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By Jeff Key
U.S. Tour of Duty
August 15, 2005

I've just spent the weekend with my marines. It was great to be with them again and I remember why I love being around them so much. I haven't laughed that much in a while. We went to the field and since I only got word a few minutes before we left that I would be going too, I was without some of the little things that make roughing it "less rough" (like hand sanitizer and baby wipes). I say all that to convey that I came home late tonight filthy from head to toe, and a little sick to my stomach. It's worth it to be with them, though. I love my fellow marines and maybe my churning stomach has something to do with the knowlege that as much as I care for them, there are some rich bastards that only care what my marines can do for them. I cannot tolerate their lives being expended for corporate gains.

The "W" stickers are pleanty on base, as you can imagine. A lot of them buy it hook, line, and sinker. Most of the guys are awesome people, but as odd as it seems, they are not very informed politically. One of the young men I talked to this weekend didn't even know the name of the Vice President! Can you believe that? If things continue on the track that they are going, this young man could very likely die because of Dick's (et al.) antics...and the boy didn't even know his name.

I'll write you something when I get to Alabama. I have an early flight tomorrow. It's after midnight and I had to get up at three or four in the morning for the last three days. I'll be getting to Crawford on Thursday. I'm bringing my bugal so I can honor the dead at the memorial ...Arlington South-West, I like to call it. I'd come to Texas tomorrow, but I have a friend in Alabama who's about to die, and I want to say goodbye. Hang tight 'til I get there. Godspeed.


Lance Corporal Jeff Key, United States Marine and a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, turned his experiences in Iraq - and his exit from the military - into a critically acclaimed one-man show, "The Eyes of Babylon." LA Weekly calls him "an unstoppable force" and Backstage West says he "could some day change the world."

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Man, does Bush need a copy of the Marine Corps 14 Leadership Traits and 11 Leadership Principles. At every inspection the officers ask, "What's the most important leadership trait?" And you'd better answer INTEGRITY!

I spent 8 years as a Grunt. I taught my troops: Be a Man, first. A Citizen, second. And, a marine, last. I guess that's why I'm in the Veterans for Peace now. Gung ho, Lad, gung ho.

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