Happy Memorial Day
This Memorial Day, more than any other time in history since World War II, we thankfully think of those who have fought, who are now fighting, and who will continue to fight to preserve our liberty and the right of all people to live in freedom.
With all of the negative press coming out of Iraq lately, I thought I’d pass along the following email I recently received:
This is a letter from Ray Reynolds, a member of the Iowa Army National Guard serving in Iraq:
As I head off to Baghdad for the final weeks of my stay in Iraq, I wanted to say thanks to all of you who did not believe the media. They have done a very poor job of covering everything that has happened. I am sorry that I have not been able to visit all of you during my two-week leave back home. And just so you can rest at night knowing something is happening in Iraq that is noteworthy, I thought I would pass this on to you. This is the list of things that has happened in Iraq recently (please share it with your friends and compare it to the version that your paper is producing):
· Over 400,000 kids have up-to-date immunizations.
· School attendance is up 80% from levels before the war.
· Over 1,500 schools have been renovated and rid of weapons stored there so education can occur.
· The port of Uhm Qasar was renovated so grain can be off-loaded from ships faster.
· The country had its first two million barrel export of oil in August (of 2004).
· Over 4.5 million people have clean drinking water for the first time ever in Iraq.
· The country now receives two times the electrical power it did before the war.
· 100% of the hospitals are open and fully staffed, compared to 35% before the war.
· Elections are taking place in every major city and city councils are in place.
· Sewer and water lines are installed in every major city.
· Over 60,000 police are patrolling the streets.
· Over 100,000 Iraqi civil defense police are securing the country.
· Over 80,000 Iraqi soldiers are patrolling the streets side by side with U.S. soldiers.
· Over 400,000 people have telephones for the first time ever.
· Students are taught field sanitation and hand washing techniques to prevent the spread of germs.
· An interim constitution has been signed.
· Girls are allowed to attend school.
· Textbooks that don’t mention Saddam are in the schools for the first time in 30 years.
Don’t believe for one second that these people do not want us there. I have met many, many people from Iraq that want us there, and in a bad way. They say they will never see the freedoms we talk about but they hope their children will. We are doing a good job in Iraq, and I challenge anyone, anywhere, to dispute me on these facts . . . . If you are like me and very disgusted with how this period of rebuilding has been portrayed, email this to a friend and let them know there are good things happening.
Ray Reynolds, SFCIowa Army National Guard234th Signal Battalion
As we pause to give thanks on this holiday, let’s fly our flags a little more proudly and keep alive the spirit of American patriotism that is burning bright in us today.