Dear President Obama,

I lay in bed last night around 1 a.m., listening to a jet pass over high above Nantucket. Chances are this was a United States Air Force C-5A on its way to supply the still nearly 100,000 of our fine young people in Iraq. I thought about the price tag for just one such flight. A little research shows it costs $26,000 to keep a C-5A in the air for an hour and that the roundtrip from the U.S. to Baghdad would take over 26 hours. Every flight would be $676,000, give or take a few hundred thousand.

Then I thought about all our soldiers over there far from home. A little more research from our Congress shows it costs $390,000 per year per soldier. Wow Ė there goes another $39 Billion.

Well Sir, youíve now been in office for over a year and we still have nearly 100,000 of our fine young people over 12,000 miles away from their homes serving in Iraq. Now Iím hearing that there are concerns about the legitimacy of the upcoming Iraqi elections and these might be reasons to delay bringing our troops home.

Iím sorry to tell you Sir that I donít care. We have made a mess over there and thatís too bad. But the Iraqis can clean it up themselves. It just isnít our job. We are bankrupting our country and also the young generation providing these soldiers. Itís now estimated that over a million of them have served in Iraq since we started this war in 2003.

I served many years in the military and one of the primary items we had to learn was our Chain of Command. As you are well aware, that Chain of Command ends with you Sir, our Commander in Chief. One of your major campaign promises was that you would bring our troops home from Iraq. Itís time to stop finding reasons not to do that.

And for heavenís sake, letís have a clear definition of what our mission is in Afghanistan as well. Now the media tells us we are attacking cities in order to take them over. Our enemy doesnít need cities. They melt into the hillsides until we move on to the next city.

In the military we would joke that when we lost sight of our objective, we should redouble our efforts, in hope that objective would reappear. With the increases in troop levels in Afghanistan, it would seem that some of your strategic planners donít realize that this strategy is a joke.

Letís stop trying to fix countries on the other side of our planet and focus on the terrorists that are our real enemies. And please, please, please, return our soldiers home.

Kenneth Turner Blackshaw