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A father writes to MFSO and includes a letter he recently sent to his son in Iraq

Tuesday 31 August 2004

I would like to join your organization. My son Aaron has been in Iraq since April 2004. He is in the Army infantry and is now serving as a machine gunner in Bagdad. He has been fired upon and has fired back. He has a "confirmed kill".

For a long time, long before my son was sent there, I have struggled with the difficulty of being personally opposed to this war and yet supportive of our troops. I know what Bush. et. al., are doing and how they are wasting our young soldier’s lives for their own personal agenda. I know that the crimes commited in the name of preserving democracy and our cherished way of life lie squarely at the feet of George W. Bush. I know that we were never attacked by Iraq, that Sadam had no weapons of mass distruction (distraction?), and that this war is perhaps the biggest smoke screen ever perpetrated by a president in an atempt to hold onto power.

I know all this, but I’m not sure my son does. His perspective is in some ways broader - he’s there and sees for himself the filthy conditions, the human tragedy, the death that can come at any time of the day or night. But in many respects, because he has sworn allegiance to our country and "Commander - In - Chief", and he is very young and gung-ho, he lacks the world view many of us have. He is not political, he is a soldier. His job is to follow orders. And because of this, I’ve been reticent to speak out, to tell my son how I feel for fear of the possible rift it could cause between us. Furthermore, he has a very difficult job to do (to stay alive), and I’ve been afraid of causing him any distraction from that job.

But now I can no longer sit by and allow this to continue. I know my son and he has a good heart. I know that, although he is as patriotic as anyone, he can see when a great injustice has been commited. I’ve taken the chance and emailed him the following email in the hopes that we can open this dialogue between us.

Regardless of the outcome between he and I, I now realize the responsibility rests upon me to do everything in my power to not let another day go by, to not let another life, either American or Iraqi, be lost in this disaster.

Thank you so much for what you do and please let me know how I can help.

Russ Osman-Bravard

***email sent earlier today to my son in Iraq***

Aaron,

It’s been a while since I’ve heard from you and I hope everything is okay. We’re back now from Maryland and I have access to my computer. I’ve been sick for a couple of days now. I went to the doctor today and it looks like I have a sinus infection again. The last one lasted for 2 weeks! Hopefully I caught this one in time.

In my last email I mentioned the film Farenheit 911. I really believe it to be the most important film of our generation. George Bush has dragged us into this war based on false pretenses and phony assumptions. The reasons and rationals used are at best murky and questionable. We have sent our military (you and your fellow soldiers) into harms way for nothing! Our troops are dying in Iraq to support Bush’s personal agenda. You see it every day, we only hear about it on the news.

Aaron, I love my country. I believe in a strong military for defense against our enemies. I thank God every day for patriotic young men and women who are willing to risk their lives to protect the democratic ideal. Patriotic young people like you!

But if you look at the facts, Iraq did NOT attack the U.S., they did NOT kill a single American (before this disaster started), and Sadam did NOT have a SINGLE weapon of mass distruction. Iraq is now a country under seige. They are being occupied by a foriegn government’s military - ours! Who wouldn’t want to fight back? If Iraq had a huge army and attacked us, bombed the hell out of us, imprisioned our leaders and many of our citizens, and then set up military bases in our country, we’d be pissed too! Who wouldn’t fight bacK?

And to make matters worse, we have NO EXIT STRATEGY! Rumsfeld and Bush have no reason to pull us (meaning YOU and your fellow soldiers) out of there. The longer they can keep us off balance with yellow, orange and red alerts, and vague threats of possible terrorist attacks that never do materialize, the longer they can hold onto power to work their own agendas. They are turning the entire country into a bunch of neurotic paranoids, afraid of their own shadows.

Something has to be done!

I hope you read this email as it is intended. It’s NOT a slam against you or the troops you live, fight and die with. It’s just that I cannot sit idly by while our soldiers die for a few meglomaniacs in Washington.

I don’t know if you have access to the internet right now, but here’s a few web sites to check out. There are a lot of people who see through Bush and his cronies. I invite you to see for yourself, not to just take my word for it.

Aaron, I need for you to know that, as I’ve said before, I love you and respect your choice to join the Army. I’m VERY proud of the choices you’ve made. You should hold your head high. But the crimes, the sins, the dispicable attrocities of this war lay at the feet of George W. Bush. He is the one who put you there and he is the one who, someday, must answer for this. He is the one who, one day, will have to stand before God and explain this.

As I said, I hope you read this in the spirit in which it’s intended. I know you’re an intellegent young man, and I know your heart. If you look inside, think about all that’s happened, read about what’s really going on in D. C. and ask yourself the hard questions, you’ll see that you and the other troops are being wasted. Trust your heart.

I ask God daily to watch over and protect you and the other soldiers. I ask Him to please help intervene and stop this madness.

Please take the time to consider this and make up your own mind. Take care of yourself and, as always, keep your head down!

Love, Dad

Forum posts

  • Dear Mr. Bravard

    I agree with you 1000%! I utter the same sentiments everytime I address the war issues in emails to my friends.

    I think we all support our troops, just not the knuckle head that sent them. I think before they declare war, the president and Congress should be made to send their kids to the front lines first, and we would see how many wars there would be.

    911 was the excuse to wage war on the world and destroy our Constitution.

    Praying for your son’s safe return.

    Sallie