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“War is not the answer;” this is a phrase we are familiar with and have all heard at some point in our lifetime. Soldiers in Iraq not only sacrifice plenty on a daily basis while on duty, like being away from family and children, but they also sacrifice their body and soul for citizens of all kinds, living in America.

When civilians make the decision to go and fight for our rights in Iraq, they take their job very seriously. As much as it is painful and gruesome to discuss, we have to face the facts. Every soldier’s death in Iraq is sacrificed for the safety and security of millions here in America. Our troops willingly fight for our rights every single day and while we do not know the specifics of their daily tasks, we pray and wish that no harm will get in their way and that they will come back home safely. If we are lucky enough, we receive and are notified of good news. Unfortunately, most televised news is about the horrid deaths, bombings and killings of these innocent soldiers.

It was reported that civilians made the highest number of causalities killed in July of 2012. When the headlines of every newspaper and article read: “Iraq sees deadliest month in two years,” I immediately start to shiver as I continue reading how 325 have been killed in nationwide attacks.

There is something to be done about the violence but unfortunately, we, as citizens have no control over that. There is never going to be a good time to pull out. Whatever plan we choose to bring the troops home safely, we cannot just say that we are doing so because keeping troops there is too expensive; in lives and resources and hopeless chances of success. Things have become so dramatically worse in the past year that this crisis demands an immediate decision.

President Barack Obama announced last year in October that all U.S. troops currently in Iraq would come home for the holidays, and that America’s long and costly war in the Middle Eastern nation would end once and for all. Most troops have returned home to a normal life, but that cannot be said for every single soldier, because some are still fighting for the safety of their country. As citizens, we want to feel safe, and we want our voice to be heard.

Until we see our president’s promise completely fulfilled, we cannot let this issue slide by. This conflict is a tough one to figure out, but it is a conflict that must be solved in a strategic manner. There is no doubt that Iraq is an extraordinarily dangerous place, and it grows worse each day as the attacks on U.S. troops become harder to bear. I would love for all this to be over quickly, but that is not what a war is about. We have to stay the course and finish the job. It is more complicated than what the media makes it out to be. At the end of the day, it is hard for us to speak for them, as I am sure they are in a massive conflict themselves.

God bless our brave and wonderful military all over the world. They put their lives on the line every single day for us, and the least we can do is pray and always wish them well. Thank you to all the hard-working men and women in uniform that protect us every day; the great job you do is appreciated.

Talma Salmassi-Arakelian is a fourth year English major and she can be reached at tsalmass@uci.edu

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