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Archive: April 2007
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Comrades Piestewa, Dowdy, Miller, Walters and Brother/Soldier Greg
04/24/2007 2:59 PM ET
UNDATED: This undated family photo shows U.S. Private First Class Lori Piestewa, of Tuba City, Arizona, from the 507th Maintenance Company, died of injuries suffered in an ambush near Nasiriyah in Iraq March 25, 2003.
Piestewa family/Getty
UNDATED: This undated family photo shows U.S. Private First Class Lori Piestewa, of Tuba City, Arizona, from the 507th Maintenance Company, died of injuries suffered in an ambush near Nasiriyah in Iraq March 25, 2003.

Piestewa family/Getty|full_column]

I have repeatedly said, when asked, that if the stories about me helped inspire our troops and rally a nation, then perhaps there was some good. However, I am still confused as to why they chose to lie and tried to make me a legend when the real heroics of my fellow soldiers that day were, in fact, legendary. People like Lori Piestewa and First Sergeant Dowdy who picked up fellow soldiers in harms way. Or people like Patrick Miller and Sergeant Donald Walters who actually fought until the very end.

The bottom line is the American people are capable of determining their own ideals for heroes and they don’t need to be told elaborate tales.

My hero is my brother Greg who continues to serve this country today. My hero is my friend Lori who died in Iraq but set an example for a generation of Hopi and Native American women and little girls everywhere about the important contributions just one soldier can make in the fight for freedom. My hero is every American who says, my country needs me and answers the call to fight.

I had the good fortune and opportunity to come home and I told the truth. Many other soldiers, like Pat Tillman, do not have the opportunity.

The truth of war is not always easy to hear but it always more heroic than the hype.
Commentary
Gen. John J. Sheehan Explains Rejecting War Czar Offer
By CHRISTINA DAVIDSON 04/16/2007 2:45 PM ET
"I concluded that the current Washington decision-making process lacks a linkage to a broader view of the region and how the parts fit together strategically," Gen. John J. Sheehan, USMC, Ret. writes in a Washington Post op-ed today explaining his decision to decline the invitation to serve as a kind of "war czar" to the Bush Administration.

When asked whether I would like to be considered for the position of White House implementation manager for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I knew that it would be a difficult assignment, but also an honor, and that this was a serious task that needed to be done....

What I found in discussions with current and former members of this administration is that there is no agreed-upon strategic view of the Iraq problem or the region. In my view, there are essentially three strategies in play simultaneously.

Sheehan lays out three basic strategies as he views them, very broadly summarized:

--trying to win security in a block-by-block fight

--holding the Iraqis to benchmarks to pressure them into assuming a greater mantle of responsibility

--identifying the regional context, and trying to work a solution within that framework

Sheehan writes, "Of the three strategies in play, the third is the most important but, unfortunately, is the least developed and articulated by this administration."

Regretting he had to decline the invitation to serve his country again, Sheehan concludes:

"It would have been a great honor to serve this nation again.... (But) these huge shortcomings are not going to be resolved by the assignment of an additional individual to the White House staff. They need to be addressed before an implementation manager is brought on board."

Sheehan was one of three former generals who the Washington Post recently reported had turned down the same job offer.

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