7/10/06: 'Soldier's Diary' Readers Respond to Captain Dan

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Here are just a few of the most recent responses, as of July 10, to Capt. Dan Sukman's 'Soldier's Diary' on FOXNews.com.

Capt. Dan,

Just some news about an effort being mounted here in the U.S. for our military personnel all over the world. Some 40 knitters from all parts of the U.S. are hand knitting black socks and having them sent to military via liaison at DoD. Our organization is called Socks for Soldiers. If you type in "Socks for Soldiers" in the Web browser, the Web site comes up and you can check us out. The socks are made of wool/nylon and wool/nylon/cotton blends. We are making sizes for men and women, sm, med, large, ex large. Anyone who wants a pair can get them. The socks conform to military standards and can be worn with any type of utility uniform. The goal is to make 100,000 pairs. We are doing this to let you folks know that we love you and have not forgotten what you are doing for us and all you have already done. Knitting has always been a part of America's civilian efforts during all of our nations conflicts and here we are again, knitting needles in hand, making things for those who have chosen to go far from home to defend home. You folks "knock our socks off." You keep fighting, we will keep knitting!! —Barb Rickman, Shelton Conn.

Capt. Dan,

You say there are "good things" happening in Iraq. How "good" do you rate what this Famous Five were doing? I bet they thought they had a "good time" doing it. Now they will probably get their wrists slapped by some kangaroo court instead of being out in front of a firing squad they deserve. —Eero Kytö, Tampere, Finland

CPT Dan,

I realize you can't comment on this, and I suppose I'm just venting. From reports here in the U.S., it seems that the tragic loss of the soldiers from 1/502nd last month was due in part to their being left alone at a checkpoint. Now we are reading that five soldiers (from the same unit, evidently) at a checkpoint were able to drink alcohol, plan a rape/murder, commit the crime, change out of bloody clothes, and set fire to the body and no one noticed. I can only assume that these soldiers must also have been alone at the checkpoint. Where was the leadership when this was going on? I have two tours in Iraq under my belt (as an officer) and we never left soldiers alone at checkpoints. Our TTP was to always have four vehicles out, with at least two gun trucks. I sincerely hope that unit's leadership takes a hard look at its force protection issues. While the most recent incident (if it turns out to be true) is horrific, one has to wonder if it would have happened at all if soldiers were better supervised. Keep up the good work. —Mark

Capt. Dan,

I ready your journal today while in my nice, safe office. I was able to go to fireworks last night [July 4th] with my family. I was able to do that because of the sacrifice you make for our freedom. Please know we think of all the day and pray for your safe return. Thank you so much for your dedication. —Barbara Forrester

Capt. Dan,

We are always thinking about you over there. When we complain about the temperature being 95 degrees, we say "yea, but think about the soldiers, wearing all those uniform layers, and in heat hotter than here; and always conclude by saying, "I don't know how they do it." As we sat with our family last night watching the fireworks, tears and pride came to us knowing why we have this freedom and who is responsible for it. God Bless you and may your real fireworks and cold beer come to you very soon. With highest regards and respect. —Patty Davis, Panama City Beach, Fla.

Dear Captain,

Another 4th of July is upon us and America will be celebrating. We celebrate, but sometimes we forget what we are celebrating. Our independence was achieved with sacrifice, hardship, and pure guts. You guys are the reason we can continue to celebrate this great day. Your sacrifice, endurance and unbelievable courage make it possible. Thank you. GOD bless you and GOD bless America. —Jim Cochrane

Capt. Dan,

I think capturing soldiers and beheading them will become more prevalent in this war due to its impact on the American public. It seems to me we can give aviators emergency beacons to find them if they are grounded in enemy territory and we can find people through the GPS on their cell phones. Why can't we make part of the soldier's equipment something that would allow us to find them with a local or space based sensor if captured? If we were really serious about protecting soldiers we would do this or have done it already. —Art Laramee, Billerica, Mass.


Let me first express my sadness over the loss of your two comrades who went missing and the sad outcome, as well as for the loss of all our service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a veteran and coming from a military family, my father was a corpsman in WWII and Korea and my mother a Navy nurse in WWII, I appreciate all our military does for others and us. As for these clowns from WBC [Westboro Baptist Church], whom I hope read this, let me say this: I hope I never come across any of these 'Christians' because I'm sure lighting will strike them soon enough and I don't want to be near when it does. God bless you and all who serve and have served. —Murry

Capt. Dan,

"We Would Rather Do Business With 1,000 al-Qaeda Terrorists Than With One Single American!"

