German machine guns like the Marines at Belleau Wood or trying to wade ashore in chest-deep water at Tarawa. We're not facing hordes of screaming men at the frozen Chosun Reservoir in Korea or the clever ambushes of Vietcong. We deal with potshots and I.E.D.'s. With modern medicine my chances of dying are slim to none and my chances of going home unscathed are better than half. Fewer than 10 men in my company have fired their weapons in the 10 days we've been here.

March 24

While not always pleasant, I know this experience is good for me. It makes me appreciate every little blessing God gives me, especially the family, friends and home I left behind in Moose Lake.

More letters are found in the nov.11, 2004 op/ed page in the New York Times

thank you moises, ralph, dad
and all the men and women who have served


Anonymous said...

Sad times in deed... I can't help but think of U2's new song. The world needs more love as they sing and inclusion from ALL walks of life regardless of believes, sex, nation, interests, vocations, self choices...

Lay down
Lay down
Lay your sweet lovely on the ground
Lay your love on the track
We're gonna break the monster's back
Yes we are...
Lay down your treasure
Lay it down now brother
You don't have time
For a jealous lover

As you enter this life
I pray you depart
With a wrinkled face
And a brand new heart

I don't know if I can take it
I'm not easy on my knees
Here's my heart I'll let you break it

I need some release, release, release

We need
Love and peace
Love and peace

Lay down
Lay down your guns
All your daughters of Zion
All your Abraham sons
I don't know if I can make it
I'm not easy on my knees
Here's my heart I'll let you break it
I need some release, release, release

We need
Love and peace
Love and peace

Baby don't fight
We can talk this thing through
It's not a big problem
It's just me and you
You can call or I'll phone
The TV is still on
But the sound is turned down
And the troops on the ground
Are about to dig in

And I wonder where is the love?
Where is the love?
Love and peace
Where is the love?
Where is the love?
Where is the love

Gregg Chadwick said...

the line that really grabs me is "the tv is still on/ but the sound is turned down/ and the troops on the ground are about to dig in"

reminds me of being a kid with my dad in viet nam or japan and the war on every night

i need some release- hope my work gives you some
take care-gregg

SEV said...

we so rarely realise the hells that are undergone by the people who live on this earth.
it is sadder that this has meant that we raise more even when we are yet to get over the previous one.