Why I Am Here

By Casey Allen

  In honor of the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, a member of the Chosen Family reflects on his time in the United State Marine Corps. The following was originally written in 2005.

In honor of the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, a member of the Chosen Family reflects on his time in the United State Marine Corps. The following was originally written in 2005.

Right now, all over the world, you can turn on the television or pick up a newspaper and immediately find someone criticizing the United States for its actions in the Middle East. I guess some people would rather talk forever.

Why am I here? Ironically enough, there is a simple bumper sticker that explains what I find so hard to put into words. It reads "Whose son is fighting in place of yours?" The reason that I am here is so others will never have to be. I volunteered to be here knowing that if the job was done right this time, then future generations would never have to continue what could have been ended in the Gulf War. I am more than willing to risk my life so I can do everything I can to prevent whatever family I may have in the future from ever having to make the same sacrifice, take the same risks, or face the same criticism.

No matter what political party one may lean toward, the need for some security and global stability is undeniable. I believe anybody who believes otherwise is naive and needs to see downtown Fallujah in person. It is my opinion that if drastic action was not taken when it was, then the wake of the September 11th attacks would have brought more of the same instead of the capture of Saddam Hussein.

As I write this I am sitting in a cabana a few miles east of downtown Fallujah. This network of cabanas the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment calls home used to be a vacation resort for Uday Hussein and other Iraqi royalty. The lake these shelters surround is filled with body parts from women Uday brought to this resort, raped, then fed to his lions. All of the negotiations in the world could never bring the Husseins and their terrorist allies to justice. United States Marines don't negotiate.

The liberal media and their sympathetic bystanders would have a much harder time if we had a perfect record. The simple truth is that in an environment where you can't tell the enemy from a businessman or roadside debris from a bomb, collateral damage is unavoidable. For some, this is reason enough to say we don't belong here. Right, and maybe we should take more cops off the streets so there would be less traffic.

To anyone opposed to the war on terror, or America's policing role in the Middle East, I challenge you to go on a patrol with any platoon in 1st Bn, 6th Marines. Walk down the streets of Fallujah and see the look in an Iraqi child's eyes as he waves and cheers you by. Shake the hand of an Iraqi man thanking you for his family's freedom. I know I belong here because I see what they don't show on CNN. What they don't print in the newspapers. I see what President Bush is trying to tell the world, if they would only be quiet long enough to listen. Take a walk in our boots, but make sure you give them back. We're not finished here yet.