Here are just a few of the most recent responses, as of Sept. 1, to Capt. Dan Sukman's 'Soldier's Diary' on FOXNews.com.
I have only read your diary a few times, but wanted to take the opportunity to tell you and your fellow soldiers just how proud I am of all of you over there in Iraq and Afghanistan. What you are doing over there is a great thing. No amount of words can express my gratitude to everyone deployed. I shed a tear of joy anytime I hear of men and women coming home to their families. As a Navy wife, I just what it means. I wish you and all the men and women over there to come home safe and soon. God bless you all. And may I say an early, "Welcome home, soldier!" Godspeed. —Mandy Ochoa, San Diego, Calif.
Hello, I am a first-time reader of your diary, but I wanted to let you know how appreciated you ladies and gentlemen are. My father was in the Army for 20 years. And when I was little he was deployed for Desert Storm. I can still remember what it was like when he left and came home. I was reading some of the readers' responses and I can't understand how people can write some of the things they write. They should take pride in the fact that you take time out of your very busy day to let us at home know what is really going on. I think you're doing a great job, and love and support you all. I'm thankful that you guys will be coming home to see your loving families soon. —Nichole Maurer
Dear Captain Dan,
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your diaries. As the mom of a Marine and the mom-in-law of a soldier, I believe I can speak for all parents, family members and friends of those who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan or both, as my son did. Your diaries have helped me feel connected and certainly have given me a greater idea of what is going on there. My Marine has finished his service and my soldier is soon to deploy back to Iraq for his final deployment. I wish we could of had your diaries for three years now. The stress a family goes through is so great and there is certainly no comfort from the news media here in the USA. Negative, negative is all we get. Your diaries have opened our eyes to the day-to-day activities, to the successes and the sadness, but most of all, the great and honorable service each and every one of you perform. From personal experience, I know how happy your families are with the news you will be coming home soon. I must say I will miss your diaries so much. Once again, I say thank you! You have blessed so many with understanding, comfort and a true knowledge of our countries service in Iraq. God bless you! —Diane McClatchy, Texas
Having read your soldiers diary on the FOX News Web site, I thought I would e-mail you to offer my support for your efforts in Iraq. I frequently read of situations you encounter over there and also the situations that lead to the terrible loss of your fellow soldiers and friends. It is clear from your diary you take great pride in your job, which I'm sure echoes down through the men you command and serve with. It is refreshing to read your diary entries, which offer a rare insight into the life of a U.S. soldier in Iraq.
Your mission in Iraq began and still remains a very important one despite whatever public and political opinion may be. Your efforts are making our world a safer place from terrorism. Support within my family and friends never wavered for your country's efforts in Iraq. I find this opinion is also common among my fellow Irishmen. America has always looked after our interests and helped where possible, we consider America like a big brother who has always had our back. …I wish you and your men a safe tour in Iraq, and may the will and determination of the good people overwhelm the deeds of the bad. Thank you. —David Bannon, Dublin, Ireland
My son is serving over there in the Seabees and since he is not allowed to e-mail or talk on the phone about where he is or what he is doing. I read your articles and feel a little closer to my son. Thank you. —Joan H.
I read your column today for the first time, and I say 'thank you' for taking the time to communicate with your fellow citizens and patriots here on the home front. When I was a L/Cpl. in 1968, we didn't have the instant communication prevalent today. I remember shortly before being deployed from Okinawa, I was able to "call" home using the "ham" radio system, then manned by stateside volunteers. Some officer kept interrupting me as I spoke with my dad, warning me to not communicate certain information etc. My dad and I both agreed however, that it was a big step up in communications, from what it was in 1942 when he was at Henderson Airfield and involved in another war. Good luck to you and all. Remember that people back home know and understand what is happening in this war, beyond the B.S. spread by the news media bums. —Dave
You are probably aware of this already, but I sent it anyways. The Westboro Baptist Church is planning to attend a few more funerals to continue their idiotic acts. People, especially the government and local police forces, seem to have forgotten that free speech includes the responsibility not to inflict physical, emotional or psychological harm to others. These guys need to be stopped.
