Thursday, June 16, 2005

What the Marines Found

Of course, the focus of this blog is the 8-229th Flying Tigers. Obviously, we’re not the only unit fighting in Iraq. There are thousands of other good soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines here as well. And, each of them has a story worth telling.

So, today, I wanted to let you all know what the Marines found.

Now, as happens so many times in this country, a patrol of Marines or US Army soldiers is sent out to a particular place with intelligence gleaned from various sources to search for weapons. And, on this particular patrol, many weapons were found. Hundreds of artillery shells, and mortar rounds, and anti-tank mines were discovered, along with a large cache of small arms and rocket-propelled grenades.

But, the Marines found something they never expected to ever see. Not in Iraq, and not anywhere but a horror movie.

They found four young children. Each of the children were between ages four and ten years old. And each one of the children were chained to a cinderblock.

The Marines took a picture of these four young children, sleeping, huddled under the plastic ponchos the Marines threw over them. It's a strange sight, because, they just look like anybody's little kids taking a nap.

As far as anyone can tell, the children were chained up because they had illnesses, either physical or mental. In this poor, backward village in Iraq, a nation that has almost as much oil as Saudi Arabia, oil that should allow the people here to be rich as kings, chaining the mentally ill to a cinderblock is pretty much the standard "treatment".

It was not a typical find.

But then again, this is not a typical war.