A Helicopter Gunner's View
By: Wallace Nunn
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, April 01, 2003
I look at the conduct of this war not as a journalist, but from the perspective of an enlisted door gunner, who served in Vietnam. What has been accomplished in my opinion is extraordinary. In 12 days, our fighting forces have occupied the majority of the country of Iraq. They have completely denied the Iraqi's the use of their own airspace, and have disrupted their command and control.
Before you belittle this accomplishment, consider that Iraq is a nation the size of California with a population of 23,000,000, and has one of the larger standing armies in the world. In fact, the men under arms in Iraq far outnumber the men and women we sent into the country to defeat them. Rather than impatience, our nation should be flushed with pride.
In May of 1968, one marine battalion and one army battalion engaged in a battle called the "Battle of Dong Ha". Roughly 1200 men stood between an NVA division and the City of Dong Ha. One hundred and ten of those men died and 427 were seriously wounded. This was a 12 day battle and took place in a five mile square. I know, I was there.
From the perspective of one who fought in another war, I look in amazement at what has been accomplished in such a short time with such few casualties. The professionalism of the field commanders down through the ranks is without peer.
Reporters need not have had my experience, a cursory look at history would lead one to the same conclusions. Tarawa, Iwo Jima, D. Day, Verdonne, Gettysburg all would underscore our military's success, but that those battles could have been won and have limited the inevitable sacrifice to so few.
Yes it does amaze me that our forces could take on a large standing army, in a country the size of California, and push it until it was backed into a small corner of its land. Our forces did this losing fewer casualties and in less time than we did at Dong Ha. War is a terrible thing, but freedom is worth the cost. Thank God our military is limiting the cost.
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