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Reader comment on item: [Hasan Akbar and] Murder in the 101st Airborne

Submitted by Rodney French (United States), Apr 23, 2005 at 01:17

Some of you may have been wondering what does this mean; how is this going to affect the US stance in the war, but even more so how does this affect morale? I'll tell you the story through my eyes and maybe you can understand the extent of how I'm sure most young soldiers felt.

I don't remember the exact day, but it started out normal; you see at Ft. Campbell most days started the same way. The spring morning air was fresh and clear; 5:30 am so the sun was just about to rise, and a brigade conference room full of soldiers just waiting for PT to start and end.

We were all just lounging around watching the news, well the news was on, but how many men in their 20's, half asleep , and dreading a 3 mile run are actually concerned with what a CNN reporter has to say at 6 in the morning. I was talking to a buddy of mine and the report came over and we all heard the words "101st airborne division" filled with pride for our "screaming eagle" brothers in arms -- we all watched eagerly hoping the news was good.

When the report was over, I turned off the tube and as I was making my way back to my chair; fighting back the emotion I took a look around the room I saw a room of men with that look -- you know -- "Deer in headlights" -- a look I hadn't seen since my first day of basic training (which just so happened to be September 11, 2001). I can't speak for what anyone else felt, but I was stuck with one lingering question and for days I pondered; How did we arrive at the point where we are expected to fight a war in a foreign land with the enemy on both sides of the proverbial line in the sand so to speak.

SGT. Hassan Akbar left all of us once proud "Screaming Eagles" with a feeling i had not felt since I enlisted; SHAME and DISGUST.

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