Veteran Eric Gunlefinger, a former marine who fought in the Iraq war from 2005-2007, wrote an open letter to Bernie Sanders this week thanking him for voting against the Iraq war.
Gunlefinger posted the open letter on the SandersforPresident subreddit.
Sanders has been the most consistent presidential candidate on his anti-war policies and was one of the few against sending troops to Iraq, unlike his fellow Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Here is the full letter from Gunlefinger:
I want to thank you. I want to thank you for exercising sound judgement even when everyone around you was beating the war drums.
See I fought in the streets of Fallujah, Iraq. I saw more blood and death than any 19 year old ever should. The amount of friends I’ve lost to war will likely be surpassed by the amount of friends I’ve since lost to suicide.
I know first hand the moral cost of war. One of the most painful truths that I must go through life with is that I fought in an unjust and unfounded war. While my intentions were good and I fought hard for the men to my left and to my right, and while I thought what I was doing what was right for the people of Iraq- I was wrong.
You knew this. You knew this before we went to war and you fought, and you spoke truth to your peers and though your words largely fell on deaf ears, I am truly heartened to know that I now have a chance to vote for a man who exercised sound and moral judgement when the war drums were beating the loudest.
I have a son. He is only one and a half years old but someday he will be 18 and I fear that if we continue to elect the same establishment politicians, he too will face the same decision that I did, and he too will go off to fight in an endless quagmire and that he too will come home, broken, and never fully returned or worse- never come home at all.
So thank you, Senator Sanders, for being of sound mind and judgement. Thank you for being the only voice in this race that does not want to continue this legacy of warfare. Thank you for being the only voice that is and has been standing up for those of us that fought in these misguided wars. Thank you for giving me hope for a peaceful future.
Sincerely, A U.S. Marine – 0311 Operation Iraqi Freedom