Michael thanks for everything. My admiration for the American soldier has never waned. I knew we could win and we have.
Many times, during lunchtimes or dinners, I will have expressed the inspiration I have felt from you, through your dispatches, about the soldiers we hold in such high esteem. I give insights into the war that only you could have given me.
I always try to end conversations on a high note no matter what point of view anybody expressed during the conversation. Nowadays I usually end it something like this...
"If Michael Yon says the war is over - then it is over. And beleive it or not, in Iraq, we have won."
Most peoples jaws drop when I say this. Due to the constant ramblings of the American press Iraq will never be won - at least in their eyes. So, when I say I believe it is over most people just can't believe it.
When you told the human stories of our fighting men and woman you helped form a unique and larger picture for me than I ever could have imagined. The complexities of war came more into focus and the valor and courage of most every single man and woman fighting for us shone through.
No one has said mistakes were not made or that horrible unfortunate things did not happen. You explained vividly how these damaged the cause but also that when frail humans war on each other there was more to be said for it than a simple glossy magazine cover.
There are some things that need done back home. Many of our "esteemed" politicians said things that were abominable about those of us fighting in Iraq. Some, incredibly, have been freshly reelected. I have not yet found a way to bring myself to forgive them for aiding and abetting the enemy. My only hope is to draw on the same strength found within our soldiers. Only then may I find the path to forgiveness for those misguided heathens.
But for now, to Afghanistan, to victory and to another critical punishing defeat to Al qaeda.
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