Dear Mr. Sheldon;
I read your impassioned piece...and as a Patriotic American who has fought for this country since June 1981 - your characterizations regarding Muslims in your writing needs to have some facts clarified.
...As a Muslim American Marine, I have lead Marines in combat on numerous occasions and since 9/11, I participated in counter-terrorism operations to pursue those terrorist bastards who attacked our country - I didn't wait for my country to call, I asked to be deployed, and waited for six months with home and personal possessions in storage by moving out of my home, and waited by renting a room from a friend, so when my turn was called I would not waste valuable time preparing - I was prepared and deployed at a moments notice.
The terrorists used Islam to justify their horrific and cowardice acts on 9/11. As Americans, Arabs and Muslims packed their bags, as I did, to get some pay back against the terrorists who struck our country. The attack on our country was not a Christian thing, it was not a Muslim thing, it was not a Jewish thing, and surely it wasn't a white, black, yellow, or brown thing.
It was terrorists who hated us for a multitude of reasons that struck our country on 9/11 - all which transcended color, race, religion, and nationality. In doing so, the terrorist killed those who were from over 87 countries in the deaths at the World Trade Center, and my fellow brothers and sisters in Arms lost their lives in the Pentagon. Muslims were among the dead both in the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
The first documented Arab American immigrant - Private Nathan Badeen - from Syria died in the revolutionary war on May 26th, 1776,
Private Nathan Badeen was with the 18th Continental Army of Massachusets. He died fighting for a cause of freedom - two months prior to seeing the Declaration of Independence issued to the British. So yes, there were Arab Americans and Muslim Americans who also died in the revolutionary war, as documented in the attachments - in addition to Private Nathan Badeen.
Over 5,000 Muslim and Arab Americans fought on both sides of the civil war - can you imagine Arab and Muslim Americans who were rebels, and on the other side Arab and Muslim Americans with the Union fighting to end slavery.
Over 15,000 Arab Americans fought in WWII to help rid the world of a Tyrant
Since 9/11 Muslim and Arab Americans have given their life serving in the US Military in Iraq and Afghanistan - Captain Khan saw the threat of a vehicle in Iraq approaching dangerously towards the check point manned by his fellow Army Soldiers - Captain Khan ran outside of the wire to a safe distance away from harms way to his soldiers and jumped in front of the vehicle so it could detonate before it got to his troops. Captain Khan was months away from his Doctoral Degree when 9/11 happened, but held off getting his degree so he could join the US Army and serve his country in time of need.