We will fight for peace, but we will do no violence.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


"Everything’s OK mom, don’t worry about me," he told his mother two weeks before. "I think I’m going to make it."

But for Sweger, Dec. 16 would be the last day to fight. "He was the one who was kicking in the doors and going in first," his father Frank Sweger told MySanAntonio.

Along with his infantry platoon from 1st Battalion 3rd Marines, he was going house-to-house, kicking in doors as he had likely done since the battle had started on Nov. 7. But as he entered one room, friends told me later, he was shot and killed by an insurgent lying in wait.

He was on his last deployment and would've gone on to college. He was funny, a good person, and just 24 years old. Why did he die?

"The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history," he wrote. "It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure."

I'll never know why they died. It wasn't to stop the "mushroom cloud" or to defend the nation after 9/11. It sure wasn't for freedom, democracy, apple pie, or mom and dad back home.

The only reason they died was for the man or woman beside them. They died for their friends.

I'm just not satisfied with that.

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