Army Specialist Stephen R. Fortunato (25) passed away in Afghanistan this past week. He wrote the following recently and if you see fit please pass it on as it is especially poingant considering his short time here. He was from my hometown, though I did not know him I knew his family and he came from fine stock.
All the Best
I’d like to say something….Just to get it out there so it is clear.
To all the pampered and protected Americans who feel it is their duty to inform me that I am not fighting for their freedom, and that i am a pawn in Bush’s agenda of greed and oil acquisition: Noted, and Fuck You.
I am not a robot. i am not blind or ignorant to the state of the world or the implications of the “war on terrorism.” i know that our leaders have made mistakes in the handling of a very sensitive situation, but do not for one second think that you can make me lose faith in what we, meaning America’s sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers in uniform are doing.
I am doing my part in fighting a very real enemy of the United States, i.e. Taliban, Al Qaeda, and various other radical sects of Islam that have declared war on our way of life. Unless you believe the events of 9/11 were the result of a government conspiracy, which by the way would make you a MORON, there is no reasonable argument you can make against there being a true and dangerous threat that needs to be dealt with.
I don’t care if there are corporations leeching off the war effort to make money, and I don’t care if you don’t think our freedom within America’s borders is actually at stake. I just want to kill those who would harm my family and friends. it is that simple.
Even if this is just a war for profit or to assert America’s power, so what? Someone has to be on top and I want it to be us. There’s nothing wrong with wishing prosperity for your side.
I am a proud American. I believe that my country allows me to live my life more or less however I want to, and believe me, I have seen what the alternative of that looks like. I also believe that our big scary government does way more than it has to help complete fuck-ups get back on their feet, a stark comparison to places where leaders just line their own pockets with gold while allowing the people who gave them their power and privilege to starve.
I have chosen my corner. I back my country, and am proud to defend it against aggressors.
Also, if you dare accuse us of being inhumane, or overly aggressive because we have rolled into someone else’s country and blown some shit up and shot some people, let me remind you of just how inhumane we COULD be in defending ourselves. Let me remind you that we have a warhead that drops multiple bomblets from the stratosphere which upon impact, would turn all the sand in Iraq to glass, and reduce every living thing there to dust.
Do we use it?
Instead we use the most humane weapon ever devised: the American Soldier. We send our bravest (and perhaps admittedly craziest) men and women into enemy territory, into harms way, to root out those whom we are after and do our best to leave innocent lives unscathed.
…One last thing…
A proposal: I know it has been stated time and time again but I just think it is worthy of reiteration. If you find yourself completely disgusted with the way America is being ran, and how we handle things on the global stage, you can leave. Isn’t that amazing? No one will stop you! If you are an anarchist, there are places you can go where there is no government to tell you anything. That’s right…you are left solely to your own devices and you can handle the men who show up at your door with AKs in any way that you see fit. Just don’t try good old American debate tactics on them because you will most likely end up bound and blind-folded, to have your head chopped off on the internet so your parents can see it.
However, if you insist on staying here and taking advantage of privileges such as free speech and WIC, keep the counter-productive shit to a minimum while the grown ups figure out how to handle this god-awful mess in the middle east.
Stephen R. Fortunato
26th Infantry Regiment