I just read it in the news today, the church mentioned in your column online, protesting at funerals is being sued! Albert Snyder of York, Pa., is suing them for showing up at his son's funeral in March! Ladies and gentlemen, keep abreast of this story and be prepared, we may need to show up at the courthouse and protest them! They may get away with it by claiming the right to free speech, but if they do, I believe we should all show up and assert our freedom of speech as well! And those of us who are clergy, we need to come in style! Perhaps a good sing-along of "They Will Know we are Christians by our Love" will help us say to the world that that tiny church does not speak for us! —Pastor Michele Fischer
Dear Captain Dan,
Today, I started reading your journal from the beginning. As I reached this entry, I was outraged that someone would criticize being pro-military. As an American, how can you not be pro military? If not for our military — since we fought for independence in 1776 to the present — we would not be what we are now. It is the military who protects our way of life, the military who selflessly risk their own lives to protect our country, our pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I am so incensed that I am at a loss for words. If you knew me, you would know what a rarity that is (lol). Anyone who would dare criticize you for being "pro-military" and happens to be an American citizen does not deserve to be one and should be deported immediately, preferably to somewhere where the military is nothing more than the local bullies. Let them live in Cuba, and see what they have to say about our military then. I am also so tired of the uninformed bashing this War on Terror. …All Americans have a responsibility to our country (which Bill [O'Reilly] also said and I wholeheartedly agree), whether or not we are in the military, which includes full support of our wonderful troops, and due diligence in reference to knowing exactly what is going on, no slants, no spin, which means you rely on a variety of sources.
Some say they don't support the war, but they support the troops, as if you guys are there under duress and they are sympathizing with you. How ridiculous! It is your honor, bravery, and integrity that brought you to where you are right now, serving your country. Your journal constantly demonstrates these characteristics in your fellow colleagues. It is an insult to any American soldier to make such a statement, in my opinion, and belittles your character, which is completely unfair. After all, these people are sitting with their feet up in their comfortable living rooms, watching cable with the air conditioning on, holding a beer in one hand and a hot dog in the other. Well, caviar, if we want to reference the movie stars who all of a sudden are experts in politics and war and abuse their high visibility by offering uninformed, unsolicited opinions on the state of affairs that currently exist in the world. I only have one thing to say to those idiots ... remember Jane Fonda. There is no one I respect or appreciate more than an American soldier, the epitome of all that is good in America and why this country is so great — the ONLY reason this country is so great. You and your friends keep up the good work. We are trusting you to keep us safe, and you have yet to let us down. You are America. You created it. You are willing to die for it. And we live free, only because of you. There are no words to express my gratitude to you guys, all who have served our country in the last 200-plus years. A million times, I thank you most humbly for what you endure for me.
May the the Lord bless you and keep you, make his face shine upon you, may he lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. —Michelle K. Metcalfe, a proud American patriot
I want to say thank you for taking the time out of your — as I've come to learn — crazy yet monotonous schedule to write these diary entries. It allows for people back home the opportunity to have somewhat a mere idea of what you guys are going through, and what it's like over there. My boyfriend is a sergeant in the 1st Infantry Division, 1 Ironhorse Brigade and he received deployment orders for his second tour of duty. He will be heading over to Taji in November. I have never gone through this before and had no idea really what to expect. I started researching and doing a lot of reading online to try and prepare myself so that I may be a pillar of strength for him. Your columns help me learn a great deal. I cannot thank you enough for doing this. He will be on a lot of missions and will not be able to write to me often, but with the knowledge you put forth in your diary, I begin to understand what he will — and has — gone through. I'm sure you get thousands of emails just like mine, and I hope you really get the time to read this. But please know that what you are doing is very much appreciated and brings a bit of peace to my heart
each time. We are praying every day for you guys to come home safe and to be done with this war. Even though we may not always show it, this nation is proud of our men and thankful for the duty you are serving. May God bless you all and be safe. —Mary Joy Crisafulli, New YorkCapt. Dan,
I support you and the people over there and hope you all return safely. I was wondering is there any way I could get all of your articles and journal entries so that my 17-year-old son can read them. Are they combined into a book? Will they be combined? There were many words that carried strength and feelings that could make you cry. I was moved to tears several times when I read several entries that you had made. Keep safe and remember no matter what anyone thinks about why we are there … you are there because our government asked you to help them to protect the innocent people of the world who are not strong enough to fight. God bless you and your family. —Suzanne Fox
PS: if you are ever in New Jersey just over the bridge from Philadelphia send me an e-mail, I would love to buy you a nice steak dinner, a shot and an ice cold beer.
