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.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

04 December 2004

Thus begins another posting, nearing the end of a very busy week. We have, on top of our patrols, been bringing in a few bad guys, which is good. Always good to get another one off the streets.

I have had a few e-mails from readers who show their support not only for me, but all the soldiers here. I can tell you that every bit of it means a great deal to me. There have been packages that have come in from Operation Gratitude and Operation Air Conditioner, that has made each and every one of us smile. We have soldiers in this platoon with friends and families back in the States who not only send things for their loved ones, but there have been several who have included the entire platoon as well. Each and every one of these selfless acts warms our hearts and gives us a little piece of home. Every piece of mail, every package, every card that I receive, whether it is from my family, my friends, or some anonymous stranger, lets me know that there are those who have not forgotten.

During this holiday season, remember those who are serving. I remember an article I read a few years back about this lady who was upset that the US Military was overpaid. A soldier’s answer was along these lines; “When you work all night, on weekends, spend birthdays and holidays away from your family, freeze in a damp foxhole, or melt in the middle of the desert, stay away from home for months on end, all to defend and support your country, then you can tell ME that the military is overpaid”. It is not only the soldiers who sacrifice; it is the families as well. There have been a couple of Thanksgivings and a couple of Christmases where I have either sat in a gaudily decorated dining facility in a foreign country, or sat down to one of the world famous and fine military entrees, i.e. the MRE, and thought to myself how good it would be to be home eating the meal that my wife was making. Then I come to the realization that that meal either is not made at all, or severely shortened due to the fact that I am not there. Christmas is lonely for my family when I am not home. Birthdays and anniversaries are not the same. Valentine’s Day seems to be just another day. Even just those special moments that are shared when I am at home are gone until my return. Families, wives, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers all sacrifice when their soldier is not with them. So don’t forget them either. While the soldier is on the front-line, the family keeps the home fires burning.

I had a reader ask me about day to day life and how to stay alive. He seems to be concerned for his son who is on his way over here. Day to day life seems to a certain extent to be non-existent. I say this for the simple fact that every time we leave this camp, anything can happen, and on more than one occasion, the totally unexpected has happened. I can say that everyone here should hope for the best, but prepare and expect the worst. Staying alive is something that only training and preparation, both physically and mentally can prepare you for. If a soldier has a care-less attitude, well, there is a good chance he will buy the proverbial farm. However, the soldier who makes himself a “hard” target will most likely have a good chance for survival. Listening to your leadership is key. Listen to the Sergeants and the officers who have been here, or have been in this situation before. Take everything they say to heart. Learn it, live it, love it. Don’t ever relax your guard. The majority of people hurt or killed here resulted from the most likely cause of doing something they weren’t supposed to do, or not doing something they were supposed to do. Adhere to the standards set forth by your chain of command. They are there for a reason and they will stand you in good stead.

I will close this long winded posting for now and thank each and every one of you for what you do. America truly is great because most of her people still care and stand for what is right. Continue to stand for the hard right, rather than the easy wrong. God bless each and every one of you. Till next time.


Blogger Dennis Collins said...

Thanks for your perspective. I check every day to see if you have posted. I look forward to your narrative. My son is also in Iraq with the Marines and I worry every waking minute. Thank you for what you are doing. I know you are making a sacrifice as others have in our history. You are what America is all about. May God bless you and keep his protective hand over you and your buddies.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Nationalist said...

Thanks for your updates and most of all I thank you for your service. My son is in the USAF but he is stateside. He is 23 and I worry about him going to Iraq. Then I think back to 1972 when I was shipped off to Vietnam and at that time I never thought what my parents would've thought. Now I find out years later after my dad passed away that he was on pins and needles until the day I came back. Anyway, there are more Americans who are unable or have little knowledge about blogs to communicate with the soldiers but I can assure you that the folks I work with not only in Phoenix but throughout the country support you and what you are doing over there.

7:36 PM  
Blogger JD said...

Jay, thank you for your service. The people here in NC support you and not only want you to be successful, but to return soon and safely. I grew up in the 60's and was an Infantryman and College student in the 70's and I remember what a lack of support was like. It is not like that now. I have been spreading the word about programs like and people are very receptive. My wife has become obsessed with stuffing flat rate boxes with stuff for the troops. Her dad was a Marine in WWII. At the moment we have boxes on the way to troops in the Stryker Bde and the Marines. Next up is a box for some guys in the Stan that want video games.

Trust me, I know you are not overpaid. No matter how much you are paid, it is not enough.

God Bless and come home soon. Stay safe.


7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to wish all of the troops that are away from their families a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I am a Desert Storm veteran and know what it means to be away from your loved ones. As an Army wife, I also know what it means to be at home without the one you love. It is very hard to get in to the holiday spirit knowing that the one you love is not physically able to spend it with you. I want each and every soldier to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you each and every day. Without you, we would not have the freedoms that we enjoy everyday. You are supported by a great many and we are proud of the work you all are doing. Keep up the good fight and Godspeed to you all!

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just tripped over your blog surfing around,and I'm glad I came across it.I cant say enough for the men and women that are over there taking care of business.I recently did a collection at my job to ship care packages to a co-worker that is there.I would like to encourage everybody out there to do the same.It dont take much and it means so much to the people that recieve them.God bless all of you.JerryB

4:27 AM  
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