November 28th, 2007
10:00 PM ET
11 years ago

I-Reporter: No Fighting Words

(CNN)– During the debate, Sen. John McCain talked about spending Thanksgiving with troops during a visit to Iraq and said, "Their message to you is - the message of these brave men and women who are serving over there is, 'Let us win.'"

I-Reporter and soldier, Jeff Stevens of Peekskill, New York, sent in this response to McCain:

"As a member of the US Army, it greatly offends me to hear John McCain say things like 'Our troops want to finish the job.' I have never in my few years as a young Soldier in both an active duty and reserve component heard anyone say such things. It is a soldiers job to be neutral and fulfill the duties that the American people task us with. I think it is wrong to fool the American people into thinking that soldiers actually enjoy the brutal environment in Iraq and wish to stay there."

- Anchor Nicole Lapin

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. C. Boston Group, Las Vegas, NV

    Thanks Nicole for brining in the I-reports–it's great to hear what members of the general public thought about the debate

    November 28, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  2. Judy omaha, ne

    I believe there are young military who have put their lives on the line for something that they want to see accomplished!

    November 28, 2007 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  3. Aaron, Brooklyn NY

    Ron Paul said that we should give the Iraqi people their country back. I would like the next President to take a stand to give us our country back, to bring our military personel home to protect us and to respect the bill of rights that is also meant to protect us. If we had our rights, we could protect ourselves from anyone who dared threaten us here at home. I think Ron Paul is the person on stage tonight who best understands how liberty works.

    November 28, 2007 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  4. Chris, Pensacola FL

    I'm sure the generals did tell him that.

    It's easy to say when you send the young boys to their death. The old officers sit back and make the junior enlisted do the dirty work.

    McCain should of talked off camera to soldiers without their CO watching.

    Yeah, I know how it works.

    November 28, 2007 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  5. John

    As a soldier of more than 20 years I will say that Jeff Stevens does not have the experience to make a statement like that! My guess is that Jeff is one of the many troops I have been forced to serve with that thought the Army was a quick way to get college money. True warriors will always say, "...leave me in until the battle is won..." I have accumulated 48 months in OEF/OIF and even more than that in tours from the Balkans, Haiti, the first Gulf War, and Panama.

    Jeff, if you can't take the heat, get out and the warriors will carry the day again! DOL

    November 28, 2007 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  6. Eyvonne Meyer Jonestown, Pennsylvania

    Way to go Senator McCain! The Democrats have the war lost already! You rarely hear anything positive coming out of the mouths of liberals when it comes to the war. I work and live on a military base and I know hundreds of soldiers who are volunteering to go back over even if they've had 2 or 3 deployments. They believe in what they're doing over there.

    November 28, 2007 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  7. John


    My guess is that you have never, and never plan to server your country on the field of battle! That is one of the great things about our country, you don't have to.

    All that aside, don't you assume that you or Ron Paul (also never served) have any idea what it takes to win. How dare either of you belittle the sacrifice of my brothers how have willingly paid the ultimate sacrifice for you and the Iraqi and Afghan people.

    If warriors like them didn't lay down there lives in that foreign land you might find yourself speaking Arabic!


    November 28, 2007 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  8. Anthony Wray, Arkansas

    I noticed Dr. Paul pointed out he gets the most funds donated from the troops.

    November 28, 2007 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  9. John


    I have over 20 years under a rucksack fighting for this nation in every conflict since the mid eighties. If you are a soldier, then you must be a support guy...

    November 28, 2007 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  10. Monica, Murfreesboro, TN

    I don't know hundreds of soldiers. So I can't say that there are hundreds of soldiers that have any certain opinion. I know maybe a hand full. Of those, we buried one earlier this year, and all the others voluntarily take additional tours. They don't go back because they believe in what they're fighting for. They go back because the pain, the violence and the disassociation that they have gone through in order to sanely fight this 'war' makes them unable to come home and live normal lives. These men and women willingly abandon parents, friends, wives, husbands and even young children. They aren't going back to win, they're going back because they have been defeated by trauma that they have endured. They know that they can never be the person that left 18 months ago, and the guilt eats at them until all they can do to escape it, is to volunteer for another tour. It's unfortunate, but for so many of those soldiers it's the truth.

