When I was done, we got back in the jeep and rolled down to the other camp. This one was more chaotic. Had more of a militant feel. These people were there to get a message out. I listened, but something else was calling me. The first set of white crosses we had passed. They were sitting there begging me to do something for them. All I could do was walk and say a prayer.Amen, Ryan, Amen.
I started down the row heavy footed with my friend. We walked together for a bit, exchanging glances at names we thought we knew. I adjusted flowers and even righted a flag that had been placed upside down. I then began to get ahead of him. I just kept walking. I got half way through and tears began to stream down my face.
I was angry. I wanted to run up to Bush's house and kick in his door. I wanted to force him to tell me what we were fighting for. Why all of this death? What reason did he justify this with? What allowed him to sleep peacefully at night while I tossed and turned with the sound of gunfire and mortars in my head?
As I calmed down, we headed back to my Jeep. Amid the honks of cars and the screaming of protestors, the true message was there. Never forget the fallen. I took one last look around and drove on.
This simple trip made me realize that I had a duty as a soldier to get the word out. There are other soldiers out there that need to have an experience that I did. They need to start the healing process. On top of that, the American people needed to know what was really going on. People needed to see what was happening in Iraq. I have since made a pledge to myself and to the memory of the more than 2000 dead that the world will never forget them. That their names, deeds and actions will be remembered every time.