“I joined the United States Army at the age of 17. I was a junior at Central Valley High School when I joined. I wanted the privilege and honor to represent my flag in a foreign country.
I have worn this flag for two years in Iraq. I have worn this flag with pride and honor. This flag has witnessed many wars, but the flag I wore saw only what I saw. It watched on the 15th of March 2003 when I walked into Iraq to bring freedom to a country. It watched on the 1st of July 2003, when I held 1SG Christopher Coffin in my arms as he died in combat bearing the same flag that I wore. It watched when I entered a torture room that held girls as young as 14 years of age, freeing them from their prison. It was a symbol for everyone around me during that time. It has always been a symbol, and will always be a symbol.
For some, when they witnessed me walk into their village or home wearing this flag, they were filled with hope and the emotion of relief from their fears. For some, when they witnessed this flag, they were filled with terror and fear because they themselves caused so much of the same feelings in others. For me, this flag that “I wear” represents a light that pierces through the darkest of countries as a hope that there will be a better life.
I have the privilege to represent you! You gave me the privilege to carry this flag into combat so that others will have HOPE. I will not fail you nor will I allow this flag to fall. I have made an oath to protect this flag against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help me God!” – Staff Sergeant David Biehl, United States Army
More words from David:
“At 18, I volunteered for Iraq and was the second unit on the first day of the war. I saw a lot of stuff that you couldn’t ever imagine. I also saw the gratitude on the faces of so many people. I’ll never forget the time when a little girl about three walked up to me as I was conducting a foot patrol. She grabbed onto my legs and was trying to hug me. I swung my rifle around my back and reached into my ruck sack. There was a beanie baby bear in it that my mom had given me. I knelt down and gave the little girl the bear. She smiled and walked away. Her mother saw what I had done and sent her son to speak to me. I know a little arabic and spoke to the young man. He thanked me for what we were doing. He also went on to explain that his father was killed when Sadam’s army tried talking him into joining his army. He begged me to join him and his family for dinner. He said his father would have been honored to have me there. I had to politely refuse his offer. ~~~~ The bottom line is this. We are all out here under our own free will. It is our honor to be out here. You’re wasting your time protesting. But it is your right and everyday I put on this uniform so that you may do so. But if I or any of my soldiers should fall maybe you and all your friends could put down your signs for just one day and honor our memory. It only make us angry when we see protesters against the war because they don’t understand. All it tells us is that America does not care at all about us. Take care and I wish the best for you.”