Thank you so much for everything you have done. I am almost 17 years old and am joining the United States Army as an MP in the Reserve unit. I will graduate high school this year and do my basic and AIT, then hopefully go to Iraq. My biggest fear is being away from family but I want to do a deed to my country and thank you so much for what you and all the other soldiers have done for the country.
I've put off writing you because I wanted the right words, but I'm realizing that not writing at all is worse than worrying about words. God bless you, man. God bless U.S. soldiers and their families. I've been away from my 2-year old for two weeks and that is difficult. I can't imagine what it is like for soldiers or their families. And it is you soldiers and your families suffering through this that protects me from ever knowing what it is like. We can support you but it is something I, God willing, do not personally know. And it is bond and understanding only you guys will ever know. And I honestly believe you are protecting future generations from going through it. God bless you, man. God bless your men and your families. —Steve Martin, Chubbuck, Idaho
"We came here for each other." Well put, Capt. Dan. My wife, who is a nurse in the Louisiana ANG [Air National Guard], just returned from Balad AB, Iraq. Why did she go? Because she felt that after 20 years she hadn't quite done her part. Despite spending a week in the misery of the Superdome because of Katrina, followed by four months at EMEDS afterwards, there was something missing in her career. And after returning home from Balad, she said if she is still needed she will go back after our son graduates from high school next spring. We can only pray that there won't be a need. But to the men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line, I can tell you she felt honored to provide you some care and comfort in your time of need. Now when someone tells me she must be crazy for going I can tell them why. "We came here for each other." —Michael Brooks, TSgt, USAF (Ret.)
Dear Capt. Dan.
As a Viet Vet, I understand all too well the meaning of the guy next to you. In my life I have been asked, "Why did you go, How many did you kill, and my absolute favorite "are you a baby killer?" I tell them that I went because it's my duty. Am I better then the one from my neighborhood who went before me? Yeah, I went for the guy next to me. Semper Fi. —Bob Neumann
I have often read your diary entries on the FOX News Web site. As an American living a very ordinary day-to-day life while others such as yourself face the most difficult circumstances of this world in my place, I just wanted you to know how much the observations you have shared throughout the last several months have meant to me. You have given me a direct and honest connection to one of the most significant struggles my generation will face. You've made something which has seemed very far away from my life, into something personal, and that is as it should be for all of us.
I don't usually write things like this, and I'm a bit embarrassed, but your column today, August 30, touched me deeply. I come from a family with a Naval background, and I hold the deepest respect and admiration for our military. Thank you for reminding me of that pride in the real heroes of our country, and thank you also for each word you have written to keep others like myself connected to what is really happening. And always remember, even when it doesn't seem like it, there are many who do get it, and we are grateful. —Laurie Harper, Urbandale, Iowa
Hello, I wanted to tell you thanks for keeping the Soldier's Diary. I have been married to an Army officer for just over a year, so all of this is very new to me. I hope you know how much it helps to read about what your experience down range has been like. For a new wife, it is wonderful to have more information to help address my concerns and questions. Thank you for your service to our country. — Stacey H., Proud Army Wife, Germany
Capt. Dan Sukman,
I hope this e-mail finds you and your buddies doing well. For the first time since the war started, I understand why someone would go to fight in this war. You hit the nail on the head — you went to help your buddies. It doesn't matter to you guys right now that we are there for all the wrong reasons.
Yes, I am a tree-hugging, peace-loving old hippie era father of two little guys, who voiced his opinion before we went and again after it started. Please understand that ALL of us who are arguing for peace and an end to this madness support you 110 percent plus. We pray for you, and hope you are home again soon, so your families can enjoy experiencing life with you. We understand much better than the media lets on that you are there to support each other. Just because we oppose the war, doesn't mean we don't support the troops. Please never forget that! And while your there, captain, amidst all the IEDs and mayhem, don't forget what it means to truly be free. Free to show compassion, because in the end if we are to win this damn thing, we have to show the people of Iraq what Americans really are like. You are our best ambassadors, just like my uncle was in Vietnam.
On the forth of July, my shift held a ceremony to commemorate you, our troops. At the end it was opened up for comments, and an older Vietnamese American told us about the troops he had met in that conflict, and how their compassion and kindness motivated him to seek freedom here. So even though we lost the war, the country, we won a few hearts over there. God bless. —Ken Cohagen