This was a risky move by the KDES visual literacy project knowing that Sgt. Beatty could get killed when the students have come to known, love and cherish him to experience the trauma of losing a friend in war never knowing what psychological impact such a death might incur. However, KDES students had the chance to learn about the war, the people and get to know Sgt. Beatty and his wife up close and personal. A valuable life's lesson at work here for the teachers and KDES students.
Sgt. Earl Beatty tells the tales of war in Iraq with the 4th CAG Marines outside of Fallujah battling insurgents who at one time fired upon his Marine unit and they returned fire hitting the insurgents hard. He also told his special blog readers that he had to struggle ("hand-to-hand combat") with one insurgent but said he won (which means emphemistically speaking probably killed the sucker) and said that it was his first taste of combat. He also talked about losing some of his Marine buddies he met over there. He was also transferred to Al Ramadi to work at Abu Ghraib and protect the prison from terrorist attacks (et it be known that this transfer was done after the scandal). Sgt. Beatty even wondered if he would ever get out alive in one letter:
I am sorry for the delay in my response. Things here have been pretty sporty, if you know what I mean. I hope I can make it out of here alive. I am keeping my Marines safe and alive to the best of my ability. The hard part is determining who is friend and who is foe.
But Sgt. Earl Beatty blog response to KDES students was polite even while things have gotten dicey in his "I hope to God..." piece:
I am sorry I have not been able to write everyone. A couple of days ago I went out on a mission in support of Operation Phantom Fury (the offensive in Fallujah). We did a cordon search (an encircling line - as of troops or police) of this town called Kendari. Normally it is a busy town, but when we entered it was practically deserted. Things were peaceful, but at times my Marines and I got into hellacious firefights.
Sometimes Sgt. Beatty's Marine unit had to learn about the quirks of the Iraq war:
Sometimes I hand out candy to the kids, but other times they throw rocks at us. Sometimes they curse at us. This is a really strange country. Many of the Iraqis are somewhat shady. In Fallaujah the Marines knew who was into “bad stuff”. The Tanks really saved us. The Marines will never forget the names of the tanks “Lionheart” and “Maximus”. Insurgents tried to fire an RPG at the tanks, but the RPG just bounced off. What I saw next was amazing. The tank turret turned where the RPG came from and leveled the abandoned building. I would have to say the United States has the best tanks in the world hands down (the M1 Abrams). They are quiet too because they’re powered by a turbine engine.
Thank God for the M1 Abrams.
So, sit down and read through Sgt. Earl (Jay) Beatty's blogs and his correspondence with the KDES students.
Sgt. Earl Beatty, you did good! We're proud of you. I'm proud of you of how you served America and the efforts you did to help children at KDES learn about Iraq, the tragedy of war, the successes and photos of nice Iraqis and wonderful children you met over there. You're a source of inspiration for America.