War is a nasty, dirty, and horrible experience. Only those who have never experienced war see it as a grand adventure. We have spent over five years making war on the citizens of Iraq and killed hundreds of thousands. In the process, we have lost thousands of military personnel and made our homeland much less secure. For every “terrorist” that we kill, another ten fill their shoes; and for every innocent father, mother and child we kill, another twenty stand up to avenge their needless deaths. The 9-11 Commission concluded that the government and people were not involved with the events of that terrible day, but we continue to spend BILLIONS of dollars to rid Iraq of Iraqi people. More important than financial cost is the human cost.

  We have sent troops to war without body armor, without vehicle armor, without communication systems and at times without ammunition. The military medical system is choked on broken bodies and spirits of our Iraq veterans, and their suffering affects their spouses and children as well. Our military is stretched to the breaking point and cannot even respond adequately in such events as floods or tornadoes. At this point it does not matter who started what first, but as Gandhi said “An eye for an eye makes us all blind.” Are we already blind to effects of war? We are all suffering! As gas prices continue to rise, the cost of everything will rise and more and more of our neighbors will fail to bankruptcy. Everything that we do or not do is related to the economic bleeding that is occurring in this country. We need leadership with a vision of peace; we need leaders that knows peace brings prosperity.

  I am a combat veteran with blood on my hands. I can’t change the past and must now work to change the future. Please, look within yourself to make peace on a personal level. Teach your children to treat others with respect, compassion and kindness, and more importantly, model this behavior for them. Help those in need. Volunteer. Let your elected officials know it is way past time to bring our service members home. Peace is the answer. Despair is contagious, but so is Hope!

  Thank-you for taking time to read this.