Originally Posted by maine_coon
Captain James, your input is most welcome.
I am not at that level to set policy to withdrawl any members of the military from Iraq.
I can tell you that at my level as a Captain in the Infantry and working as an advisor with Major Alvaro Roa, we have worked very hard advising, mentoring and training the Iraqi Army.
We not only conduct combat operations, but as well humanitarian operations such as medical care, paying local Iraqi contractors to build schools and community centers and meet and greet the community leaders and children.
I am here because I want to make a difference and at the capacity that I am serving which I am able to do my part to make a difference.
I have been here for 15 months and injured as well, earning the Purple Heart
I left my family in the United States in April 2006 and wanted to be apart of the solution to assist the Iraqi people.
I can tell you that at my level I see changes but I cannot speak for the entire nation of Iraq. Please accept my assessment for the sector of Baghdad, that the Iraqi Army unit that I have worked with Major Roa are making progress.
I graduated from St. John's University with a degree in History and I graduated from Touro Law School earning my Juris Doctorate. I could had remained in the United States and been apart of the working class and choose to either support or not support the war in Iraq.
My choice to volunteer and serve here in Iraq may cost me my life but I feel that if I have to sacrifice my life here, it would be an honor.
When I receive my orders to leave the Republic of Iraq I will also leave many friends that I have met such as Iraqi Army Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, Intrepreters, Community leaders, various council leaders and number of children and their parents in the community where I work in Baghdad, Iraq.
James Van Thach
United States Army