To the Editor:
I spent August of 2007 till June 2008 in Baghdad, Iraq. I was a member of the 65th Public Affairs Operations Center. We were a Public Affairs Unit attached to the Media Outlets in Iraq. We performed various function mostly working with reporters and distinguished guests and dignitaries visiting the war zone. My mission was to supervise a group of young soldiers who were tasked with escorting media both Arabic and International in and around both the Safe Zone and the Red Zone outside of Baghdad. The Red Zone being the not so safe zone.
Because I was witness to the war and how the media were covering it first-hand I began to feel that there was not much truth being told and that lit a flame of anger in me that began to grow hotter every day. Now this was my own opinion but I felt that our men and women, who were risking their lives on a daily basis, were not being treated fairly. I believed the Arabic media simply made up whatever stories they actually submitted and the International Community was not far behind.
I witnessed, first hand, the compulsion the Arabic Media had in watching pornography and that immediately told me that something was not quite right here. The entire experience of lack of conscience on the part of the many participating in this sham caused me to become an angry person both in Iraq and upon returning home. I am sure that this was a feeling that many deployed service members shared and probably still share today. Being deployed means giving up your life and everything in it. No one can explain this feeling to you except those who have been there and seen things that those who stayed home have never seen. But the truly greatest insult of all is hearing individuals who have never left the states brag about how important they were to the war effort. And sadly, there are many like that, they have deluded themselves into believing that they were part of the process.