Back in April 2007, prior to making the decision to run for Congress, I wrote this letter to Rep. Sue Myrick ®, NC-09. Her continued decision to support never-ending war in Iraq, and refusal to take responsibility for the Marissa Strock’s of our nation helped me decide to challenge Rep. Myrick for her congressional seat in 2008.
The Charlotte Observer (NC)
Section: MAIN; Edition: ONE-THREE; Page: 10A
Column: For The Record
END U.S. ‘MISADVENTURE’
GRAVELY HURT YOUNG SOLDIERS PAYING INTOLERABLE PRICE FOR WAR IN IRAQ
From Charlotte activist Harry Taylor, who last year challenged President Bush on the war in Iraq during his visit to Charlotte, in a letter to U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C.:
I am enclosing the cover of the March 5th Newsweek. The 21-year-old soldier is Marissa Strock. A quick look will reveal that she is missing both legs from just below the knees. They were amputated after she sustained multiple injuries when the Humvee in which she was riding rolled over an explosive device in Iraq. For awhile, Marissa may be honored as a wounded soldier, but the applause will fade as the reality of her life takes shape — a life of perpetual discomfort, challenge and awkwardness. Can you imagine what it takes for her to manage the simple tasks of daily living? How does she move about in the shower? Did you know that the loss of so much body surface has impaired her body’s thermostat — that her built-in cooling system will never again function properly? We take so much for granted.
I’m sending this to remind you what this war is really about — what it’s doing to our young people, and for what? Protection of our country? A better way of life for the Iraqi people? Surely by now it is clear that these dreadfully miscalculated objectives have scattered beyond our grasp. All we can try to save now is face, but at an intolerable price.
Many try to mitigate their horror at the human cost of war by noting that ours is a volunteer army — those who sign up know they may be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice, and they do so willingly. But you and I both know that young people tend to think they’re bullet-proof and invisible; or worse, they’re idealistic enough to imagine their government would never send them on a mission that wasn’t vitally important — and achievable. These kids sign on for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the notion that 9–11 is a threat by a real enemy they can help track down and destroy. But ideology isn’t a uniformed army marching across a field, and it doesn’t disappear into the craters of our destruction.
This nightmarish misadventure must end. We cannot keep on taking lives and limbs from the Marissa Strocks of our country — or from innocent Iraqis.
You, Congresswoman Sue Myrick, can help stop this, and you can do it before the next 21-year old Marissa Strock loses her legs.
Understand, please, that I send this letter via the media not to embarrass you, but because everyone needs to know about Marissa. Everyone needs to care about her. Everyone who has not stood against this military action has a part in her horrible infirmity. Please, Sue, for yourself, for your family, for all the Marissas, help end this tragic conflict.
* For The Record offers commentaries from various sources. The views are the writer’s, and not necessarily those of the Observer editorial board.