Monday, July 17, 2006
The children of Iraq
Photo of an Iraqi boy taken by my brother
As I've mentioned here previously, my brother is in Iraq supporting and training Iraqi police officers, and working closely with our military as an independent government contractor. He wrote this is an e-mail:
"I did a joint patrol with an Iraqi Emergency Response Police unit the other day. Our patrol dipped into a neighborhood full of children. I had spent the day watching for roadside bombs, car bombs, or small arms fire.
"Suddenly I became distracted by the beauty of the children of Iraq. They waved as we passed. Some of them ran down the street behind us waving and jumping in the air. I saw a father walking carrying his little girl in his arms. Children playing around their parents in roadside shops.
"I have been blown up by IEDs and carbombs, had hundreds of bullets pouring over my head. Seen my friends covered in blood and dead. There is a lot of ugliness in this country. There is a lot of beauty in this country and it can be seen in the faces of the children, and of the brave Iraqi police officers as they risk their lives to try to build a better Iraq.
"A beautiful peaceful and democratic Iraq is not going to come about any faster than our American democracy. We ourselves experienced civil war, domestic terrorism, and institutionalized discrimination on our path. I may very well die here but if I do I can only hope that I in some small part have given these beautiful children a chance at some of the opportunities we take for granted back home. God bless our country and God bless these children."