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.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

25 November 2004

First of all I wish to extend a thousand apologies for not posting sooner. Quite a bit has happened since my last post. We are all fine and well, however, there have been a few significant acts since my last writing.

We have had two IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) go off on us, one of which caused a minor casualty on one of my soldiers. He is fine now, but it was a close one. Shook us all up for a bit, but these men are good, shook it off, and began to fire, even as we were still assessing the situation. The soldiers of my squad and in this platoon are well trained and they act on that training to the fullest. Every day they make me proud.

As I write this, on this Thanksgiving evening, I am reminded of several things that I am thankful for, especially grateful for things over the past year.

I am reminded of the time last year, when I was informed that I would be coming to this platoon. Many can attest to the fact that I was not happy for the move, as I had many friends in my old company and I was not looking forward to serving with some of the men here. I can tell you this, though; it has been the best move that I could ever have possibly made. I would not want to live, fight, laugh and cry with any other group of men, than the ones I am here with today.

I am thankful for the training and the equipment that we received before, and during this deployment here to Baghdad. Everything has stood us in good stead, and there are many times I cannot imagine life without some of the things that we have.

I am thankful for my family, not only my immediate family, but also my extended family, who have stood beside me this year. It is always good to get letters, cards and packages from home, and those of you reading this; I apologize for not writing more often, thanking you for all that you have done.

I am thankful for friends, both here in Iraq, and Stateside. Friendship is a wonderful thing, that without, I don’t think life would be worth living. I cannot imagine going through one’s existence alone and without someone to care for, or having someone care for you. Would be lonely and without cause for living.

I thank each and every one of you who read these oftentimes jumbled thoughts and words. It has been my wish to get the story of life here as a soldier to the American people and I hope that most of this has been informative.

God bless all of you on this day of Thanksgiving. Remember those who cannot be home for this holiday season, and especially remember those who will never spend another with their loved ones. Remember the fallen. Remember those who have given their all. As the words go to the famous song, “as He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free”, remember those who have given their all so others can be free.

Friday, November 19, 2004

19 November 2004

This Wife At Home Waiting....

Thanks all of you for your support and prayers for Jay, myself, our family and for this young widow, her children and the families. The comments from my last post meant so much to me, and as soon as this wife is stable and on her feet I intend to show her just how much the American people support her.

I have one hard thing to do today and a letter I read last night from a newspaper article a dear friend clipped for me will make this even harder. I will travel to this soldier home town today for his funeral along with other wives and commrades.

The letter was to this soldier from his wife when she found out he had died. Here is a copy of the letter. I have omitted the names to protect this family…This letter brought me to my knees and tears to my eyes. Please pray that I have the strength to get through this day in one piece.

Deprived by war of a future she had hoped to have, _____ _______was left with memories and a letter to write:

These are her words....

“Wherever you are, honey, please know that I love you with all my heart and soul,” “You never got any rest in Iraq, but now God is going to give you the break you deserve.” “I promise you our children _____, ______, ______ will know who their father was.” “You will always be remembered by me and I will make sure the kids know everything about you,” “I know that if you see them doing something wrong, you will let me know in your own way that something’s wrong.” “I want you to know that I will do everything and try my hardest to raise our kids the best I can.” “I know that you will be watching over them and me, too, but especially the kids.” “You have so many friends and especially family that wish they didn’t have to be here because this day was not supposed to happen yet,” “I can’t get it in my head that you’re gone, honey.” “I know I’m gonna have to face it and try to get passed what happened to you.” “I can’t wait ‘til we are reunited,” “I hope you go in peace.” “I love you, honey and I will miss you, always and for ever.”

Thank you all...Thank you Jay...Thank you to all of our soldiers and the wives that support them and stand with them in this trying time.

"The Loss of A Soldier"

We lost a dear friend today,
we didn't say good bye.
As I stand here and cry,
Why did you have to die?

You left too soon,
you were to young.
You wore DCU's,
you carried a gun.

This Nation of ours,
You worked to defend.
You never did falter,
or stumble or bend.

Yet still just a baby,
you were so strong.
You followed your heart,
and never did wrong.

You fought for our Country,
you stood by it true.
You saluted the flag,
our Red, White, and Blue.

Now as the flag,
flies over your grave.
We sit and we think,
of how you were brave.

We sit and we think,
why was it you?
That had to give all,
for our Red, White, and Blue.

