Deployment to Iraq...By Choice

Apr 15, 2008

This post is a follow-up to an article written by Toni Thompson on October 29th, 2007 entitled: Warriors Voice: 1SG Jeffrey Pennington 1137th Military Police Company Missouri National Guard. First Sergeant Jeffrey Pennington has chosen to re-deployed to Iraq. The following is a powerful testimony in his own words:

I am being deployed to Iraq again. I will fall in with a Military Police company charged with helping train Iraqi Police forces in a fairly large city. During my last tour I was stationed on a rather large base with a fledgling, but present, information infrastructure, several conveniences such as small shops for sundry items, dining facilities for hot food and best of all it was out in the desert at a rather heavily guarded base.

From what I’m told so far, and I cannot delve much into specifics, I will operate out of a very small patrol base inside a city with little to no outside communication assets, no dining facility, no shops or any of the small conveniences that many take for granted.

I went in to the last tour expecting it to be tough and though it was certainly not home, things could have been much worse but I still found myself stressed and wound tight. Now, 3 years later, I’m going again of my own free will, to a place that I know will be much tougher. Though I have some anxiety over the year ahead of me I’m hopeful that I will be able to master the fear that is war, because deep down I know that it’s the right thing to do and I am hopeful that our actions as a nation and my personal actions would inspire us and my family to dig deeper into ourselves and share this hardship that will ultimately show how great America truly is.

For those reading this, I ask for continued support of our Military because it is absolutely necessary that we know in our hearts that you’ve got our back. A soldier once said, and he said it very well:

“We have to believe in what we’re doing—otherwise it would be unbearable.”

So please believe me when I tell you that we ARE making a difference; we ARE doing the right thing; that in the eyes of our soldiers and the eyes of the innocent, peaceful Iraqi families, we are fighting the good fight. We are standing up to defend those that cannot defend themselves. Please understand that we cannot win this without you.

I ask you to please remember the sacrifices that our men and women and their families have made and continue to make. The American people do not realize how much they offer in terms of victory for us and our nation.

No matter how much firepower and technology we have at our disposal…
it’s YOUR hearts
it’s YOUR Prayers
it’s YOUR belief
…that will determine our victory.

Please continue to pray for our troops, for me and for my family. We need it more now than ever.

Jeffrey S. Pennington
First Sergeant, Missouri National Guard

Thank you, Jeff!

Father in Heaven, bless this soldier and his family. Guard him and watch over him. Give him peace. Provide his family with the peace that can only be provided by your Comforting Spirit. Bring Jeff home safely, LORD, and while he is in Iraq, help him touch the lives of those he serves in ways only You can ordain. AMEN.