Operation Iraqi Freedom

"War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and
patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is worse."
- John Stuart Mill

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Sometimes things just don't work out as planned.

In 2003, I closed a chapter in my life. After more than a decade of service in reserve components of the military, first as an enlisted Marine, and later as a commissioned Army officer, I decided to leave active-reserve service and focus on my civilian career track. Fast forward to an idle Saturday afternoon almost two and a half years later and a peculiar letter bears orders recalling me to active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Well past my what the Army refers to as my "mandatory service obligation" Uncle Sam afforded me the opportunity to resign my commission, to quit, to go home.

Politics aside, I believe firmly that what happens in Iraq today will have a substantial impact on our nation's security in the future. To that end, I don't believe I could have looked myself in the mirror for the rest of my days knowing I had turned tail and quit when my country needed me the most. So I've stayed.

This site is dedicated to the litany of family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances, both personal and professional, who have graciously rallied to offer me their encouragement. Words cannot express how humble I feel by the overwhelming support I've received. It is my hope that by providing some photos and text, I can provide some insight into the reality of this experience and perhaps in a small way, repay them all in kind.

Easter Sunday, April 16, 2005

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U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command

Contact: strong3320@yahoo.com