Minden doctor says Marines motivated to fight
GARDNERVILLE – U.S. Marines serving in Fallujah are motivated to defeat enemies who have finally shown themselves, according to a Minden doctor and U.S. Navy captain who served in Iraq.
Dr. Thom Merry said he has been receiving e-mails daily from the U.S. Marines he served with in Iraq.
“They feel almost relieved that the enemy has surfaced,” Merry said. “We knew of about 10,000 bad guys from the previous regime. Now they’ve finally been motivated to show themselves and fight. The Marines are highly motivated and a couple of the letters I’ve received are very encouraging.”
Merry said he is scheduled to go back to Iraq around Dec. 1, and is happy to hear from the Marines with whom he served.
“I need to keep track of my brothers in arms still over there,” he said. “We are motivated and we will win, period.”
He received a letter from Sen. John Ensign last week during the senator’s Nevada tour.
“It was nice of him take time out to give me a senatorial letter,” Merry said. “He’s a heck of a guy.”
Merry, who has been in the military since the Vietnam War, returned from his latest tour in October. He received the Bronze Star for his contribution.
Merry said more than 130,000 American and ally troops are still active in Iraq and said it’s important people remember.
“There is no question in my mind the main media doesn’t report and give citizens a real sense of what we have accomplished and how important (that) we continue to remember a lot of our finest members are still there,” he said.
Merry said the civilian population in Iraq has been physically, emotionally and financially stripped. He slept in the room where Hussein tortured and slaughtered women.
“You don’t realize unless you are over there how evil …. People had their fingers cut off, their tongues torn out,” he said. “I knew one individual who questioned the type of fertilizer that came, and they took his oldest son and tortured and killed him. How do you live with that?”
Merry said the “unbelievable evil” overshadows the weapons of mass destruction argument.
“Lots of people have them, France, the USA. The point is: Who has them?” he said. “We don’t attack France because they are relatively sane folks.
“This guy (Hussein) was unbelievably evil.”
Rebuilding Iraq has become a mission for the military, and Merry predicts it will take years for that country to recover.
“It is wishful thinking if people think democracy will be handled overnight. My belief is there is a generation in Iraq that has been damaged and it will take awhile to heal and run a country. I think we are looking at a long haul.”
Merry said it is important for people to remember the military has done a lot of good, too.
“We re-opened 305 schools and the sewer system, (both) not operating for 10 years in Southern Iraq,” he said. “We’ve restored power plants … given cars to the police.
“A lot of things have happened and unless you see the service people dedicated with skill and enthusiasm … well, we just need to remind folks that some of our finest are representing democracy and everybody don’t forget them.”
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