Very special insight on war in Iraq |

Very special insight on war in Iraq

What started as a simple letter from a soldier in Iraq culminated in something very special, thanks to a community that cares.

Over two nights at the Grass Valley Elks Lodge, Marine Col. Sean Metroka shared some of his thousands of images from his tour of duty in Kuwait and Iraq, providing a perspective from one of the thousands of soldiers we’ve sent to do our nation’s bidding. Local pediatrician Mike Curtis was also on hand to share his thoughts on his own service as a Navy doctor in Kuwait and Iraq.

That’s why we called it “Iraq: Through a Soldier’s Eyes.” We believed Col. Metroka, who is a reservist currently performing his civilian duties as court executive officer for Nevada County Superior Court, had the skills, presence, and sensitivity to deliver a pretty good message to anyone interested in hearing directly from someone intimately involved in that struggle.

We were right. More than 700 people showed up for the two shows and brought with them hundreds of pounds of supplies – and the hundreds of dollars needed to ship those supplies to the troops still serving in that war-torn country.

The response to Metroka’s presentation was overwhelmingly appreciative. Most recognized that he was in Iraq as a soldier, not a politician. He made that very clear at the start of each presentation. When asked, he offered his own personal views on our involvement in Iraq, suggesting that our mission there is righteous and that the media has failed to paint a true picture of the successes we are having in our efforts to rescue that nation’s people from years of oppression by a murderous dictator.

While some did not share his views, they respected Col. Metroka’s service and dedication to his country, just as most respect and pray for our men and women still in harm’s way.

The event also brought us together with a group from Placer County called Operation: MOM. When we needed a way to get the goods that were donated to our troops in Iraq, those women stepped forward and delivered. We encourage you to support them with money and time as they continue to provide much-appreciated “care packages” to those young men and women so far from home today. You can contact Operation: MOM at P.O. Box 1262, Alta, CA 95701, or by phone through Bobbi Park at 530-906-4112.

Thanks for all of your support, and a special thanks to Col. Metroka and Capt. Mike Curtis for their willingness to share a soldier’s perspective that has not often been heard amid the partisan shouting we all must endure between now and Election Day.

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