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Volunteering On A Two Front War

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I would like to start this blog by saying it has been my life's honor to serve with my fellow troops. I will never forget what I went through along side them in Iraq . In retrospect, anything I did "over there" was for them - I did it for them.

When we were sent into Iraq it was not in the defense of our country. It was for a neoconservative experiment destined for failure. When troops are placed in that situation all they have is each other.

I'm sure by now I don't have to explain to everyone that I am totally against the war in Iraq . Anyone who has paid attention my work on the blogs, my opinion pieces in newspapers, or my television appearances (here and here) should know where I stand.

Recently, I sparked up a small flame with an op-ed I wrote criticizing the leadership of big money "status quo" anti-war lobbying groups. It angered a lot of people who feel that I have hurt the anti-war movement as a whole. However, their perception of the anti-war movement is obviously different than mine.

The movement is the people who are out there in the street fighting for an end to the war because they believe in their heart it is immoral. They are not putting themselves out there for money, power, politics, or personal gain. Their sincere interests are finding a way for our troops to come home and for Iraq to be returned to the Iraqis - however long it may take.

They attend anti-war rallies, town hall meetings, marches, and demonstrations. They write to their members of Congress and local newspapers expressing their frustrations. They do so in the hopes of making a difference because they care.

They would never ask you to do something they would not do themselves. They lead by example. Their resolve is strong and they don't adjust their mission to the current mainstream agenda of their political party. They are not sell-outs or hired guns for those who look down at them as pawns. In the end they will be the last ones standing with their integrity in tact because they remained true to themselves.

They inspire me to keep going on. I can honestly say that I have done more for my country by standing in solidarity with them than I ever did for George Bush fighting in Iraq .

There are thousands of these extraordinary individuals out there organizing millions of others to join the struggle for peace - yet they are simply anonymous and their work often goes unnoticed.

I just wanted to somehow show my recognition and thanks to them - however insignificant the manner may be. Because without them there would be no barrier between our liberties and those who wish to take them away. They will confront injustices where they see them when others could not be bothered.

They are volunteers just like our brave men and women in uniform.

While our troops fight an enemy (determined by Bush/Cheney & Co.) in the Middle East, the good people of America are fighting for their safe return home and peace in that part of the world.

They step up and fight for what they believe is in the best interest of America at a time when our President tells us to just "go shopping."

While the current administration and their supporters hold an ideology of national sacrifice going unshared, our troops and the people of the peace movement are ignoring that selfishness and moving forward in many different capacities to bring about a better future for us all.

John Bruhns
Iraq Veteran

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