A Memorial Day Request From a Soldier in Iraq

05/25/2011 11:55 am ET
  • Mark Kleiman Professor of Public Policy at NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management and Chairman of BOTEC Analysis

CPT. Phil Carter, widely known in Blogistan as the author of Intel Dump, is now toward the end of a year training Iraqi police in Diyala Province, northwest of Baghdad. That has turned out to be a challenging, complex, and dangerous task -- he spends a substantial chunk of most days in full body armor in the desert heat -- which he is handling with his usual energy, good sense, and good spirits. Phil's blogging has been limited due both to his crowded schedule and to worries about what information might be too sensitive (operationally or organizationally) to post, but he's been sending out occasional missives to an email list, and those notes ought to form the backbone of an excellent book when Phil is back in civvies.

He's broken his blogging radio silence to post a moving set of reflections about Memorial Day. Here's the end of his opening paragraph:

I'd ... like to join the chorus of voices calling for a simple act of remembrance this Memorial Day for the hundreds of thousands of America's men and women who have given their lives in uniformed service since the holiday was created after the Civil War. We collectively owe these fallen warriors a tremendous debt -- a debt which can never be repaid. All we can do is honor that which they stood for, and fulfill in our words and deeds the ideal which they died for.