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News ::
A Father and a Soldier Son's Comments (english)
22 Feb 2003
Why I do what I do.

Dear Joe:
Thank you for your note. There is a need to stand up now and be counted in this debate. I personally have no personal animosity for the people
protesting...However, many of them are the same people who protested Ronald Reagan's "harsh" stand against the Soviets when he spent them out of
existence with sophisticated theatre nuclear weapons (GLCM's, ALCM's). History now shows that Reagan's courage in the face of significant adversity
turned the tide and helped bring down the "Evil Empire", despite the hundreds of thousand sprotesting in Europe against his tactics. Therefore, while dissent is
warranted and good (it's what we wore the uniform to preserve), dissent for dissent's sake is not productive or fair.
I am grateful for your sensitivity in not inundating John. He needs to focus right now. He knows the people who count support him...after all, he's my son.
Warmest regards,

Why I do what I do.

I've often thought what on earth had possessed me to get me into the
jungle boots I now fill. What gave me the idea to pursue this type of
life. I have never been able to put it into words. I have my personal
reasons, the glory and the title. I sometimes think that if we all had
a sound track to our lives like they have in the movies, mine would be
the coolest. I get an occasional handshake and a thank you for what I
do. It's nice but I find no solace in that at 3 in the morning as I lay
in the mud and under 2 and a half inches of rain. Weeks let alone years
of that kind of thing make it a bit easier to endure but it still none
the less sucks. I get paid close to nothing and after 2 combat tours
living under the worst conditions possible I still haven't had enough,
so why do I do it. I'm under the privilege of competing in the Best
Ranger competition this year and one should be in the best shape of his
life to finish let alone win. As I hit mile 19 of my 21-mile ruck run
the other night I pondered on this. Why would I do this to myself?
I've got friends in college and friends who have jobs and are making
good money. Why am I here with 60 pounds on my back at an
excruciatingly painful jog, in the pouring rain? I found the answer in
a the eyes of a subordinate on my first tour to Afghanistan. A man went
down and with his gear and all probably weighed in excess of 270
pounds. We were pinned down behind two small birms and there was about
20 feet of open ground between me, the senior guy, and one of my hooah's
(a lower enlisted guy that has not yet been to Ranger school is called a
hooah.) Ladened with his own gear and the stress of the situation he
grimaced for only a second. Without missing a beat that 135-pound kid
dragged his buddy back far enough to get some cover and hoisted all 270+
pounds onto his back and took off at a dead sprint as if his friend's
life depended on it (it did). That kid was 18 years old.

I knew then why I do what I do. The nation will always have a call,
someone must answer it. That 18-year-old kid did. He could have been
making more money flipping burgers; instead he was in Northern
Afghanistan saving his friend's life. The honor in that is
unfathomable. It's more satisfying than anything I have ever
experienced. I love what I do simply for that reason; it's a
bittersweet feeling.

There's no pain like saying goodbye before you step on the plane, unsure
of what will happen but hoping and praying that you'll come back
eventually. The entire process of emotions is unexplainable but the
feeling that I get when I see my flag billowing in the wind is worth the
sacrifice, even the ultimate one. I and those like me are warriors in
the name of the United States of America. We don't do it for money, or
glory, or girls. We do it for you, your family and each other. Some of
us are gone and won't ever come back but it's worth it to protect our
freedoms and liberty's. I love my country. I may not love everything
about it but I love it none the less. This country is protected by our
blood and sweat, don't take that for granted. Never, never, forget. I

Cpl John C. Buckley IV USA
Army Ranger 3rd Ranger Battalion
75th Ranger Regiment
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