Maryvale Muse

Thank You for Your Support

Emily Craig '17

An Excerpt from The Washington Post:

“The 2nd Battle of Fallujah began on November 8th, 2004. The plan basically called for the entire 1st Marine Division to form a giant line and advance through Fallujah from north to south. The city was overrun with insurgents. My company commander ordered the platoon that I led to establish a forward position. Forty-six of us snuck across a highway at 3 AM to seize a building 150 meters in front of everyone else. It was a candy store. The guys were excited at first because the place was filled with chips and soda. And we were starving and thirsty. But all hell broke loose when the sun came up. RPG’s started slamming into the side of the building. We could see guys in black sneaking up all around us. My platoon sergeant was shot through the helmet and knocked unconscious. Another of our guys got shot in the femoral artery and his blood covered the floors. And we couldn’t get out. Every exit was dialed in with machine gun fire. You couldn’t even poke your head out. We were pinned down all day. And suddenly my company commander is on the radio saying that we’ve got to advance. And I’m shouting into the radio over the gunfire that we’re probably going to die if we leave the store. I’m shouting so loud and for so long that I lost my voice for four days. But he’s saying that we have no choice. He’s being pressured by his commanders, all the way up to the generals. And the generals are being pressured by the White House. And all my guys are looking at me because they know if I lose that argument, we’re going out there. And I lose the argument. And I tell them that we have to go. But instead of running out the door, we piled a bunch of explosives on the back wall, and we blew it out. And we ran. And everyone survived. Twenty-five guys were wounded, but everyone survived. A lot of that was luck. And a lot of that was our platoon and how good those guys were. But I also feel that my decisions mattered that day. And if I had decided not to serve, and stayed home, it could’ve ended much worse. So no, I don’t have any regrets about going to Iraq.”— “Humans of New York…” featured in the Washington Post

 

Thank You For Your Support

We’re told to say thank you for your support
When thanked for our service
But back at home, I see petitions and protests
“Bring our troops home!”
And I hear people saying “Keep the peace!”
And it’s such a trivial thing, peace
Because there never was peace, was there?
And I’m asked if I have any regrets about going to war
And how could I?
I’ve found the best men are the ones fighting by my side
These men would do anything
For me,
For each other—
For this country.
I can’t say the same for you

I’ve come to terms with my fate;
I’m going to die here. We all are
In a sense, I had always known this.
I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t willing to give my life for this cause,
But I’m not willing to give their lives,
And yet you’ve given me no other choice.
As I stand in this foreign candy shop surrounded by RPG’s
And hatred for my flag,
I realize if the bullets don’t kill me,
The guilt of failing them will.
I’m screaming and shouting and pleading at the voice coming through the radio,
And I’m filled with anger and rage and terror,
But the command remains: continue on with the mission.
Continue on to our collective death.
I’m not angry at the voice I hear
Because I know he’s being pressured by those above him,
And I’m not angry at those above him either,
Because I know they’re being pressured by you.
Thank you for your support

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The Literary Magazine of Maryvale Preparatory School
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