News from Baghdad

A small spot to describe to a certain extent what it is like for the soldiers here in Iraq. I must remain anonymous as there may be some who would view this as an "official" posting, however, it is not. Just some personal views on the politics and public views in this war that has been to oftentimes tainted by the sensationalism of the media.

Location: Home, United States

I enjoy my job to the fullest, regardless of the political climate at any particular time. My family and my soldiers are the central focal point of my existence as well as my religious viewpoints.

Friday, October 01, 2004

1 October 2004

As I begin this quest to shed a little light on the "other" side of this war, one that very few people who do not actually experience it first hand, I wish to thank those that support us soldiers and to let those that do not know that I am deeply ashamed of your lack of support for your troops regardless of your political views into this whole mess. Whether I agree with what is going on here politically or not is irrelevant, as I am a soldier first and have been for nearly ten years. Do I blindly follow the directions and orders of those over me? No, I do not. Do I do my duty as I am asked to do? Always. Let it be known that soldiers here do not want to be here any more than the next soldier, however, we must and while we are here, we must protect the lives of our charges, in essence, our soldiers, our buddies, our friends, and the civilians of which we are in contact every single day.

I would have to say that the most frustrating thing to deal with here is the absolute refusal by the civilian populace to inform us where the bad guys are. I understand that they are frightened. I understand that these people have been through more in the past year and a half than anyone would ever dream of having to deal with. It will only get better, though, if they tell us where the bad guys live. When the general populace gets absolutely sick and tired of being shot at, blown up and targeted by their OWN countrymen, then things will begin to improve. Yes there are those that do inform us and we take care of their information swiftly and with extreme prejudice. We do not sit on information for days at a time so it gets "cold" and we wind up missing the one(s) we originally were meant to apprehend.

Yesterday was a time of grief for many people, civilians and soldiers alike. Not too far from where I am stationed, a series of explosions occured, injuring and killing many people. You watch and read the news, however, and they immediately try to place blame upon the soldiers on the scene as quoted by one small child who was injured, that the soldiers called them over to hand out candy. Well, I can tell you from first hand experience that the children here are NEVER invited. They come of thier own accord. I cannot get out of my vehicle and walk three paces until I am usually swamped by children asking for candy. If I have any, I give it out. If not, I inform them so. I talk to the children and for the most part I love the children of Iraq and it breaks my heart to know that so many were hurt and killed yesterday. They are the true innocents in this whole shitty mess. I have seen firsthand on more than one occasion where a small child has been broken, battered, wounded, and just generally messed up for the rest of his/her life, and for the most part it has been by those responsible for the insurgency here. Yes, there have been times that children have been hurt or killed by American forces, but I can absolutely assure you, that as far as my unit goes, that would be totally unintentional. I pray for peace constantly in this affair, as I feel great sadness for the children. Most of the adult populace I really don't care either which way, for they refuse to cooperate, and most of them collaborate against us anyway. Don't get me wrong, I have many Iraqi friends here of all ages, and not just ones that work for us either. There are those that I talk to on a regular basis and I call them friend. There are many special people here. Not all Iraqis are bad. I do not hate Iraq or its people. I hate the attitudes and the indecision amongst its populace to harbor, aid and assist the insurgency and then blame us for it.


Blogger Spence said...

Keep the faith Jay!

11:27 PM  
Blogger Eric Grumbles said...

Jay, I'm retired Army, a tank crewman, a Desert Storm vet, and I keep the faith with you and my other brothers in arms every day. Keep your chin up, do your duty (I'm sure you will) and remember to duck. Feel free to email me at e_cowper at yahoo dot com anytime.


9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No words written or spoken could give you and all the others soliders that serve with you the thanks that is and always will be yours. Yet I wanted to take this time and try thank you,your unit and your faimly for trying to make the United States a better and safer place for my young sons. I try everyday to teach my sons who the real heros are.You all are in our prays. May God keep you all safe from harm. God bless.

2:55 AM  

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