This sign was prominently displayed in the window of a business in Philadelphia. You are probably outraged at the thought of such an inflammatory statement. One would think that anti-hate groups from all across the country would be marching on this business, and that the National Guard might have to be called to keep the angry crowds back. But, perhaps in these stressful times one might be tempted to let the proprietors simply make their statement. We are a society that holds freedom of speech as perhaps our greatest liberty. And after all, it is just a sign. You may ask what kind of business would dare post such a sign? Answer: A Funeral Home (Who said morticians had no sense of humor?) You've got to love it! God Bless America! — Shirley Foltz

Capt. Dan,

"I have no wonderful news to report and nothing glamorous to write about." I, respectfully, beg to differ. If your men and women are going without sleep to find their missing comrades, then that is plenty glamorous to me. These are exactly the stories we need to hear about because they do not make the headlines. Accounts like this keep us all aware of the sacrifices you-all are making on our behalf. Your actions make me proud to be an American. —Nick Bartol, Pagosa Springs, Colo.

Captain Dan,

I'm writing to thank you and all the service men/women who are currently in Iraq or have been there for what you are doing. We are coming up on the July 4 Independence Day celebration and many Americans will be buying fireworks and having BBQ's. Thank you for making this possible for us, and giving of yourself to our country. Some may forget the meaning of July 4, but as I get together with friends and family and the fireworks light up the sky my heart will be saying 'thank you' to all the service men/women (past and present) for the freedom we have. Also, as a side note, thank you for taking time to do the blog. It gives the info and personal view of the situation that the media tends to pass over. Thanks. —Eleisha M.


If you read your history you will find that leaving no comrade behind is a most recent philosophy. How many are missing from the first time we were in Iraq? How many from Vietnam, Korea, WWII? No comrade left behind is a currently popular and romantic notion, but hardly realistic. What about Spc. [Keith] Maupin? Where is that effort? Where is he after such a long time? You make it sound so romantic and heroic, but we should not even be there in the first place. We are only there because Cheney wanted us. We are not spreading democracy there. —Maj. Scott R. Carey, USAR Ret.

Capt. Dan,

I posted this guys e-mail response below because I wanted to be clear on whom we were talking about. Click here to read the reader's response being referenced.

I don't believe that the people of Iraq fully understand why you are there. They believe that you are trying to rule them and push our belief system on them. They do not understand why we have to break up terrorist groups. I can tell by reading his response that he misunderstands what we (you guys of course) are fighting for. I get so frustrated when I read this kind of stuff because I don't know how they will ever figure it out or believe our intents. He is obviously delirious and brainwashed himself. He doesn't even understand that our attack was on Saddam. He feels that it was an attack on their country. Perhaps he is a follower of Saddam. I don't know but I worry about you all being in harm's way. I have the utmost respect for what is going on and pray for your return home as soon as it can be possible. No one likes the fact that we have to be there but we know what you are doing is the right thing. God Bless you and our troops.

Capt Dan,

Thanks for your diary. I never miss it, but had been out of the country with our soldiers in EUCOM when you wrote about the church protestors. I was angered, incensed and overwhelmed with grief at what the family had to endure at the hands of these protestors. The rest of this note is directed at two sorry individuals who had the nerve to write and support those charlatans.

Mr. Phelps ... You inflict pain on a family already suffering to make a political statement — and hide behind a so-called "church" to justify your ignominy. You're insane, not in any way a Christian, nor do you qualify as a human being. How can you possibly care so much for a political cause, and so little for the casualties? You honor no one, you only hate and berate. Take your pulpit, if you have one, and shove it where the sun doesn't shine. You are no more Baptist then the devil. I want to be there when you try to explain to your maker why you used him as a front to bring pain upon the fallen and their families. The best thing that can happen to you is that you die a martyr for your cause — and soon, so we can all come and have a tailgate party with hot dogs and beer at your service — if there is one. I'll bring the mustard. Mr. Tayamullah … You are free to believe whatever you wish, but your Islam was killing and murdering people by the hundred and thousands, and yes, the USA stepped in to stop it. Perhaps you don't like that. We don't like that either. My son has been two years in that craphole you call a country to keep a peace that you and your people could not bring about on your own. …This is not about the USA getting into your turf. It's about people on this Earth committing genocide and wanton killing of innocents. If not for the USA then who stands for these victims? We do, we always shall. —G Stefanucci, Northern Va.