    November 28, 2007 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  11. Kent, Little Egg Harbor, NJ

    McPain is yet another dinosaur who doesn't even realize that he's extinct. He's a brain-dead cheerleader for the neo-con scum who got us into this Middle East mess , to fight a proxy war for Israel and steal Muslim oil in the bargain. The people who have instigated/engineered this war are EVIL and are TRAITORS to the USA. In case any of you tobacco-chewing, beer-guzzling, NASCAR-watching sheeple haven't noticed: Iraq never invaded US, but Mexico HAS..!!!

    November 29, 2007 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  12. William Pappas

    an honest man

    November 29, 2007 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  13. Independent in IA

    Ah,'s so refreshing to hear the truth for a change.

    Put John McCain in an under-protected hummvee in the middle of Sadr City and see just how long it takes him to soil his Men's Warehouse....

    Thank you, Jeff, for both your service to this nation and for your honesty.

    November 29, 2007 04:52 am at 4:52 am |
  14. Ed, Rock Hill, SC

    Jeff Stevens strikes me as a "summer soldier". No, Jeff, soldiers in combat do not "enjoy the brutal environment in Iraq and wish to stay there." Either their motivation to serve, or what they've learned while serving has caused them to believe in what we're doing, and want to see it through. It's known as dedication, and it involves sacrifice.

    I'm a combat veteran, and almost without exception, those who've been in that crucible did not enjoy it, but endured it – because some things are worth fighting for. And we'd do it again, even now.

    But then, maybe that's part of the difference between US Army and USMC.

    November 29, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  15. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    I think Mr. McCain misrepresents our armed forces. While we do have an all volunteer military–I doubt most would have volunteered to go into "any" war zone. There are many that do, however. For certain military specialties (some special ops, EOD, engineer teams, communications specialists, some medical specialists, construction/engineering specialists–Iraq is a money-maker!! We're talking an extra $75.00 to $120.00 per day not including family seperation allowance for TDY's to Bagdad and Northern Iraq, and it's better for Afghanistan, and lets not forget hazardous duty pay/combat pay–not bad floose if you can keep from getting killed! There are no shortage of volunteers when the opportunity to bring home an extra $2000 or more a month for your family is the incentive!! Of course those poor souls who are deployed with units and living in tents don't make that kind of money–ask one of them when they'd like to come home??

    November 29, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. Sara, Boston MA

    Dear John,
    Ron Paul did serve. Flight Surgeon, United States Air National Guard, 1965-1968
    Flight Surgeon, United States Air Force, 1963-1965 so get your facts straight before you post, maybe you should try reading. As for McCains' completely off topic attack, he looked desperate!

    November 29, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. Monte

    "Let us win"? Win what?
    Perhaps a 20th of the population or Iraq has been killed. Tens of thousands of American families have been destroyed. Veterans make up 25% of the US homeless population. And the mission was a ruse. America was not under threat, and in no sense can we say "fighting for our freedom" for our freedom was never at risk in Iraq.
    How many more lives must be ruined before politicians decide to call some development a "win," and bring these poor suckers home?

    November 29, 2007 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  18. John


    I stand corrected. I must admit I was not aware of his service. That said, if he had ever been in direct contact with the enemy like McCain and I have he would not want to cut and run. Doing that only sends a message to them that they have acheived some sort of victory and if you let them think that for one minute, then the battle for hearts and minds will tip in their favor and the cowards will assault more innocent people.

    Trust me ma'am, the enemies of this nation are brutal beyond measure. If we show any sign of weakness then they will exploit it. I have stood and continue to stand between you and that enemy. Give me your support not your demands. I don't know what you do for a living but I am sure you are good at it. I promise I am good at what I do. It is not always the most pleasant job, but like Joshua, Gideon, and David, God has given me a heart and wisdom for battle.

    Let me and my brothers in arms do our jobs. Do not put us on the unemployment line!!!

    December 1, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |