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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Hannah Jenkins
Hannah Jenkins
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Hi! My name is Hannah Jenkins, and I am one of the copy editors here at the North Wind. I am a sophomore at NMU, and I love all things writing and editing-related. I am proud to be a part of this great...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Pizza Cat Vol. 10
Pizza Cat Vol. 10
Deirdre Northrup-RiestererApril 23, 2024

Presence in Iraq beneficial

On Aug. 31, 2010, President Barack Obama declared Operation Iraqi Freedom over. Ten days previously the last combat brigade left Iraq to return home to their families. This momentous event in our history received little more than a sideways glance from our controversy-obsessed media in America. Simultaneously, Operation New Dawn, the U.S. military’s new advisement and training phase of Iraqi forces, began. Few people are aware of the differences in these operations, and are only concerned with the fact that our nation’s troops are still in Iraq.

The U.S. Army exists, as professed in the Soldiers Creed, for one purpose: “To deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America.” This simplistic approach to their profession is often complicated by their primary means of direction; to faithfully execute the orders of the commander in chief, the president of the United States. Even though our military has the ability to systematically destroy every other nation on earth, they don’t. They don’t because they’re the good guys, and their resources are constantly spent doing things other than destroying the enemy. Our military is more than a war fighting machine these days. They are regularly tasked to accomplish missions which other militaries could never accomplish. The deployment of American troops to Haiti for relief and humanity efforts is a good example.

Many people don’t realize that the soldiers on the ground are our most vital diplomats. They build relationships with citizens and make bonds that affect opinions of America to a far greater extent than big wig diplomatic efforts. Our soldiers work with local people to defend their land, build their homes, and feed their families. The children whom soldiers talk to, hand out candy and presents to and make positive impressions on will be Iraq’s future leaders. The Iraqi police and soldiers that our troops have trained, fought and lived with will remember how we treated them, and what we have taught them. These things have significant impacts on the future relations of America, Iraq and the Middle East as a whole.

Regardless of  personal opinions  of whether it was just for America to invade Iraq, we’ve brought good to this nation. We removed a heinously brutal dictator from power. We rebuilt, equipped, and trained an army almost 200,000 strong, capable of handling their country’s insurgency. We’ve liberated the people, fostering the genesis of a representative government where millions of citizens are able to vote. Our military built roads, schools, and government buildings, all instrumental in the rebuilding of Iraq’s infrastructure. Yes, we have made mistakes. No, our methods have not always been perfect. But I defy anyone to challenge our military’s best intentions: to provide the Iraqi people with the basic liberties and everyday freedoms that we take for granted in America.

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The men and women who comprise our military are some of the most selfless and fearless professionals I’ve ever encountered. They don’t ask to go into war zones; but they do volunteer to do whatever our country asks of them at any time.

Take for example the cadets in the military science department here on NMU’s campus. They have taken an oath to follow orders of the officers above them. That’s a vague job description, but they know they’re doing something worthwhile. They volunteer to train and learn throughout their college career, knowing that they are likely to deploy to a combat zone within a year of graduating from college, a time when most graduates think life is tough for them because they can’t get a job interview.

These service members have sacrificed more than the average civilian will ever comprehend. Seven years of fighting, billions of dollars spent, and thousands of lives lost in an effort to see this nation progress. It would be foolish to just walk away, essentially negating all the sacrifices our troops have made. Instead, our soldiers will continue to coach, teach and mentor Iraqi’s to fight for themselves. We must continue to push this nation toward success, otherwise our troops sacrifices have all been for nothing.

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