I recently received multiple emails of an item titled “I’m Tired”. It was signed by Joe Repya, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, 101st Airborne Division.
Some of those who forwarded the email questioned, as we all have a tendency to do, whether or not there really was a “Joe Repya”. Being on active duty, I managed to locate him and he sent me the following response regarding the “I’m Tired” letter. He confirmed that it was indeed his and that he had written it all the way back in 2005.
After his email response to me, read his letter “I’m Tired” and I am sure you will be as impressed as I was:
I wrote the letter to a friend in November, 2005, upon my return from Baghdad where I served with the Multi National Corps – Iraq (18th Airborne Corps) C-3 Headquarters. I didn’t realize he was going to post it on the internet until my email filled up about a week later. I was a voluntary retiree recall; 12,000 retirees volunteered and only 300 of us were returned to duty. I returned to active duty from 2004 – 2006 after retiring in 1998.
I served as a combat infantry(2/506 Infantry, 101st Airborne Division) and air cav platoon leader in Vietnam (2/17 Cav, 101st Airborne Division 1970-71) and as a combat pilot in Desert Storm (Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, 1990-91).
After my surgery in February, 2006, I never recuperated enough to get back to Iraq. Having turned 60 in March, 2006, my wife convinced me to ‘re-retire’.
I’m very proud of the job our young people have and are doing and I’m convinced that at the end of this century, their generation will be named this century’s ‘Greatest Generation’. Please stay safe and keep up the fight!
Lieutenant Colonel, (Retired)"
Two weeks ago, as I was starting my sixth month of duty in Iraq, I was forced to return to the USA for surgery for an injury I sustained prior to my deployment. With luck, I'll return to Iraq to finish my tour.
I left Baghdad and a war that has every indication that we are winning, to return to a demoralized country much like the one I returned to in 1971 after my tour in Vietnam. Maybe it's because I'll turn 60 years old in just four months, but I'm tired:
I'm tired of spineless politicians, both Democrat and Republican who lack the courage, fortitude, and character to see these difficult tasks through.
I'm tired of the hypocrisy of politicians who want to rewrite history when the going gets tough.
I'm tired of the disingenuous clamor from those that claim they 'Support the Troops' by wanting them to 'Cut and Run' before victory is achieved.
I'm tired of a mainstream media that can only focus on car bombs and casualty reports because they are too afraid to leave the safety of their hotels to report on the courage and success our brave men and women are having on the battlefield.
I'm tired that so many Americans think you can rebuild a dictatorship into a democracy over night.
I'm tired that so many ignore the bravery of the Iraqi people to go to the voting booth and freely elect a Constitution and soon a permanent Parliament.
I'm tired of the so called 'Elite Left' that prolongs this war by giving aid and comfort to our enemy, just as they did during the Vietnam War.
I'm tired of antiwar protesters showing up at the funerals of our fallen soldiers. A family who's loved ones gave their life in a just and noble cause, only to be cruelly tormented on the funeral day by cowardly protesters is beyond shameful.
I'm tired that my generation, the Baby Boom -- Vietnam generation, who have such a weak backbone that they can't stomach seeing the difficult tasks through to victory.
I'm tired that some are more concerned about the treatment of captives than they are the slaughter and beheading of our citizens and allies.
I'm tired that when we find mass graves it is seldom reported by the press, but mistreat a prisoner and it is front page news.
Mostly, I'm tired that the people of this great nation didn't learn from history that there is no substitute for Victory.
Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. Army
101st Airborne Division
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Many thanks to LTC Repya for his service in three wars, his dedication to his country and his testimonial to the courage and fortitude of the generation of warriors that is fighting for us today.
SFC Chuck Grist