For "Spc. T.A.B." 11/19/2004
Your a true Cav Soldier and
You will long be remembered!
C.S.E. & Your (A co.) Tank Crew

Thursday, November 18, 2004

18 November 2004

Good evening, or should I say, good morning to everyone. It has been a very rough time since I have returned, as you all know. My wife has kept you posted as much as she could, and did a rather good job of it too.

As you all know, I lost a very good friend of mine last week. I will not go into the particulars of it at this time, however, suffice it to say, that yesterday was a really hard day for me. The memorial for him was held along with another soldier we lost in the battalion a few days following my friend. The hardest part for me, was as we filed out of the chapel, we came to attention, saluted the empty boots, lone rifle, dog-tags and helmet there on the stage. As I stood there, I began to cry like a little child, knowing that my friend and fellow soldier was gone. As I stood there, I thought of the times that we spent together, on the same tank crew, in the field, training, or when he would be at my house for dinner or asking advice. He was a great soldier and just wouldn't give in. To know that he was mortally wounded, get up, begin to fire his weapon to protect his fellow soldiers and friends is the true mark of a soldier. He gave his all, so others could live and continue the fight. He will always be remembered as a good friend, a great soldier and a comrade in arms. He was a true Cavalryman in every sense of the word. God bless his family and take him in Your arms for now into eternity. Goodbye my friend.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

17 November 2004

Happy Birthday to you...Happy Birthday to you...Happy Birthday Dear Jay...Happy Birthday to you...AND MANY MORE!!!

Wished we were together to celebrate...

We love you and miss you.

Your Loving Wife and Family.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

11 November 2004

Hello to Jay's readers it's the "Wife" again. I have given a lot of thought about writting this Blog since I received a very disturbing phone call late yesterday evening, to which kept me awake all night. And by no means am I taking away from anyother soldiers death by writing this blog.
But I found out one of Jays young soldiers(under 25) who now serves in another Company(but still side-by-side as brothers in arms) was killed shortly after Jays return to Iraq. This soldier has been part of our lives for almost as long as we have been here at this duty station. Jay has helped this soldier and his family(as he has with many not just one) when times were hard and he needed guidance, Jay was a mentor a moderator, a mediator, brother, father and friend when needed. They joked around and played pratical jokes on each other when they were bored and had nothing to do when they had long work days or were out in the field. We have watched this soldier climb 2 ranks and was ready for the third. He leaves behind a beautiful wife and three children under the age of 5. He was an outstanding "Soldier", "Father" and "Husband" and will be missed by many.
This has been the hardest week for me as a 25 year Army Wife since Jay has been gone, and not just because I had to stand in the airport last week with about 15 other wives with tears running down all our faces, eyes puffy, blowing noses in whst seemed to be a million tissues and saying "SO-LONG" (never good-bye) for now for the second time in less than a year.
The fierce fighting, the unknown, the uncertainty, the waiting, the wondering. Jumping if the phone rings and the caller ID says "UNKNOWN" or "OUT OF AREA" and not wanting to answer it for fear of who maybe on the other end and what they may have to tell me. If no one comes to my door dressed in a military uniform I have had great day.
But this hits so close to home, when you hear of other soldiers dying, you think to yourself Oh NO! how sad for their families. But this wakes you up, shakes you up and scares the living hell out of you to know this person was fighting so close to your husband and bullets, bombs or RPG's don't have names on them, it could have been Jay just as easily as it was this soldier or any one else for that matter. I don't know where in Baghdad this happened, I don't know any deatails of how it happened, none of that matters now, it can't be changed. The sad fact is that it happened at all!
I still have not had any direct contact with Jay since I kissed him just before he walked down the ramp to boarded the plane last week.
The only thing I do know is how I have felt inside since I found out about this, I can see this soldiers wife as I talked to her the day they left many months ago with a baby in the stroller and the other 2 little ones toddling along beside her, the tears in her eyes...all puffy from hours of crying. I took her in my arms and gave her a big hug and whispered in her ear "It's going to be alright!" I'll be here if you need me, call me at anytime day or night. Now I choke on these words I said to her! I feel so bad for her as a young wife now a young widow!
I have been a military wife for 25 yrs, I don't stand behind Jay and support him and his soldiers I proudly stand "BESIDE" him and I support him as well as his guys and their families. We wives are a sisterhood, it takes a special breed of woman to become a military wife and maintain a military marriage and family. I worry just as much about his soldiers as I do Jay and my own children.
My oldest daughter is 24 has 2 children and her husband is in the Army, and yes he's in Iraq too, I fear getting a call from her informing me something has happened to him. I have a son serving in Korea, that may be going to Iraq sometime next year. So I'm no stranger to any of this and I thank God that all of our family has been safe so far, but my heart still goes out the the young military wives.
I can not imagine how she feels right now and I won't pretend too. I will be here for her, as will her family and his family but the thought goes to the children and how this will effect them, the oldest loved to wrestle with his Dad, he was his hero. I have such a heavy heart and much sadness in it right now. I know that Jay is taking this very very hard, this was one of his "BOYS" as he calls them and they are just that! Each and everyone of his soldiers.
So please say a special prayer for this family and all of the other families who have lost loved ones. And for the wonderful soldiers who are fighting so vigialntly in this war to keep us safe and free. And Thank-You to all of the readers and Americans who stand behind and support these soldiers. Just reading your comments and knowning that you care and have concern bring the morale up 100%.

