Ghosts of War

I’m currently reading a book called Ghosts of War by Ryan Smithson. It’s a true story about a guy (Ryan Smithson) who joined the Army Reserve right out of high school and was then deployed to Iraq when he was 19. He’s an incredible writer, and if you get the chance to read it, I would highly recommend it. One of my favorite passages is this:

(Talking about how the soldiers aren’t supposed to give water or food to the starving children watching them pass)
“These kids are the future of Iraq. They’re the ones who’ll decide whether or not this war means anything. Not the commander. Not American politicians or the press. It’s the children who will always remember the Americans who stopped by their farm and handed out Gatorade. And they will remember that they weren’t just Americans. They were American soldiers.
At the end of the day it’s our job to make sure there are more kids who identify us as the soldiers who are generous as opposed to the soldiers who destroy villages. One day at a time, one child at a time, that’s how we make a difference. That’s the only way we can come out of this mess feeling like it’s worth something.
Preserve the innocent. Protect those who deserve it most.”

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