Monday, January 25, 2010

Another Gulf War veteran lost to Cancer; VA still does not track cancers in Gulf War veterans

Master Sergeant Jean-Paul Le Brocq

Master Sergeant Jean-Paul Le Brocq

The Le Brocq family

Orlando Examiner

On December 19, 2009 America lost a son, brother, husband, father and unsung American hero. He did not die in a far-off land, although he had served and fought for you and me in Korea, Iraq and Kuwait. He did not die in an IED ambush, although he had survived many. He died in his bed after a courageous battle with cancer. He lived a life of a professional soldier, serving in the 82nd Airborne in Desert Storm. He later became a Ranger and served in Korea and Iraq before retiring from the military.

“JP” will be missed by many, including his former commander in Iraq. Please take a moment to read the message “JP’s” CO sent to his father. Many different kinds of young men and women have gone off to fight this war and each has had their own reason to contribute. Here is one man’s tribute to another:

“I write this with a heavy heart and tears rolling down my cheeks. I have no reason to exaggerate my words—None.

“I cannot imagine losing my son; or my wife; or my father. You and your wife, and Teresa, and JP's is you who I mourn for—but it is JP that I knew and loved.

“I drive through the Arlington Cemetery twice a day, everyday, on the metro. It hurts every time. I cried today—twice, as I passed through, thinking of Friday. JP is the sixth man that I have stood side by side with in combat who will be put to rest there.

“What I say now is all I know to say. I am not a good man; or a good Christian; or father; or husband. I lead men in combat. I perform brutal and vicious deeds on other human beings and I ask for no mercy…There are men, who are not like me, who come with me and fight with me, not because they love it as I do, but because it is their duty. They fight for their country and the greater good. I do not. I know there is a God because only God would take JP and leave someone like me here on earth to go on. Your son did not deserve what happened—when it is I who deserve something like that.

“I asked your son to do things for me that you, his mother, his wife, his best friend and his children could never ask of him. He and I were all alone for two months working with 600 Iraqi commandoes. We were roommates for six months. He drove on 61 missions as my driver which was the second most dangerous job in all of Iraq. When we were fighting there, Iraq was the most dangerous place on earth. We hit IEDs, and battled insurgents almost daily. JP fought as a great warrior on 11 December risking his life for his Muslim interpreter...he battled and battled. What you do not know is that he did not have to go on that last trip to Balad. I gave him the option. He did not want to go—but he did.

“I knew him. It brings me great pain to do this. I am a great warrior in battle, but a coward in life. I will be there for him. I will not be able to do or say much—if at all. I will do everything I can to just keep my feet. I will be in civilian clothes in a beard and would like to just stay in the back, unnoticed. But, I will do whatever you ask me to do.

“JP was a warrior, and he was my friend. I am so sorry.

“Please, please know that when your son was under my care, I loved him more than my own children, and that I killed for him and would have died for him.

“He knew I loved him. I told him many times.

“Please let me know where you want me to be and what time. I will be there."


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