Happy New Year to everyone. Time is a commodity which as of late is not plentiful. Christmas came and went, with nothing of consequence. The day was rather depressing, all things said. Normal patrol schedule, dinner alone, listening to the band in the Dining Facility play Christmas songs—nice touch, if I do say so. Since that day there have been many things happen here in theatre, an in our small piece of the country. Shootings, snipings, bombings, rockets and all of this being one heck of a way to ring in the New Year. Due to operational security requirements, I cannot go into many major details, however, suffice it to say that this year promises to be eventful, in the least. The closer it gets to the elections, the more heated the environment becomes. As most of you have already probably read in and heard on the news Al Q'aida is in league, cooperating with, and allied to the Al Sunna (I think that is right), terrorist group. Their main goals being the undermining and blockading of the elections, polling sites and the assassination or threatening of political figures; targeting of any of the local populace seen as cooperating with either the coalition or Iraqi security forces; and all of this wrapped up in a big blanket of terror in that these groups have no regard for anyone in the achievement of their goals. They care not for a free, independent and autonomous country. They care only for their one-sided, narrow-minded ideals of a militant and oppressed country aimed only at the desecration of peace and democracy. Freedom is alien to these criminals and until every last one of them is dealt with as harshly as they seem to deal with their own countrymen, freedom will continue to elude these beleaguered people. It is often times frustrating for the fact of the seeming impotence among some of the people, as I have spoken of before, to step up, take action and take a stand for what is right and for what they believe in. Until the day comes when the common man makes a stand against evil in this place, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will be a pipe dream to many. I long for the day when the average Iraqi citizen tires of the violence and begin to speak out against that which is wrong.
As some of you already know, through personal e-mails and through family contact, my men and I have had a couple of close calls this past few weeks. My men fought through in fine fashion as not only attests to their character as soldiers, but also as men and brothers, and we are all fine and well. They are willing to take the fight to the enemy and never look back. Onward into the fray right into the teeth of the lion is the way these men operate and I could not be more pleased with them. Be proud of your sons, America. Your security is safe with them.
God bless each and every one of you in the coming year and know that we are on the front lines ensuring the safety and security for generations to follow. I fight because it is right. I am not ashamed of what I have been called upon to do. I will stay this course for as long as it takes to ensure that what happened on that terrible day in 2001, never, ever happens again. Good, night and again, God bless each and every one of you in your endeavors in the coming year. Till next time.