I Would Do It All Again

March 18, 2003 marks the start of the Iraq war. That was 16 years ago today. I was just finishing High School when this happened. One year later I was deployed to Iraq. 

Reflecting back this was a significant personal date in my history. 

I learned more than I could ever imagine.

I learned about life. 

I learned about death. 

I learned about humanity. 

I learned about inhumanity. 

My life was changed beyond comprehension. 

The price paid was enormous.  

-189,000: Direct war deaths, which doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands more that died due to war-related hardships. 

-4,488:U.S. service personnel killed directly. 

-32,223: Troops injured (not including PTSD). 

-655,000: Persons who have died in Iraq since the invasion that would not have died if the -invasion had not occurred. 

-$1.7 trillion: Amount in war expenses spent by the U.S. Treasury Department as through Fiscal Year 2013.

I deployed 4 times to the country of Iraq, I spent a total of 45 months downrange. 

During my time I faced hardships I look back on and am amazed at God’s mercy on me. I fought in various battles across the country destroying untold amounts of lives. 

I am proud of my service then; I am proud of my service now. I was given the opportunity to use the best war equipment our country had to offer. I was given the chance to serve with some of the most hardworking and brave men from all walks of life. I received some of the best training and was able to be part of some of the most complex operations known to humanity. 

But I also paid a price. 

I look back through time, I see myself as that 18-year-old heading off to war. What advice would I give myself? What about the 24-year-old me who suffers from PTSD and drinks to cope? What would I say to the 26-year-old me who is afraid of going to sleep because he sees the dead? 

I don’t think words can say anything to the me of the past. If I could go back I would show the experience of God and His love for me, the mercy He has given me. I would share the experience of nights without terror, of two sons, a loving wife and a precious daughter. I would show that only in resting in Jesus Christ am I able to have His peace. 

I.Would.Do.It.All.Again

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