Back from Iraq

Dear Friends,

My name is Mike Tanner and I returned, after serving a year in Iraq, back to my loving Wife, Christine and Daughter, Gabrielle. I am proud of the things we did over there. I am proud of the men, and women who served with me, and are serving there now. I am linking to the NEWSDAY article titled "Coming Home to Heal The Scars Of War", for a reason. You have all read about soldiers who have had a hard time, after the war. Newsday has written about the soldier who held police at bay, in Texas, for hours. It is apparent he is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I worked in the motor pool and was assigned to Delta Co., 101 Cav. These are guys from Staten Island and upstate. We lost only one soldier, while the brigade lost many. However, one is always one too many. I lived in a trailer, located at Camp Victory in Baghdad, and shared my room with another soldier. I worked night shift, 11pm-8am. Some nights, it was quiet, others were busy as hell. I was always relieved to see the guys when they returned from the mission in one piece. I was saddened when we lost our first, and only fatality, SGT Fisher, who was to be a police officer. Many who knew him said he was a good man, and I believe them. The brigade I served in was from Louisiana, which was why Hurricane Katrina hit close to home for me. Many of the men, and women I served with lost their homes, and are still, today, rebuilding their lives. They are all in my prayers.

I know Pres. Bush is not a popular president, and our role in Iraq is unknown to some. However, to pull out now would be a mistake. Many of those who died there will have died in vain. Let us keep up our mission there, make a difference there, change the lives of so many there. It is reasons, such as these, why men, and women laid down their lives...why I, too, would have laid down my life as well, if I had to. As with many interviews I gave, and I appreciate those who interviewed me, I urge Americans to put out their flags, show our men, and women that you support them and are proud of them. I ironed my uniform the other day and hung it in my car. A friend wants me to visit his young boy, and take pictures with him. His son is proud of the soldiers. I wish many adults would follow his lead.

I am back and have many promises to keep, one is to have my marriage blessed, by a minister, to my wonderful Wife, and Friend, Christine. Another is to be a better father to Gabrielle. I will also be returning to work at Long Island Developmental Center, where I am a supervisor at a group home, for the developmentally disabled. I want to thank those who wrote, and supported me. To my neighbors, support the troops, put your flag out. Be proud to be an American today!!

- Michael Carl Tanner



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