The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Rededicating Myself

(Honor Bound to Robert Wilkinson with GoE.)

A Story From Iraq as told by a U.S. Marine Sergeant.

As you know, I asked for toys for the Iraqi children over here, and they’ve come over by the box. On each patrol we take through the city, we take as many of these toys as we can fit in our pockets and hand them out as we can. The kids take the toys and run to show them off as if they are worth a million bucks. We are as friendly as we can be to everyone we see, but especially so with the kids. Most of them don’t have any idea what is going on and are completely innocent in all of this.

On one such patrol, our lead security vehicle stopped in the middle of the street. This is not normal and is very unsafe, so the following vehicles began to inquire over the radio. The lead vehicle reported that a little girl was sitting in the road and she just wouldn’t budge. The command vehicle told the lead to simply go around her and to be kind as they did. The street was wide enough to allow this maneuver and everyone waved to her as they drove around.

I soon saw her sitting there, and in her arms was a little toy bear that we had given her a few patrols back. Feeling an immediate connection to the girl, I radioed that we were going to stop. The rest of the convoy paused, and I got out to make sure she was okay. The little girl looked scared and concerned, but there was a warmth in her eyes toward me. As I knelt down to talk to her, she moved over and pointed.

There was a land mine in the road.

Immediately, a cordon was set as the Marine convoy assumed a defensive posture around the site. The mine was destroyed in place.

It was the heart of an American that sent that toy. It was the heart of an American that gave that toy to the little girl. It was the heart of an American that protected our convoy from that mine. Sure, she was a little Iraqi girl, and she had no knowledge of purple mountain’s majesty or fruited plains. It was the heart of acceptance, of tolerance, of peace and grace – even through the inconveniences of conflict – that saved our convoy from hitting that mine. Those attributes are what keep Americans’ hearts beating. She may have no affiliation at all with the United States, but she knows what it is to be brave and, if we can continue to support her and her new government, she will know what it is to be free. Isn’t that what Americans are, the free and the brave?

If you sent over a toy, you took part in this. You are a reason that Iraq has to believe in a better future. Thank you so much for supporting us, and for supporting our cause over here.

Semper Fi,

Mark J. Francis


As I head off today to begin countering IVAW’s Winter Soldier “investigation,” I am encouraged by this story. We’re doing good in Iraq, Afghanistan, and every other place that our military is sent to do their jobs. It’s because of men like Gunny Francis that we’re going to win the war abroad…and I-through groups like Vets for Freedom, Gathering of Eagles, and all the other ones I’ve linked to-am going to do everything I can to make sure we win the war at home.

Since this country’s inception, over 1 million people have given their lives in her defense. I can do no less.




Written by Coby Dillard

March 13, 2008 at 2:13 pm

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