Leave No Man Behind

Posted: December 18, 2013 in Broken Fury, Military, Never Forget, Politics, The Fury-ous Files

imageThe American ethos of “leave no man behind” has served America well and it stands as a shining example of the tremendous nature of the American character. Brave men and women have worked to do their duty and waded into danger time and time again and they have been able to fight against these impossible odds armed with the promise of reinforcements and the knowledge that someone had their backs.” -Rusty Humphries

One of the most heartbreaking aspects of the Benghazi attack was that four Americans believed in this ethos of never leaving a man behind, and yet they waited, in pain and agony, for us to have their backs and we failed them. We left them to die.

I’ve always found it extremely hard to wrap my brain around POWs. It’s too painful for me since I’m a nurturer and rescuer by nature. It was, and still is, an emotional knife wound, twisted deep, to think on the night in Benghazi, to think of the pain and suffering of anyone around the world, at the hands of evil.

I’ve had to buck up, put my big girl panties on, and face the reality that there are Americans being held in prisons in countries that absolutely hate us. And what they’re enduring is unconscionable.

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Amir Hekmati , “a former marine and decorated war veteran, was born in Arizona and raised in Michigan. Within weeks of setting foot in Iran for the first time in August 2011 to visit his grandmother, he was arrested, interrogated and imprisoned. Months later he appeared on Iranian TV, forced to confess he was a CIA operative. The U.S. State Department denies he was spying for the U.S. government and calls the case a gross miscarriage of justice.”

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Robert Levinson , a former FBI agent disappeared in Iran’s Kish Island in March of 2007. Recent news reports say “there’s proof that Levinson worked for the CIA undercover and under contract while also working as a private investigator.” Iran has yet to admit they are holding him prisoner.

Sadly, there are many more Americans imprisoned in other countries, not just for government or military relations, but for bogus crimes, misunderstandings, and their faith. A quick list that I came across can be found here.

Lastly, I want to mention Saeed Abedini… an American pastor, a former Muslim, converted to Christianity, and on a visit back to Iran last year for work on an orphanage, was arrested because of his faith.

imageI’m not as familiar with the history of the other Americans being held captive, or what our government has done to bring them home. However, Pastor Saeed’s wife shared her heart in a recent hearing; and I learned how Pastor Saeed’s current predicament was ignored during negotiations with Iran, and how President Obama failed to mention Saeed being that the subject of the deal was pertaining only to nuclear weapons.

Under this administration, our country has become sympathetic to a religion that views us as “unclean” and seeks to slaughter us. Christians are being singled out and persecuted. The removal of the Mount Soledad cross is a recent, and one of several, attacks on Christianity.

Our chance to demand the release of a Christian American was overlooked by our Muslim appeasing President. Efforts to rescue Bergdahl and Hekmati, both veterans, are minimal from this President who shows zero respect for our military. And Levinson, now revealed to be working for the government, has been left in limbo between two countries who basically deny having anything to do with him. I shared my views once about how Americans are disposable, under this administration especially. The complete disregard of Pastor Saeed, as well as his fellow Americans imprisoned, is proof positive of the little value placed on us as citizens.

Many Americans believe fiscal matters are our biggest priority. I disagree vehemently. Fiscal matters affect people. People are what make up America. If we have leaders who view people as disposable from the very beginning of their life, how can they value people in any other way (including fiscally), at any other stage of life?

These Americans imprisoned in other countries affects YOU and YOUR family. It could be YOU imprisoned and your family fighting our own government for your release, only to have the fight fall on deaf ears. We need to boost the volume of the voices fighting for the release of our fellow brothers and sisters imprisoned. We need to speak up not only for them, but to avoid this kind of neglect to fall upon any of us.

Just because it is someone else in prison, somewhere other than America, someone else’s family, someone else’s plight…it doesn’t mean you couldn’t be next. There are links provided with the names I mentioned above. Those links will send you to one of that person’s support sites. Send a letter to the White House. Make a call. Write the imprisoned American. Speak up.

The following is an excerpt from Pastor Saeed’s letter to his wife. I wanted to share this part of it because 1) it shows how, even in the worst of times, he is choosing to love people; and 2) that his message, although not related to what I’ve written about, may touch someone’s life, some way, some how.

“I have been stung so many times that I have become full of poison…A lot of people say that they have been stung by so many people that their whole being is full of poison like a poisonous snake…This Iranian saying is full of spirit of revenge and unforgiveness and every time I would hear this in Iran, I would get very sick hearing it.

A few days ago they brought a young war veteran who was disabled in 80% of his body in my cell. He had been put in solitary confinement with his horrific condition. And this had made him very mad and he kept saying “why did they do this to me? I gave my whole life for their sake. See what they have done to me!!!” And when he would get very mad he would say “I will take my revenge!”

I spoke to this young man until 4 in the morning. I spent time with him and spoke to him to forgive. When we don’t forgive…we take the knife that has hurt us and we stab ourselves with it again! And this is the will of the evil one who wants to destroy us.

But when we forgive…we don’t let the poison stay in us and we don’t let the poison make us into poisonous snakes! So that we don’t become like the person we despised and who persecuted and tortured us.

Maybe you ask, what is the secret of being so happy in such a hard situation?

Forgiveness and a change of attitude. When we forgive, we become free… I forgave the prison doctor who did not listen to me and did not give me the medication that I needed. I forgave the interrogator who beat me. Every day when I would see the interrogator and for the last time when I saw him, I forgave him. I smiled at him and with respect shook his hand and I said my goodbye. The minute I forgave them and loved them, that second I was filled with unspeakable joy. I saw in the eyes of the interrogator that he had come to respect me and as he was leaving, he could not look behind him. Love is as strong as death.

We have to get rid of the poison in our body because if we don’t, we will die… We can get rid of the…poison by forgiveness and…by humility, by dying to ourselves, and allowing the band-aid of love and goodness to replace the empty place of the wound….

The Joy of the Lord is my strength. Amen.”

The D.C. number is (202) 224-3121. Let them know, respectfully, that not enough has been done to bring our imprisoned Americans home, and/or whatever else is placed on your heart to say. Letters can be written to D.C., as well as to our brothers behind bars.

Let’s stick to the American ethos: never leave a man behind.

Military Monday message: Thank you for risking your lives and sacrificing yourself even amidst the chance of being taken prisoner. Whether you were deployed into war or pushed papers, you made a sacrifice when you signed over your life to the government. You are all appreciated by me and my family.

Soldier on!

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