July 4th was just another day here in Taji too. Keep the faith brother. It is worth the sacrifice we make to keep our families safe at home. If we were not here bringing the fight to them they would damn sure be bringing it to us. Maybe one day after all this is over we can meet for a pint at the Yard House in Long Beach.


Rustan, You've got the gift. You consistantly put into words the feelings I was never able to adequately express about my own experiences. With prose like that, Waters hasn't got a chance. Good Luck.


I pray that today was quiet for you. I know it is now late there and you may be sleeping. One more day, one more hour. We pray that you will be safe and the cause of freedom will prevail.

God bless each and everyone of you.


WOW. I just found your blog late last night (or very early this a.m., LOL) and was profoundly touched by what you have written. THANK YOU for your service. We here at home love you and are proud of you! THANK YOU for all you do.


WOW. I just found your blog late last night (or very early this a.m., LOL) and was profoundly touched by what you have written. THANK YOU for your service. We here at home love you and are proud of you! THANK YOU for all you do.


Rusten I pray that you come home to your wife whole and sound and that the ghosts of Iraq and your actions there leave you in peace. Godspeed.


Rusten I pray that you come home to your wife whole and sound and that the ghosts of Iraq and your actions there leave you in peace. Godspeed.


Dear RDC,
You write so beautifully. My eyes are tearful, my spirit is proud to know you, and my heart is grateful for your service.

Do not worry, young man, you will be home soon. Just watch you back and front, and we will be waiting.

After all, you still have work to do. Who else is going to take Ms. Waters seat?!

God bless your family and you.


Russ, like you, I hope that the ghosts give you peace. Your service is enough. There is no need to continue to bear a burden for our country.

But I also hope that you can find peace today.

Gratitude from Phoenix for what you do for all of us...


Happy Birthday America! Thanks for bringing into this world the first and most genuine "We the People's Revolution"!

We celebrate liberty and those who come to her defence!


Our thoughts and prayers are with you each day, not just on the Fourth. To your question; "when my world ends will my love for my wife remain?" perhaps an answer can be found in the words of Sullivan Ballau, sent to his wife during our Civil War.

"July the 14th, 1861
Washington DC

My very dear Sarah:

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days - perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure - and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine 0 God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing - perfectly willing - to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt.

But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows - when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children - is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country?

I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death -- and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee.

I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved and I could not find one. A pure love of my country and of the principles have often advocated before the people and "the name of honor that I love more than I fear death" have called upon me, and I have obeyed.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me - perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar -- that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.

Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have oftentimes been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night -- amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours - always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers his and hers I call God's blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.



May God give you and your buddies on this special day all I can offer from this distance, peace and safety, and my heartfelt thanks that I have known personally such men as you!


This is so good... I posted it.

Thank You Soldier

Chevy Rose

Russ, sir you've done it again. You've spun your magic way with words and touch this old woman's heart. I hope you've got a copyright posted somewhere, cause I don't want you to lose credit for writing so poetic. Your words of honor, duty, love of country cuts through the glib and that is a national treasure. Stay safe, drink lots of water, and bask in the prayers that shield you each day. Happy Independence Day and God bless.


Back here in the states, you and your fellow soldiers and marines are not forgotten......at least not by me. Thank you for all you do and for the sacrifices you've made and continue to make everyday. Thank you for doing a job that too few are willing to do these days. Thank you for loving our country and for standing on the front lines. This July 4th, my family will proudly fly the flag as we do everyday and we will spend as much time as we can with our youngest son who will be deploying to Iraq later this year. I am so pround of him...and of all of you who serve. I hope you have a peaceful and uneventful 4th. Love to all of you......


Thank you.


God bless and I hope that you all have the oppertunity to safely observe the Fourth of July holiday. There will be many prayers here on Oahu (Hawaii.) And I will be there on Schofield wishing you all safe return to the states. There is no Fourth of July without the duty of the soldier.

-Future Inf. Off (hopefully)

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