The following message was submitted to Representative John Murtha by myself today, July 19th 2008 via email from Anbar Province, Iraq as well as conventional mailing. I highly doubt any form of reply, but Pa is my home state and I felt it's worth a try.
Good afternoon Sir,
My name is Sergeant Matthew S. Jackson, United States Marine Corps. I’m currently serving with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 on tour in Iraq. I wanted to take this opportunity to speak to you Sir on your voiced opinions of some of my fellow Marines and to hopefully engage a thoughtful conversation on the subject.
Yourself having served in the U.S. Marine Corps, I’m sure you’re familiar Sir with the slogan, “Once a Marine, Always a Marine”. Stating this point, I’d like to reprint one of your comments verbatim concerning the incident that occurred at Haditha in 2005:
“It's much worse than reported in Time magazine. There was no fire fight. There was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”
I ask with a heavy heart Sir, how could you assault the credibility, good standing and professionalism of the Marines on the ground in Iraq, particularly the 8 Marines charged in the Haditha incident without hearing their sides of the story?
Subsequently Sir, 7 of the 8 Marines charged in the incident have been cleared of wrongdoing. Will you now Sir grant my brave brethren the apology that they are long overdue?
I ask you Sir to remember our hallowed Corps values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Your conduct in the verbal disgrace of these Marines, and the Marine Corps in general is not in accordance with our Corps values and everything the United States Marine Corps stands for.
I ask you humbly Sir to do the right thing. Stand for what is right, not only as a retired USMC Colonel, but as a man and publicly issue the following Marines the apology they are owed:
LtCol Jeffrey Chessani
Capt. Randy Stone
Capt. Lucas McConnell
1st Lt Andrew Grayson
Sgt Sanick P. DelaCruz
LCpl Justin Sharratt
LCpl Stephen Tatum
1st Lt Andrew Grayson
Matthew S. Jackson
Sergeant, United States Marine Corps