A Soldier’s Letter To Cindy Sheehan

Ken AshfordBush & Co., Iraq, SheehanLeave a Comment

From Daily Kos:

Fort Hood, Texas
12 August 2005

Dear Mrs. Sheehan:

I am a Soldier stationed at Fort Hood who is scheduled for deployment to Iraq (soon).  Like you, I do not support the war because I believe it represents a horrible waste of lives and lucre that is bankrupting our nation.  However, I am sworn to obey my orders and I will serve to the utmost of my ability when called upon.

Your actions in Crawford have served to galvanize the American people and to remind them of the sacrifices being made by its Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines during what seem to be prosperous and lazy times here at home.  It is too easy for the average American to forget that the seemingly low casualty figures seeping in from Southwest Asia are represented by human faces – like the face of your son.  While the nation dozes, ones and twos turn into hundreds and thousands of young lives forever squelched – 1,846 thus far, to say nothing of those whose lives have also been forever changed by being wounded and maimed in the conflict.

Whatever the rationale for the war in Iraq was and is, I cannot tolerate the sight of the huge quantum of vehicles I see on the highways with yellow "Support our Troops" magnets on them.  Citizens who support us in the military don’t need to buy a magnet.  They can contribute to causes benefiting soldiers and their families.  They can inform themselves about the conflict in the Middle East and ask themselves what role, if any, the United States needs to play there. Most importantly, they can drive less, and drive smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. That would reduce our dependency on foreign oil by which, ultimately, the desert wastes of Arabia and Mesopotamia are transformed into "vital United States interests."

Lately you have attracted the attention of the right-wing smear machine, wielded by those who use the people’s innate sense of patriotism and loyalty to serve its own selfish interests.  This is a sign that you are awakening the sensibilities of decent Americans everywhere to the bloody-minded folly of the war in Iraq.  Now more than ever, you must find your strength, a strength which you must have given young Casey in spades, and I am equally sure that today his strength of his spirit is animating and reawakening yours.

As a soldier, I am asking you to stand fast, and to stick to what you know is right and true.  For me, those are the principal duties every civilian citizen owes to his or her nation.  For my part, I am not allowed to participate directly in the political process.  But I wrote this letter to you today to let you know that on Fort Hood, and on military installations across the United States and around the world, there are simple servicemen and servicewomen like myself who are praying for you, and who wish you well.

The duties of a soldier are a little bit different than those of civilians.  Mostly they center around living the Army Values.  Those values are:


I have no doubts that your son Casey lived those values to the fullest measure.  I will remember him as I begin my own trial by fire in Iraq.  Please accept my deepest condolences for your loss and my prayers for you and all of your entire family circle.  Also, please accept my thanks for awakening the conscience of our nation.

In deepest sympathy,