Thank-you all for reading the ramblings of a worried Army Wife!
Until the next Blog
God Bless and Stay Safe
Wife waiting at home.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

10 November 2004

To all of my husbands faithful readers of "News From Baghdad" He had a safe journey back to Iraq. Unfortunely his internet service is down at this time and he can not "Blog". Please keep checking back as I'm sure he will have lots to say when he can get back online. Thank you for all your support of Jay and his soldiers as well as all other soldiers who are fighting this War and their families. "God Bless You All."

Until Jay's next "Blog" Stay safe.

At home wife waiting for News From Bagdad. :-)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

4 November 2004

As I make final preparations for my return to Baghdad, I am sorrowful to leave my loved ones here, however, I am looking forward to returning to my "second family", my fellow soldiers. As we are beginning our downward turn towards re-deployment, I am looking forward to seeing this through and seeing all of us return safely home to our loved ones and friends. I have enjoyed my time with my family, but it is time to "get back to the trenches", and finish what we have started. Right, wrong or indifferent, we still have a duty to perform and a job to complete. Every day that we successfully complete is one day closer to home.

America is great and I have appreciated her more since I have left and been given a taste of what I had been missing. Small things...grass, clouds, rain, thunderstorms, hills, mountains, shopping centers, restaurants, and many other things were enjoyed more since they weren't taken for granted. I don't think that I will ever be able to look upon the Appalachian Mountain Range, the lakes of the midwest, or the plains of Texas ever again in the same light I did before I left. We cannot take such things for granted for they are absent in so many places. We are very fortunate with what we have.

Till next time, God bless America, and you the reader.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

2 November 2004

As my wife and I exercised our right to vote and make some small difference in our country today, I was amazed at the sight of so many people out at the poll today. Soldiers and civilians alike. I am glad that we live in a country that allows a form of government to be changed "of the people, by the people and for the people". So many countries today are deadlocked in dictatorship and tyranny. While those people do not have a voice in their future, we, as a free and democratic society are allowed to change things in which we disagree. There were local bill elections, statewide elections and the general presidential election held today, and we were allowed to vote in all. Whether my beliefs are instituted or those of others who may disagree with my political and social views are enacted, I will know that the PEOPLE of America made the change, not any ONE man. I believe and always will believe in God Bless America. Keep her free and strong. Allow her people to always live in freedom and choice, whether those choices are easy or hard. Our forefathers had the insight, intestinal fortitude and forethought to denounce a tyrannical king and to allow the establishment of a government that would allow the maximum ammount of freedoms for the common man, while maintaining civility and social order. While the "norms" have changed over the past 228 years, the ideal of a free society has not. It is my sincerest hope that we continue to exercise our legacy as a free American people, collectively in the choices which guide our country. This is what we as soldiers defend and will never let fall. America, rest easy tonight in the knowledge that whether the candidate of your choice was placed into office or not, that your freedom to choose was, is and will always be protected by those who are willing to do violence on your behalf to protect those freedoms. Till next time...

Monday, November 01, 2004

1 November 2004

In just a few short days I will be leaving back to my second family as I complete my leave time here in the United States. I will miss my family here, however, I do look forward to seeing my soldiers and my friends in my Company. The elections are tomorrow and I am glad that I will be home to participate. I know who I am voting for and I hope that every American takes their right and their privilege to exercise their right to vote for the people they think will make a difference in today's government.

I apologise for not having posted in some time, however, I have been enjoying my leave. God bless you all.

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