by Andrew Mason
First, let it be said that I now fully understand why they tried to kill us. We patrolled your streets in 68-ton rolling death-creator (M1A1 Tank) looking for those deemed "insurgents" or in reality simply opposed to us doing this sort of thing. We sat and spied on their homes through my main gun’s sight while they went about your daily business in fear; hoping we wouldn’t pull the trigger. I can also only imagine being on the other side a gargantuan turret traversing, looking for something to murder. Just like the sounds of drone’s flying above children in Pakistan cause them to "scream in terror", so did the sounds of our tanks. Our tank tracks ruined their farm and grazing lands simply because of our want to take a short cut to an over watch position. Either as a result of our unwelcome presence and the destruction of life and property that necessarily follows it or the events that I have just described; they placed an improvised explosive device (IED) between our old tank tracks in the middle of the desert.
During late January 2007 my tank and our wing tank left our position where we provided over watch for a supply route that was a hotspot for IED placement. Fearing we would hit yet another IED on this road, we took alternative route through the desert back to return to our command operating post for re-supply. However, we were silly enough to follow our old tracks that we had left a month ago. They were smart enough to know that we’d travel back through this area. The first tank passed through a cut in a line of hills and we followed. The 500-lbs bomb detonated, destroyed my tank, and seriously injured everyone but me. Every marine who witnessed the aftermath the destruction had no idea how we made it out alive. Of course, I was angry with the "Other" for a long time and was ready to re-enlist for the slaughterhouse of Afghanistan. Luckily, I had a change of heart and I now understand why they tried to kill us. I forgive them. If some invading force came into my backyard I, like every other American, would respond in a similar manner.
To the Iraqi People:
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