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I'm Tired

Claim:   Lt. Col. Joe Repya penned an "I'm tired" message expressing disappointment with public support for the U.S. military mission in Iraq.

CORRECTLY ATTRIBUTED

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, November 2005]

"I'm Tired"

Two weeks ago, as I was starting my sixth month of duty in Iraq, I was forced to return to the USA for surgery for an injury I sustained prior to my deployment. With luck, I'll return to Iraq to finish my tour. I left Baghdad and a war that has every indication that we are winning, to return to a demoralized country much like the one I returned to in 1971 after my tour in Vietnam. Maybe it's because I'll turn 60 years old in just four months, but I'm tired:

I'm tired of spineless politicians, both Democrat and Republican who lack the courage, fortitude, and character to see these difficult tasks through.

I'm tired of the hypocrisy of politicians who want to rewrite history when the going gets tough.

I'm tired of the disingenuous clamor from those that claim they 'Support the Troops' by wanting them to 'Cut and Run' before victory is achieved.

I'm tired of a mainstream media that can only focus on car bombs and casualty reports because they are too afraid to leave the safety of their hotels to report on the courage and success our brave men and women are having on the battlefield.

I'm tired that so many Americans think you can rebuild a dictatorship into a democracy over night.

I'm tired that so many ignore the bravery of the Iraqi people to go to the voting booth and freely elect a Constitution and soon a permanent Parliament.

I'm tired of the so called 'Elite Left' that prolongs this war by giving aid and comfort to our enemy, just as they did during the Vietnam War.

I'm tired of antiwar protesters showing up at the funerals of our fallen soldiers. A family who's loved ones gave their life in a just and noble cause, only to be cruelly tormented on the funeral day by cowardly protesters is beyond shameful.

I'm tired that my generation, the Baby Boom-Vietnam generation, have such a weak backbone that they can't stomach seeing the difficult tasks through to victory.

I'm tired that some are more concerned about the treatment of captives than they are the slaughter and beheading of our citizens and allies. I'm tired that when we find mass graves it is seldom reported by the press, but mistreat a prisoner and it is front page news.

Mostly, I'm tired that the people of this great nation didn't learn from history that there is no substitute for Victory.

Sincerely,

Joe Repya,
Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. Army
101st Airborne Division
 

Origins:   Joe Repya, originally of Gary, Indiana, served as a lieutenant in charge of an infantry rifle platoon in Vietnam in 1970-71 and later became a
helicopter pilot. Although he left active duty with the military in 1979 to pursue a civilian career, he continued to serve with National Guard units and re-entered active duty in 1990 to fly combat missions in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq with the 1st Infantry Division during the Gulf War.

His military career didn't end there, however: In 2004, at the age of 58, Lt. Col. Repya once again came out of retirement and returned to active duty with the Army, serving as a senior liaison officer with the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq for six months before retiring again in November 2005. He wrote the "I'm tired" message reproduced above, expressing his disappointment with public support for the U.S. military mission in Iraq, just after returning to the U.S. from Iraq that year.

The resurgent circulation of the "I'm Tired" message on the Internet in April 2007 was likely spurred by the fact that Repya, who now lives in Eagan, Minnesota, and has played an active role in Minnesota politics for the last decade, announced on 10 April 2007 that he would challenge incumbent Ron Carey for election as chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota. (Repya was unsuccessful in that challenge, but in January 2010 he announced his intention to seek the endorsement of the Independence Party as a candidate in the Minnesota gubernatorial race.)

Last updated:   31 March 2010

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Sources:

    deFiebre, Conrad.   "Repya Seeks Leadership of Minnesota Republicans."
    [Minneapolis] Star Tribune.   11 April 2007   (p. B5).

    Furst, Randy.   "Those For and Against War in Iraq Agree on One Point."
    [Minneapolis] Star Tribune.   23 December 2006   (p. B3).

    Vonsternberg, Bob.   "Joe Repya Goes IP in Race for Governor."
    [Minneapolis] Star Tribune.   20 January 2010.

    Associated Press.   "Army Recalls 58-Year-old Retired Officer from Eagan."
    [Minneapolis] Star Tribune.   24 September 2004.