Why? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     In this time of trouble we ask, "Why are we in Iraq, why do our soldiers fight, and why do our brothers die?" Everybody seems to have a different answer. The harder question for many is how to cope with friends and family members who are leaving to fight. I personally have experienced this, but not to the extent our soldiers have. My family has a rich military background, and right now I have a lot of friends making preparations to leave for the war in Iraq.

I had to say good-bye to my friends and family ten months ago when I left for basic training. It was hard leaving my life to serve our country but it was worth it. I have many stories, memories and friends that I wouldn't have gotten anywhere else.

The time I've spent with the Louisiana National Guard has opened my eyes. The last drill I went to, I noticed a little boy playing with his dog. He didn't have a care in the world, while our First Sergeant was talking to us about going to war. I will remember that moment for a long time. The little boy reminded me why we live and why we fight. We are fighting to give others the same opportunity to run, play and live without a care in the world.

I continue to see things I never noticed before. Another moment I reflected on my decision to serve was at a baseball field. There were kids running, playing and just having fun. To me that's what makes this country great.

At this point there are many of us who are about to graduate and step into the real world. Some have made the life-changing decision to serve in the military. They have decided to make a difference. They are the reason this and other countries have freedom. To all those overseas and those going over, I thank you for your service and hope you make it back home safe. God be with you.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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