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Fri, Nov. 15

Guest Commentary: Soldier paid ultimate price in Iraq

(Editor's note: PFC Nathan Kalani Bouchard was the son of Northern Arizona Regional (law enforcement) Training Academy recruit John Bouchard, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office. Nathan Bouchard wrote this letter to his dad on Feb. 22, 2003 while serving in Afghanistan. He was killed in action on Aug. 18, 2005.)

Dear Nation:

I am a soldier in the United States Army, at 21 years old, and in Kuwait.

I am a 19 D Cavalry Scout with 3/69 Armor attached to Charlie Company in the 1st Brigade of the Infantry Division.

You ask yourself, "Why?" Why are we in the Middle East? Why don't we leave Saddam alone? Why do we even get involved? It is because somebody has to.

Now, why us?, you may ask. Because we're the only ones who can, with or without help. Why now?, you say. Because, as you know, problems do not go away just by closing your eyes or turning your back or burying your head in the sand.

You talk of isolationism. Let's just keep to ourselves, worry about ourselves, let the world worry about the world and we'll tend to our own. Well, look where it got the USSR, or China.

You must understand that I am the world, and you are the world, we are the world. And this freedom we have was not free. It took people who said, "enough is enough" to stand up for themselves and what is right, even when the rest of the world was against them, and fight for what the believed.

So here we are today, Sat., Feb. 22, 2003, in Operation Enduring Freedom, still defending that freedom which was given to us over 200 years ago. But we cannot do it if we don't have your support. We are your sons and daughters fighting for this same freedom.

So, even as you would support your own sons and daughters in the decisions they make, I pray that you would also support us, too, in the same fashion.

And so, remember, nothing in this world is free except the unconditional love of God.

PFC Nathan Kalani Bouchard

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