Thursday, August 04, 2005

From the Front

Here is a copy and paste of an email from my cousin in Iraq. He ask for prayer for specific people, but I did not copy that thinking maybe I should not include names. Just be in prayer him:

Family and Friend!

Just back from a few nights down at another company’s base. 30 minutes after I left their base got hit with mortars! HA! No one was hurt. I just called the army captain down there that I work with and he thought it was hilarious. I told him I was a peace grenade! While down there I went to an Iraqi army staff meeting and patrolled with an Iraqi patrol in a town closer to Baghdad. They did a great job. I saw so many beautiful children and they all run up to you asking for chocolates and of course they want your watch or your sunglasses. I could just have easily been in Yemen. Same filth, same trash piles and dilapidated vehicles and homes. Mangy dogs run around everywhere and kids are crawling around in trash. I saw one retarded child sitting in a court yard by himself just kind of rolling around on the ground…tragic. The locals complained of no water. One boy told me that he is the only male in his house and that he has no money or food. Of course I wanted to stop the patrol, call our logisitics shop and have them deliver 5000 MREs to the town, but that would only stop the bleeding. Anyway, what a great experience. The only bad thing was that I completed sweated through my cammies….my trousers would not have been wetter if I’d have jumped into the pool!

Life is good. I’m thankful to be out and about. One Iraqi soldier was injured today when I improvised explosive device (IED) hit their vehicle. He wasn’t hurt too badly. I went and visited him in the hospital. He was in good spirits. I think, much like in the US armed forces, getting injured is somewhat of a badge of honor…although sadly the Iraqi Army doesn’t have a purple heart medal. I hearty handshake and maybe double rations is all he’ll get.

All is well dear ones. The mail is awesome! My 1stSgt and clerks give me so much grief about all the mail I get. They said I’ve received more mail than anyone in the company so far! The church sent me 4 bundles of those Support our Troops postcards. I’m going to read one each time to my Marines before we go on a mission…just so they know we’re supported back home.

Please pray for the Marines I travel with. The convoy I go with is called the battalion’s Combat Trains. It truly is a mix of cooks, bakers and candle stick makers. The only infantry folks are me and two lance corporals. SSgt Dale, a motor-transport Marine is the convoy commander. He was here last summer and has a little bit of a “the way we did it last time” mentality which I’m violently opposed to, so we’ve done the man dance a few times….with all rounds going to Capt Lively. We’ll be good, just need to continue to refine our procedures.

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