A Soldier's Message - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Marsha Mays Reporting

A Soldier's Message

JONESBORO, AR -- Just three days after K8 News got the word that the first member of the 875th Engineer Battalion has died, we get a glimpse into what war is really like. Specialist Erich Smallwood of Trumann became a casualty of war on Saturday, but now we're learning more about that brave soldier.

Erich's family came across something Wednesday they will always cherish. It's a blog he had posted on his MySpace account while in Iraq about his reasons for being there and why he believed in this war. He wrote it January 28th this year, just months before making the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

It's a letter that gives you chills. A first hand view of what the Iraqi War is really like, all from an American Soldier killed on the battlefield.

"I am in Iraq. I'm not gonna sit here and say I want to be here because no-one wants to be here, but I do it because of you. I do it so you can have the freedom to talk bad about us over here. I do it so your city doesn't get bombed. I do it so you can go to work every day."

Erich went on to describe what a normal day is like for the Iraqi civilians.

"Imagine your life like this. You wake up in the morning to the sound of gunfire. You can't run outside to see what's going on because you'd get shot...scared to drive down the road because of the IED's that were put out in your sleep that you have no idea where they're at....that's just some of the problems the Iraqi people face."

It's a description that we as Americans here in the states don't hear every day, especially from a soldier who experienced the war in Iraq on the frontlines.

"Not everyone over here is bad...and for everyone that says that its none of our business to do it...your probably the type of person that would sit in your apartment and hear a husband beating their wife next door and just let it go...it is your business."

Throughout the letter, Erich expressed his views on war protesters and the burden it bears on the troops making the sacrifice.

"It amazes me that, that many people would go waste their time on being against the war....when they could be at home writing a soldier and telling them that their behind them...we don't need to see that...but then again it wouldn't be worth fighting for if people couldn't go out in the streets and protest...but when you're out there protesting take a minute to thank us and the veterans before us...if not for all of us you wouldn't be in the street protesting without punishment."

It's all his words. His thoughts on the war in Iraq, his reasons for being there and even his reason for dying for this country.

"If this is an un-winnable war then that's fine we tried. It's a dangerous place to be no-one can promise that anyone will make it back...if I die here I did it for you...if anyone else dies here they did it for you. Morn but be happy to know that he loved you that much."

His family has set up an Erich Smallwood Memorial Fund at the Bank of Trumann for anyone who would like to contribute. The family has decided to give a portion of those donations to the family of another soldier who was injured in the same humvee Erich was killed in.  

 

Erich's Full MySpace Blog:

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Imagine your life like this. You wake up in the morning to the sound of gunfire....you can't run outside to see what's going on because you'd get shot..you can't call a friend to see what's going on because your family is too poor to have a phone...scared to drive down the road because of the IED's that were put out in your sleep that you have no idea where they're at...and if you're a Sunni...and the Shittes put the bomb out then you could be the next victim....scared to be around a bus because it could very easily blow up and kill everyone around it....scared to go anywhere because of all the kidnappings going on around you....that's just some of the problems the Iraqi people face...not everyone over here is bad...and for everyone that says that its none of our business to do it...your probably the type of person that would sit in your apartment and hear a husband beating their wife next door and just let it go...it is your business...if it was your mom or your sister getting beat would you sit there still? well it is someone's mom or sister getting beat...Saddam brutally murdered many people when he was the leader...he said that he was gonna get weapons of mass destruction and then he said he had them...so for those of you that say we shouldn't have came over here...imagine a nuke going off in the United States...would you want to be here then? If someone comes up to you and says I'm gonna get a gun and I'm gonna shoot you....would you say well he don't have the gun yet so it's ok...no you'd call the police and let them know...would you want a police chief that said ahh he don't have the gun it's ok...or would you want one that said that's not gonna work were going to get him...well I thank God everyday that we have the one that's gonna do something about it...I am in Iraq...I'm not gonna sit here and say I want to be here because no-one wants to be here...but I do it because of you...I do it so you can have the freedom to talk bad about us over here...I do it so your city doesn't get bombed...I do it so you can go to work every day....if you could see the kids on the side of the road that just want a piece of candy...what if it was your kid...I know there are kids in the states with the same problems..but in America you have opportunities....there are ways for everything...we have welfare..Iraq doesn't...we do everything in our power to help out our people...so don't say that we could spend the money on our own people because we are...if this is an unwinnable war then that's fine we tried...if you can live with yourself being as selfish as to say it's none of our business then fine do your thing...but just remember if we pull out right now...that the terrorists will take over this country and they will be in America if we allow them to have a whole country to train and grow then in 10 years or maybe even 20 don't blame it on Bush...he's our leader in a critical time...if it was someone else we would still be trying to talk out the problems while Saddam would be saying ok but still building or owning the WMD...and when we do win this war and 20 years from now Iraq is controlling its own country and fighting terrorists by their self you can look back and say man I'm glad that we went...if you have a family member or a friend over here don't be mad that he's over here be happy that he or she came for you...it's a dangerous place to be no-one can promise that anyone will make it back...if I die here I did it for you...if anyone else dies here they did it for you....morn but be happy to know that he loved you that much...sorry this was so long but I was just watching the news...seeing all of the demonstrators against the war...and wanted to say something...don't watch the news they show the complete bad side to everything...if you thought everything was working over here you'd quit watching the news...so they make you think otherwise...but it amazes me that many people would go waste their time on being against the war....when they could be at home writing a soldier and telling them that their behind them...we don't need to see that...but then again it wouldn't be worth fighting for if people couldn't go out in the streets and protest...but when you're out there protesting take a minute to thank us and the veterans before us...if not for all of us you wouldn't be in the street protesting without punishment.

SPC. Erich Smallwood

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