Enclosed is my letter asking the Congressman for permission to publish the enclosed essay along with his personal response and his heartfelt essay... James "kimo" Rosen, Publisher dakinetalk
Aloha Congressman Djou,
Mahalo Nui Loa for your service to our great country. You are the real thing, a politician that's been on the front line, I wish all politicians did what you did. You are a hero! Imagine if each presidential candidate was required to experience war, a different world it would truly be, again from my heart, Mahalo!
I am emailing you to ask permission to run the enclosed as a guest-blog within my daily blog titled ,"dakinetalk."
The congressman's response...Aloha Kimo, sorry for the long delay in responding. Certainly go ahead and
run the blog. I also deeply appreciate your kind words and support. But,
if there is any true hero it is my wife who had to manage the home front
by herself while I was deployed in Afghanistan. Best wishes, Charles
What I learned in Afghanistan- Charles Djou
It was an honor to serve with soldiers who gave selflessly, not for fame or fortune but to defend the cause of freedom and security for all Americans. Again and again, I witnessed true sacrifice in action.
I served with a staff sergeant who was leading a squad of 10 soldiers when radio traffic picked up Taliban insurgents massing to ambush his men. The sergeant, knowing the need to find cover quickly and get his soldiers protection, went alone into a nearby ditch, which had not been cleared for mines. He wanted to be sure that his men could take cover safely. He stepped on an IED. He lived but went home missing both legs.
But even as I learned something about our service members’ heroism and sacrifice, I also learned something about the enemy we face.
I oversaw detainee operations for my brigade. It was my responsibility to vet every enemy insurgent captured. I processed more than 100 enemy Taliban captured by U.S. and coalition forces in the Zharay District of Kandahar province, the most violent district in one of Afghanistan’s most violent provinces.
The insurgents I helped lock up included a Taliban who murdered local Afghans simply because they worked with Americans. After killing his victims, he would throw their bodies at the doorstep of the local mosque, with a note nailed into their forehead, threatening that he would “get” any other local nationals who dared to try to find work with coalition forces.
Another insurgent we captured gave hand grenades to young children, saying these “firecrackers” only worked if you threw them at U.S. soldiers.
Back home, things are understandably bleak. Our economic recovery is sluggish and fragile and our political system is dysfunctional and broken.
But having served in Afghanistan, I know that the problems and issues facing our country can be fixed through solid leadership that will put the best interests of our nation first. And by each and every one of us coming together to do our part.
Let’s agree that no matter how bitter the partisan gridlock in Washington, we are not enemies. I've looked into the eyes of radical Taliban insurgents. I know what it means to have a real enemy. Let’s agree that with the right leadership and hard work, we are capable of overcoming our nation’s major challenges and seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Instead of focusing on the issues that divide, we need elected representatives who can unite, inspire and lead. If we can come together around the common cause of preserving what is great about America for the next generation, our best days are ahead of us.
For more on Charles go to;