THE MOON Hello America! Today in central Iraq we saw clouds for the first in several months. Fighting continued in the west with IEDs hitting coalition forces and small arms attacks. Again, both sides took casualties today. Its an every ending event that you hate to hear about but know we have the upper hand on all of it. There are many things happening here that I cant talk about but trust me, it’s a good day to be an American and you should be proud. The bad guys are on the run and really hate Marines. Another arty barrage went out to support another mission this afternoon (0500 eastern). Man, that first round outbound really gets you if you’re not ready for it. Corresponding attack helos swarm to engage enemy positions obtained in the city. Tonight loud rotors thump through the night as they approach and disappear just as quick. The enemy attacks Marines and Soldiers from buildings with women and children in the area. IEDs explode with little warning and little care for who they injure both Coalition and Iraqi people. Iraq has already began to deal with its initial problems as a country with democracy but they are dealing with their problems a lot better than if they were under the old regime plus they are their own problems that they can fix to benefit themselves. Speaking of which many here would like to see Sadam executed. The hate for him here is strong and they want him gone for good, dead! Everyday we achieve another step in the march towards freedom. Everyday Iraq becomes stronger as does its army and its people. The sooner we get the Iraqi army trained the sooner we can get out of here. The night here ends another day although its early afternoon on the west coast. Full moon crisp air and silence. The kind of silence that isn’t welcomed because its usually quiet because Haji is preparing for another coordinated attack against us. We will be ready, we always are.
What is magnificently unique about being an American is that being one is not simply a matter of birth, but a matter of faith and an act of will.

It represents the devotion to freedom and commitment to principle above dogma, caste and tribe that spurred the emigration to this continent and founded the truest liberal democracy in the history of the world.

As a first generation American, I thank you and your fellow Marines and other military services members for defending this glorious country against those who would destroy it, both within and without.

Above all, I thank all of you who serve for sustaining the great warrior tradition of this nation. May the military ethos always be a primary pillar of America's culture and heritage.

Thank you and your faithful brothers-at-arms for embodying it, in our past, our present and our future. For only the military's fierce and continuing readiness to uphold this country and its Constitution by force of arms has kept, and will continue to keep, the United States and its precious way of life safe through the centuries.

Accept the tribute of your grateful countrymen.... We salute you!!!
with every beat of my heart and every breath that i take i will pray for your safe return to your family !

--- mrs. schmitt in arkansas
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