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What does it mean to be a soldier in Iraq today? Why are we there? These are simple questions but not so easy to answer. Here are the last moments and a look into soldier's eyes, written as told by him in a journal.

Last Entry

August 9, 2001

It is early morning I didn't sleep well because I was too nervous about today. I have a really bad feeling that I can't shake. As backup, we are going to head back to our base along with another hummer. Hope this goes smooth.

I woke up the voices of several people talking, I heard someone say, "He's not going to make it." As I woke up I was told not to move, I had been badly wounded. I asked for my journal to write down my last thoughts. They told me that I don't have long. I asked about my comrade Steve. They told me that a bullet wound in the throat had killed him. This war is horrible; we are trying to fight an invisible enemy. Now, I am going to die too. Are we going to be known for what we had done? Had we done anything of importance? We had given our lives to keep others safe. I wish the people safe in their homes could see what we are sacrificing for them.

At 5:24pm on August 9, 2001 Private John G. Watson was pronounced dead from loss of blood and third degrees burns to over 40% of his body. As he was heading back to his base his hummer was ambushed. His hummer was hit by a swarm of bullets. Private Steven E. Sampson was hit in the neck from a bullet and was killed instantly. John was hit in the arm twice but he continued to drive. A small grenade flipped the hummer and caught fire. Unfortunately, the base was 2 hours away still and not much could be done till they arrived at the base, which was too late for John. He was declared dead shortly after treatment was attempted on him. In his last few minutes he managed to write the last portion in his journal. John was never announced as



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