Julie with a B

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Call home from Iraq
From a friend, whose son is in Iraq

He called after two weeks of working out of the Iraqi police station located a few miles from their home base of Iskan. He said their days are spent patrolling, guarding, and training with the Iraqi Army unit they are assigned to.

The days are long with shifts of 8 hours on and 4 hours off. There are no showers at the patrol base, so he was real happy to get back to home base and his regular bed. Although his squad his heading right back out tomorrow for a week of patrols and missions.

He sounded really tired and a bit melancholy, but he is keeping his "chin up" and soldiering on. It is the rainy season in Iraq which means living in a giant mud hole all the time.

Fortunately things have been relatively quiet for his squad. They did have an "on and off" gun fight with a lone insurgent that lasted a few days. This guy would pop out of a building and fire at his guard tower, then slip away only to pop up from another building. They couldn't figure out how he was getting from one side of the street to the other. Later they found out he had a small trench cutout that they couldn't see, and this allowed him to crawl around out of sight. M's buddy finally got his gun sight on this guy, and let’s just say he's not crawling around anymore.

The Rules of Engagement continue to be a huge problem for our troops. They caught some terrorists trying to lay explosives near the base and gave chase after the bad guys had been spotted. They turned off their headlights to try and help get away and M had a clear shot with his .50 caliber machine gun to stop these guys. Unfortunately they were not allowed to fire because they were not being fired upon, and the terrorists got away.

On another occasion they detained a woman that had explosive residue all over her hands and her story just wasn't checking out. They were ordered to let her go because she wasn't on the current "black list". This is only two of many frustrating situations they have to deal with. I asked how the morale of the unit was and he turned to all the soldiers in the call center and asked; "My Dad wants to know how you all are feeling about our mission?"

The response was a loud; "It sucks!" Along with a couple of other words.

He wanted me to pass along to all of you a very big "Thank you" for all of your support and prayers as it means so much to him.


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