This is not the little girl who saved the Marines
From a Marine Gunnery Sergeant in Iraq.
On each patrol we take through the city, we take as many toys as will fit in our pockets and hand them out as we can. The kids take the toys and run to show them off as if they were worth a million bucks.
On one such patrol, our lead security vehicle stopped in the middle of the street. This is not normal and is very unsafe, so the following vehicles began to inquire over the radio. The lead vehicle reported a little girl sitting in the road and said she just would not budge. The command vehicle told the lead to simply
go around her.
As the vehicles went around her, I soon saw her sitting there and in her arms she was clutching a little bear that we had handed her a few patrols back. Feeling an immediate connection to the girl, I radioed that we were going to stop. The rest of the convoy paused and I got out to make sure she was OK. The little girl
looked scared and concerned, but there was a warmth in her eyes toward me. As I knelt down to talk to her, she moved over and pointed to a mine in the road.
Immediately a cordon was set as the Marine convoy assumed a defensive posture around the site. The mine was destroyed in place.
It was the heart of an American that sent that toy. It was the heart of an American that gave that toy to that little girl. It was the heart of a tiny Iraqi girl that protected that convoy from that mine. It was a heart of acceptance, of tolerance, of peace and grace, even through the inconveniences of conflict that saved that
convoy from hitting that mine.
She may have no affiliation at all with the United States, but she knows what it is to be brave. And if we can continue to support her and her new government, she will know what it is to be free.