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Open Letter to TPR


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I recieved word yesterday that I have been selected to go back to Iraq, this time as an Individual Augmentee on the ground.

 

I'm not thrilled by this, but it has certainly given me a new perspective on a lot of things.

 

Earlier this year, I had a private disagreement with Robb that got out of hand, and I 'left' this site.

 

I was angry, and made several negative comments at other sites. For that I'm sorry. I've held no ill feelings towards anbody else at TPR, and I hope no one thought I did.

 

There's a chance that I may not be medically cleared to go back due to my asthma, so please wish me luck in that. If I do end up going, I'll keep my head down and try to get back in one piece.

 

Christopher Belson

QM1(SW) USN

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Chris, I know we had our online disagreements in the past that were probably blown out of proportion, but I do wish you the best of luck. Hopefully you won't have to go, but even if you do, I'm sure you can make the best of the situation. If you need any spare inhalers let me know!

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The husband of one of my coworkers is in the Naval Reserves, and he's on the ground in Iraq as part of the diplomatic section in the Green Zone. Pretty rough on her and their two sons.

 

Keep your head down, indeed, Chris--and stay as safe as you can.

 

Chuck

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Weather we believe in God or not.. God bless America Chris for people like you who join up in the United Forces that defends our country's freedom. Whether it is a pointless war or the most important war, you are joined and is ready to do your duty as a loyal, proud and honerable NAVY man!

 

Take care Christopher Belson, may all our prayers and thoughts be with you in these times of need and war!

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I recieved word yesterday that I have been selected to go back to Iraq, this time as an Individual Augmentee on the ground.

 

I'm not thrilled by this, but it has certainly given me a new perspective on a lot of things.

 

Earlier this year, I had a private disagreement with Robb that got out of hand, and I 'left' this site.

 

I was angry, and made several negative comments at other sites. For that I'm sorry. I've held no ill feelings towards anbody else at TPR, and I hope no one thought I did.

 

There's a chance that I may not be medically cleared to go back due to my asthma, so please wish me luck in that. If I do end up going, I'll keep my head down and try to get back in one piece.

 

Christopher Belson

QM1(SW) USN

 

I'll be honest....some of the things I've seen you write in another public forum have been difficult to read, but having said that I wish no ill will on anyone.

 

I wish you the best of luck in this situation and hope you can get out of it. Besides, can't you just tell them that you're serving duty at American Eagle? Working the most patriotic ride has to be worth something, right?

 

Good luck!

 

--Robb

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While I was in Afghanistan, Navy personnel did a lot of the service support and rarely went outside the FOBs. I don't know what the Navy does in Iraq. Chances are it's not much different.

 

Honestly, you have the same odds of being killed in the US as you do in Iraq. The liberal media has so distorted what the death/causalties numbers mean that its put fear in soldiers being deployed there that they will die. (Afghanistan has a higher death rate of 1.6 deaths per 1,000 soldiers while Iraq has 0.9 deaths per 1,000 soldiers.) I will tell you from personal experience that what truly happens in Afghanistan and Iraq is not what's being reported in the media. They are so focused on the BAD stuff that they overlook all the hardwork the military and civilans are putting in to rebuild Iraq at the cost of their own lives. The media overlooks how more Iraqis show up to vote--under the threat of violence--than here in the US. The media overlooks how--even with the violence--Iraqis feel they are better off than under Sadam Hussein.

 

Many friends and people I know have returned from successful deployments to the Iraq, and yes, a few I knew were killed. Going into combat is scary, that I know very well--it scares the hell of me--but purposely trying to use a medical condition to get out of a deployment, in my opinion, is cowardly. You are doing a disservice to your country, your fellow soldiers, and your family and friends. Keep in mind that is my OPINION, and please do not flame me just because I feel differently than you (that includes anybody else reading this post). I'm single and don't have much in the way of attachments, so deployments overseas doesn't bother me that much (yes, I do constantly think about my parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, etc. while I was in Afghanistan). I've watch fellow soldiers with families and I've seen the hardship and heartache that comes with these deployments. (It's one of the reasons why my dad left the Air Force.) Active duty soldiers have it easy from the stand point that they don't have to drop everything. Reservists and Guardsmen have to literally put their lives on hold for a year and a half, and I know just how difficult it is to do that (I have yet to finish school).

 

Whatever you decided to do or whatever the end result is, I wish you the best of luck. Without knowing much of your situation/history, I know what's going through your mind. I apologize for being a little preachy. You can pull the soapbox out from under me and bash me across the head with it.

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Pagemaster,

 

Thanks for your reply. The idea of returning to Iraq is scary, but not the reason why I don't want to go.

 

I've been over there already, the other guys that weren't selected have not.

I've spent the last 7 years of my life overseas, and was told I had to return to the US.

I was selected over two guys who are junior (E-5s) to me with half as much sea duty as I have.

The billet calls for an E-5 they chose me (an E-6).

 

When they called us into the XO's office to announce the decision, nobody would look me in the eye, even when they told me that they had chosen me. (Who's the coward there?)

 

Finally, I'm mostly worried for my wife. As some here know, she is a Japanese native. She's still taking ESL classes, only just got a drivers license last month and has only lived outside Japan for 9 months.

 

If I have to leave for a year (possibly more) it's going to be very difficult for her. She only just learned how to pump gas!

 

This is supposed to be my time to pursue college, spend time with my family and relax a bit between ships. When it's my time to go back to sea, I won't complain. That is what the Navy is about.

 

There's over 7,000 sailors that have been called up for this Individual Augmentee duty. While the Navy's been told to slash our numbers and the Army has been boosting their ranks for the past 6 years, we sailors have been called to perform in jobs that we've not been trained for and have never been my services' responsibility.

 

In all, I'm frustrated, angry and worried about my family.

 

Remember, please support the troops, even if you don't support the war.

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