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The Grave

Written by Randy Patterson

Originally Posted October 5, 2009 – Reposted August 15, 2021, with revisions and additions

americanpiecoverClick Above To Download This SongWhen the wars of our nation did beckon. A man barely twenty did answer the calling. Proud of the trust that he placed in our nation, He’s gone. But eternity knows him, and it knows what we’ve done.
From “The Grave” by Don McLean

I originally wrote this piece almost twelve years ago during the first year of Boomerocity’s existence. If you know me or have read Boomerocity for any length of time, then you know that I don’t usually “go political” on here. I leave the politics to others more in the know and smarter than me about these things.

Not this time.

Like all of you, I’m watching in total disbelief as we literally let America’s sworn enemy take over Afghanistan and I’m sick to my stomach and furious. After you read the article, below, you will know why.

There is so much that I can say right now about this, and it would cast blame to both parties because this administration is saying that they’re just carrying through with the agreement the last administration “got us into.”

It’s one of the few things that the last administration set in motion (and I was sick over that agreement, too) that this administration is carrying through with but why quibble over small details such as that? Both parties have the blood of our men and women in uniform on their hands. Both parties had two chances to get it right or make it right and they failed miserably.

Shame on you.

I pray that you are haunted every time you attempt sleep for wasting the lives of our men and women in uniform and taxpayer’s hard-earned money. You deserve to be haunted to insanity for the rest of your days.

Here is the article written twelve years ago:

 

Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Patrick McCloskey. A Green Beret. They don't make ‘em much more of a warrior than that.


I never met the man. However, he was married to the daughter of one of my first cousins. Shawn was on his third deployment to Afghanistan. His wife, my second cousin, Jessica, was home in the states taking care of their two children, Katie and Collin.


That should be enough to break our hearts, but it goes deeper. Much deeper.


He was on a mounted patrol in Ghur Ghuri, which is lord only knows where in Afghanistan, when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. He died instantly and two other brave men died with him. Shawn was 33 years old. Only 33 short years on this planet.


I've helped friends pray for the safe return of their sons and daughters from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. During those times, I was worried sick to open an e-mail from those friends, afraid that bad news was being delivered. Fortunately, those brave souls made it home safely. I wish to God that Shawn had, too.


I have always been a strong supporter of our troops and for a strong defense of our country. Do our men need to be over there? I'm sorry, but I don't have all the necessary information to answer that question (except for a gaping hole in Manhattan, a monument at the Pentagon, and a memorial in Pennsylvania).


This much I do know. If something is serious enough to commit the lives of our nation's finest to execute dangerous missions, they need clearly defined missions, the wherewithal to successfully complete those missions, and we need to do everything humanly possible to bring them back safely and in one piece. As far as that mission goes, our "brilliant" politicians on both sides of the aisle have failed miserably. Unfortunately, until they must bury one of their own, I seriously doubt that they'll "man-up" and do what it takes to be able to honestly and truthfully say, "Mission Accomplished". Not in May 2003 and certainly not as of this writing.
Since these conflicts began, I've heard that the U.S. was fighting a "humane war". That is almost laughable unless "humane" means how OUR soldiers are armed and supported. Sure, we absolutely must avoid civilian casualties and "collateral damage". It's the right and humane thing to do.

But, as for the enemy, our soldiers should be given every means necessary to provide our enemies a one-way, first-class ticket to Hell. Unless this is going to be the unwavering objective for being there, then we should pull out immediately. We shouldn't sacrifice lives if there's not going to be measurable results and a solid definition of "victory".


There's a saying in the south that goes something like this: “If you're not going to pee then get off the pot!" That saying could be applied to these wars. We should either commit to winning and winning decisively or pack up and head back home.


I love my country. I revere the men and women who serve it and paid the ultimate price for "the trust that they placed in our nation." I pray to God in Heaven that their blood, and lives, does not wind up being spilled in vain.


With all of that said, I know that I can't control the outcome of our war policy. What I CAN control is how I honor, in thought, word and action, those men and women. If I see a person in uniform, I WILL NOT pass up an opportunity to thank them for their service to our country. That's not a vote for how the war was and is being waged. It's a show of gratitude and respect to those who are waging it. Again, I'm not smart enough to know if this is a justified war or not. But I do know honor and bravery when I see it and I see it in our soldiers who have, or are, serving.


To Sgt. 1st Class McCloskey and your fellow fallen soldiers in arms, we thank you and your families for your sacrifice. We will never forget.

Never.