Letters from U.S. casualties

In their own words: Letters from U.S. casualties (from MSNBC)

Writings from U.S. troops who have died in Iraq

The Associated Press
Updated: 4:01 p.m. ET Sept. 7, 2004Army Staff Sgt. Dale Panchot, 26, of Northome, Minn., in a letter to his family.
?I was reading my Bible the other night and in the book of Genesis … it said when God created the heavens and earth, he made four rivers, two of which are here in Iraq, the Tigris and the Euphrates. So after I found that out, I had to go down by the river and touch the water. I tell you, it was something else. Pretty cool, huh??

Army National Guard Sgt. Roger Rowe, 54, of Bon Aqua, Tenn., in his last letter to his wife, Shirley.
?Love has always gotten us through and it will do so again.?

Army Pfc. Rachel Bosveld, 19, of Waupun, Wis., in a letter home.
?More and more people want us to go home. Believe me, we want to go home.?

Army National Guard Sgt. Frank Carvill, 51, of Carlstadt, N.J., in an e-mail to a friend.
?We have been and continue to operate in dangerous and volatile areas with amazing restraint considering we are repeatedly engaged. … We give candy to kids, purchase items in the local economy and return accurate and well aimed fire upon legitimate targets when fired upon. The United States is too deeply committed to this to quit now or at any time in the immediate future. We are simply stuck and must persevere. Ultimately, it will work, but it will take years. FYI, one of our heavy vehicles got stuck today in soft ground. The local Iraqis came by with a bulldozer and a front end loader and helped us. The Iraqi guy who organized the vehicle rescue refused to take money. We have not lost yet.?

Army Pfc. Diego Rincon, 19, of Conyers, Ga., in his last letter home.
?Whether I make it or not, it?s all part of the plan. It can?t be changed, only completed. Mother will be the last word I?ll say. Your face will be the last picture that goes through my eyes. … I just hope that you?re proud of what I?m doing and have faith in my decisions. I will try hard and not give up. I just want to say sorry for anything I have ever done wrong. And I?m doing it all for you mom. I love you.?

Marine Lance Cpl. Aaron Austin, 21, of Sunray, Texas, in the last letter to his fiancee, Tiffany Frank.
?When the pastor says you may kiss your bride that will probably be the happiest moment next to the next time you are able to lay your head on my chest … There is no one or nothing that will stop me from getting back to you baby. So don?t worry. Just wait.?

Army Sgt. Micheal Dooley, 23, of Pulaski, Va., in a letter home to his wife, Christine, who was six months? pregnant when he died.
?I want pictures of you, to see how big your belly is getting. How much my baby is growing inside of you. Not being with you makes me weak. You are the link that makes my chain strong. You complete me in every way.?

The final journal entry of Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Bruce Smith, 41, of West Liberty, Iowa. His wife, Oliva, received the necklace in the mail two days after his funeral, with a short note: ?Oliva, Happy Birthday Early. Love Bruce.?
?I sent Oliva a b-day present yesterday. A nice necklace. She will get it a couple of weeks early but that is good.?

What a real tear-jerker…I’ve written similar letters, and stuff like this really touches my soul deep down (not to seem all soft and stuff). Thank you, chinadoll. RLTW RLTW RLTW


These men wanted to go back home, but didn’t because they had a job to do. Think of how many of those 1000 brave men had mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, wives or girlfriends. Now, all are left with a void that could never be filled. The only consolation that they have is that their loved one went down standing up. They died for what they believed was right. They upheld the values that make this nation great, which to me is the greatest honor an American can achieve.
One of the most painful things I had to witness in my life was watch a folded American flag be handed to a mother who was crying hysterically at her son’s burial. I was in such a daze, I couldn’t even hear the trumpet playing Taps, or the 21 gun salute. Hell, thinking of this as I type right now is bringing tears to my eyes.
Before I left for deployment, one of the worst things that could have happened to me happened. My mother, father, and brother opened their hearts to me because they thought that very well might be the last time they ever saw me. My dad told me he loved me for the first time in my life, which was unheard of from my dad. They cried like babies and dammit, so did I. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for my safe return.
Even though my own life was in danger, my greatest fear was seeing my buddies die. I would gladly lay down my life for my brothers in arms as well as anyone in the civillian world that I deemed worthy of my sacrifice. I’m expected to go back soon, and if I don’t come back, know this. This is my letter to you:
Never forget what we did here; the sacrifices we made and the good that we brought out of this mess. I hope that the world is at the very least a little better because I was here. I hope that I influenced others in a good way, and am remembered not as a person, but as an American soldier. RLTW


God Bless…