Sgt. Edmund John Jeffer's last few
words were some of the most touching, inspiring and most
truthful words spoken since the tragedy of 9/11 - and since our
nation went to war. Sgt. Jeffers was a strong soldier and
talented writer. He died in Iraq on September 19, 2007. He was a
loving husband, brother and son. His service was more than this
country could ever grasp - but the least you can do for the man
who sacrificed his life for you is to think about what he had to
A Soldiers Last Words
Hope Rides Alone
I stare out into the darkness from my
post, and I watch the city burn to the ground. I smell the
familiar smells, I walk through the familiar rubble, and I look
at the frightened faces that watch me pass down the streets of
their neighborhoods. My nerves hardly rest; my hands are steady
on a device that has been given to me from my government for the
purpose of taking the lives of others. I sweat, and I am tired.
My back aches from the loads I carry. Young American boys look
to me to direct them in a manner that will someday allow them to
see their families again...and yet, I too, am just a boy....my
age not but a few years more than that of the ones I lead. I am
stressed, I am scared, and I am paranoid...because death is
everywhere. It waits for me, it calls to me from around street
corners and windows, and it is always there.
the demons that follow me, and tempt me into thoughts and
actions that are not my own...but that are necessary for
survival. I've made compromises with my humanity. And I am not
alone in this. Miles from me are my brethren in this world, who
walk in the same streets...who feel the same things, whether
they admit to it or not.
And to think, I volunteered for this...
And I am ignorant to the rest of the world...or so I thought.
But even thousands of miles away, in Ramadi , Iraq , the cries
and screams and complaints of the ungrateful reach me. In a
year, I will be thrust back into society from a life and
mentality that doesn't fit your average man. And then, I will be
alone. And then, I will walk down the streets of America and see
the yellow ribbon stickers on the cars of the same people who
compare our President to Hitler.
I will watch the television and watch the
Cindy Sheehans, and the Al Frankens, and the rest of the
ignorant sheep of America spout off their mouths about a subject
they know nothing about. It is their right, however, and it is a
right that is defended by hundreds of thousands of boys and
girls scattered across the world, far from home. I use the word
boys and girls, because that's what they are. In the Army, the
average age of the infantryman is nineteen years old. The
average rank of soldiers killed in action is Private First
People like Cindy Sheehan are ignorant. Not just
to this war, but to the results of their idiotic ramblings, or
at least I hope they are. They don't realize its effects on this
war. In this war, there are no Geneva Conventions, no cease
fires. Medics and Chaplains are not spared from the enemy's
brutality because it's against the rules. I can only imagine the
horrors a military Chaplain would experience at the hands of the
enemy. The enemy slinks in the shadows and fights a coward's war
against us. It is effective though, as many men and women have
died since the start of this war. And the memory of their
service to America is tainted by the inconsiderate remarks on
our nation's news outlets. And every day, the enemy
changes...only now, the enemy is becoming something new. The
enemy is transitioning from the Muslim extremists to Americans.
The enemy is becoming the very people whom we defend with our
lives. And they do not realize it. But in denouncing our
actions, denouncing our leaders, denouncing the war we live and
fight, they are isolating the military from society...and they
are becoming our enemy.
Democrats and peace activists like to toss
the word "quagmire" around and compare this war to Vietnam . In
a way they are right, this war is becoming like Vietnam . Not
the actual war, but in the isolation of country and military.
America is not a nation at war; they are a nation with its
military at war. Like it or not, we are here, some of us for our
second, or third times; some even for their fourth and so on.
Americans are so concerned now with politics, that it is
interfering with our war. Terrorists cut the heads off of
American citizens on the Internet...and there is no outrage, but
an American soldier kills an Iraqi in the midst of battle, and
there are investigations, and sometimes soldiers are even
jailed...for doing their job.
It is absolutely sickening
to me to think our country has come to this. Why are we so
obsessed with the bad news? Why will people stop at nothing to
be against this war, no matter how much evidence of the good
we've done is thrown in their face? When is the last time CNN or
MSNBC or CBS reported the opening of schools and hospitals in
Iraq ? Or the leaders of terror cells being detained or killed?
It's all happening, but people will not let up their hatred of
Bush. They will ignore the good news, because it just might show
people that Bush was right.
America has lost its will to fight. It has
lost its will to defend what is right and just in the world. The
crazy thing of it all is that the American people have not even
been asked to sacrifice a single thing. It's not like World War
Two, where people rationed food, and turned in cars to be made
into metal for tanks. The American people have not been asked to
sacrifice anything. Unless you are in the military or the family
member of a service member, its life as usual...the war doesn't
affect you. But it affects us. And when it is over, and the
troops come home, and they try to piece together what's left of
them after their service...where will the detractors be then?
Where will the Cindy Sheehans be to comfort and talk to soldiers
and help them sort out the last couple years of their lives,
most of which have been spent dodging death and wading through
the deaths of their friends? They will be where they always are,
somewhere far away, where the horrors of the world can't touch
them. Somewhere where they can complain about things they will
never experience in their lifetime; things that the young men
and women of America have willingly taken upon their shoulders.
We are the hope of the Iraqi people. They want what everyone
else wants in life: safety, security, somewhere to call home.
They want a country that is safe to raise their children in. Not
a place where their children will be abducted, raped, and
murdered if they do not comply with the terrorists demands. They
want to live on, rebuild and prosper. And America has given them
the opportunity, but only if we stay true to the cause, and see
it to its end. But the country must unite in this endeavor...we
cannot place the burden on our military alone. We must all stand
up and fight, whether in uniform or not. And supporting us is
more than sticking yellow ribbon stickers on your cars. It's
supporting our President, our troops and our cause.
Right now, the burden is all on the
American soldiers. Right now, hope rides alone. But it can
change, it must change. Because there is only failure and
darkness ahead for us as a country, as a people, if it doesn't.
Let's stop all the political nonsense, let's stop all the
bickering, let's stop all the bad news, and let's stand and
(As you read this and look at the pictures of these young men,
meditate this prayer..."Lord, hold our troops in your loving
hands. Protect and bless them and their families for the
selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.")
Lt. Colonel Metroka's Iraq Story
that was published in the Union newspaper March 19, 2013.
(Lyrics by Marian Gold,
Frank Martens & Bernhard Lloyd - Song performed by
the Gregorian Choir)
in style, lets dance for a while
Heaven can wait we're only
watching the skies
Hoping for the best but expecting the
Are you going to drop the bomb or not?
die young or let us live forever
We don't have the power
but we never say never
Sitting in a sandpit, life is a
The music's for the sad men
Can you imagine
when this race is won
Turn our golden faces into the sun
Praising our leaders we're getting in tune
played by the madman
Forever young, I
want to be forever young
Do you really want to live
forever, forever and ever
Forever young, I want to be
Do you really want to live forever
Some are like water, some are like the
Some are a melody and some are the beat
later they all will be gone
Why don't they stay young
It's so hard to get old without a cause
I don't want to
perish like a fading horse
Youth is like diamonds in the
And diamonds are forever
So many adventures
couldn't happen today
So many songs we forgot to play
So many dreams are swinging out of the blue
We let them
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever...