Skittles for Soldiers
As I write this, night has fallen in Iraq. It is 104 degrees, practically cool after the day’s high of 114. Next week the temperature is expected to reach 118. That’s hotter than I expect most of you can imagine. Even those of us who know what it feels like know that when it’s that hot in Phoenix, you don’t sit around the pool in a swimsuit, sipping lemonade. Temperatures in that range make you feel like a baked ham. Imagine, then, going anywhere dressed like this.
That is everyday business dress for many—too many—of the men and women fighting our country’s war on terror.
But this isn’t another treastise on why we should be grateful, I promise! Instead, it’s an invitation to do something to show that gratitude. As you’ve all heard by now, Julie Bellon’s new book, All’s Fair, is set partially in Iraq. To get a feel for the area and conditions, she asked questions of my youngest son – a Marine MP who “celebrated” his 22nd birthday in the volatile Al Anbar Province –his second tour of duty.
I hope Julie plans to tell you all about it tomorrow. I’m beating her to the punch today, with permission, because I have something she doesn’t—pictures. Here is a glimpse at the real people in the real place--a representative sample of the men and women who will benefit from her heroic efforts. Be grateful. My son very, very rarely gives me permission to post anything about his experiences in Iraq, let alone his pictures, but he granted it this morning for Julie, who he came to respect and like through their correspondence, and for the sake of a project he appreciates. He well knows how much the boxes from home mean when one is bone-weary, pushed to the limits, and far from home.
If it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, here are a few thousand good reasons for you to get out there and support the soldiers, Marines, air men, and sailors who spend every day of their young lives defending you and yours!
The pictures, in descending order from the top: