526851_10153202915035381_861229594_nTo Members of Congress, political pundits, and all those who comment on the situation in Iraq:

I am a United States Marine. I served with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines from 2003-2007, deploying twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I fought in Hit, Fallujah, Haditha, and many other places in that country.

I have been plagued with doubt, wondering what I did there, and found myself asking frequently as to why we were sent to war.

I lost 23 friends in the deserts, towns, and cities of Iraq. We were told it was to stabilize the region (mind you after we didn’t turn up any chemical or bio weapons manufactured after 1996). What was the point in them losing their lives, among 4700+ other soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines?

You pundits and politicians asking us to go back….for what? There was no mission at that time as you all enjoyed commenting, from thousands of miles away. While you were trying to boost ratings or get reelected, my brothers and I were sweating , bleeding, and dying….for what!?

The WMD angle turned out to be one hell of a lie.
We obviously didn’t finish the mission of security and stability, since ISIS has taken cities my brothers died trying to route insurgents.
Is Iraq more free? Are the people better off?

What was the point of it all? How many more lives will you have wasted before you decide what the mission is?

Many of you are saying we’re losing what we gained in Iraq…please define that for me. What did we gain? As those who actually fought, we lost a lot. We lost credibility by invading another country on a false pretense. We lost support of long held allies. We lost the support of the American people. We lost countless and priceless lives. We lost our sanity as we struggle with haunting nightmares. We lost limbs. We lost struggles with addiction and alcohol as we tried to make sense of it all. We lost husbands and wives who decided we were gone too much, and they found comfort in the beds of others. We lost time with our children. And we are still losing men and women to suicide because the cost for some is too much to bear.

When is it enough? What is the mission? What is the price you’re going to have the military pay, because God as my witness, I won’t see you lacing up boots, picking up a rifle, and doing anything. No, you’ll sit and try to do some electoral spin, boost ratings, and blame everyone who opposes any action. You’ll drink your latte, enjoy air conditioning and your lofty salaries. And when more of us are maimed and killed, you’ll find excuses to not give us the care we earned with our blood.

You chicken hawks need to resign your posts. I cannot stand your eagerness for war. Your appetite for death. Our young men and women deserve better. You want war? Suit up yourself. I am not willing to fight your bullshit wars any more, and would not ask another to fight in my stead.

Try your spin on the Marine who held his best friend as he bled out, while crying for his mom. Tell it to the soldier who lost both his legs. Tell it to the corpsman who drinks every night in an attempt to momentarily forget his hands being unable to save some of his men or the innocent women and kids who were hit in the crossfire. Tell it to the gold star mother who lost her child. Tell it to the veteran who cannot find work because he “doesn’t fit in.”

We’re not buying it any more. We’re done with the chest beating and rhetoric. Either strap it on and do it yourself, or shut up.

Craig Bowden
Marine Corps Veteran,
Congressional Candidate,
Father, and Concerned Citizen


6 thoughts on “Open Letter on Iraq

  1. Craig, it’s magnanimous of you to put your life on the line in the theater of the military & politics, but for the intimate immediacy of your experience (especially in political theatre, all I can think it’s taken you far too long to comprehend what all too many of us recognized instantly about these persons & groups.

    God speed & good luck. A Congress comprised of individuals like you would be a welcome change — provided your libertarian views aren’t out of balance with oversight & regulation of corporations amuck.

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