Letter from an American soldier...

Read full CNSNews.com article w/ video:
Soldier’s Outrage at Anti-War Protests at Army Hospital

“… I am a reservist out of Dallas, Texas, who is currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. I also was deployed to Iraq for one year in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was part of the initial invasion into Iraq. During my first deployment to Iraq, my MP unit was called up. I volunteered for this deployment because I felt I had more to give my country and felt it was the right thing to do. I would like to comment on the article you wrote in reference to the Code Pink group at Walter Reed Medical Center. I first saw your article on the Sean Hannity website and then listened to Marc Morano’s interview with Mr. Hannity via-pod cast from here in Afghanistan. (‘Anti-War Protests Target Wounded at Army Hospital,’ August 25)

When I read the article I was assuming that the group was just close to the Medical Center. But when I listened to your interview with Mr. Hannity and your confrontation of the Code Pink lady, it became a lot clearer. I was taken aback by her and her group’s arrogance to what they are really doing there and who they are actually hurting. To carry the signs, heckle the troops and to have mock caskets with an American flag over them is beyond protest. It is downright harassment of my brothers and sisters of the United States military who have been injured.

By the end of the interview I was shaking and was even in tears for my fellow brave soldiers who not only have to endure the loss of a limb(s), loss of sight, or even worse – the loss of a battle buddy (fellow soldier serving with your team). I know the guilt that soldiers feel when they are not taken or injured but someone else is. I feel guilt now that I made it through Iraq and now half way through my tour in Afghanistan and yet I am fine. Over 2,000 of my fellow soldiers have not made it. I can only imagine what my fellow injured soldiers are feeling as they look out that window and see the Code Pink group. I then went from thinking of my fellow soldiers to thinking about my family and what they would have to go through if I were injured and the emotional stress and guilt they would feel that they were unable to protect their 34-year-old son, even though I made a decision to protect my family and country. …

Even though I disagree with what all of these groups such as Code Pink, Moveon.org and anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan stand for, my fellow soldiers and I have fought, died, been injured and are still fighting for their right to protest and speak their mind. But what angers and hurts me as a soldier is that they parade their anti-war views in the face of my brothers and sisters who are recovering from the same battlefield that I fought on and am still fighting on as I type this e-mail. Is there no honor or dignity left in the anti-war movement? Do they have no shame? Do they have no integrity? Do they have no heart? Do they have no soul? I can answer that with a simple no! How can they say they support the troops but protest where they try to recover from war? You interviewed one gentleman, and I use that term loosely, who stated ‘If I was injured I would want someone to speak for me like this.’ Well let me tell him something, we do not want you to speak for us and we do not need you to speak for us! …

In closing, I would like to thank you for bringing their conduct to the public eye, not only in your article, but on ‘The Sean Hannity Show.’ I actually began to have some faith in the media again when I heard Morano stand up for us soldiers like he did. I wish there was something that I could do to personally thank him for your actions. But I am going to ask that you please do not stop speaking of these actions at Walter Reed. Please find a way to help stop the protesting at Walter Reed. Please write more articles, ask why they were granted permission, get public officials to speak out on the record and petition people to withdraw their right to protest within a certain distance from a military hospital. It scares me that next will be a fellow soldier's funeral. That is the next step! Please, I ask that you continue to investigate this protest and their rights to be there! Not to stop people’s freedom of speech, but protect and respect my fellow soldiers.”

Sgt. Mark Leach, U.S. Army