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Purple Heartwarming Stories

June 6, 2006

The flood of revelations about the alleged U.S. war crime and cover-up at Haditha has understandably clouded the image of America's fighting men and women. Two recent but underreported stories will help restore your faith in the goodness and humanity of our troops.
Just before Memorial Day, Staff Sgt. Phillip Trackey gave his Purple Heart medal to 13 year-old Fatima Faisal. Faisal, a student in Camillus, New York, had won a school contest for writing thank you letters to U.S. troops. Trackey, who was awarded the medal for shoulder and head wounds he suffered in Baghdad in January 2005, said:

"It's important what these children do for us in sending these letters. The letters mean so much to us. So I thought this was a big way of giving something back to them."

Trackey, who is based at nearby Fort Drum, spontaneously pinned his Purple Heart on Faisal during the school's awards ceremony. Afterwards, Ms. Faisal said, "I'm touched. I'm speechless. This is the sweetest thing ever."
Fatima Faisal's isn't the only story of the courageous American troops honoring civilians for their work and support. One week after Staff Sgt. Trackey's act of grace in upstate New York, an American soldier at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany presented his Purple Heart to grievously injured CBS Iraq reporter Kimberly Dozier. As a CBS spokesperson described it:

"A young American soldier came up to Kimberly's brother Michael and told him that he had met Kimberly in Iraq two years ago after he had been wounded with shrapnel in his arm. The soldier had his Purple Heart with him, and he told Michael that he'd like Kimberly to have it because, he said, she's suffered as much as any soldier. That Purple Heart is now beside Kimberly's bed."

There can be no question that the massacre at Haditha is an abomination. But these purple heartwarming stories should remind us that it is the exception to the rule when it comes to the courage, grace and selflessness of volunteer American troops who fight in our name.

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Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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