Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Over There 

Excerpts from "My Experience in Baghdad 2004-2005," by "Bill," who served in C Company 759th MP Bn 89th MP Brigade. He believes the decision to depose Saddam was correct, but he opposes the continued occupation of Iraq:
I think about Iraq every day even though I've been home 6 months. And I still cannot figure out why I was there or why americans died over there. I'm all for war, but only "right" wars. I was decorated for valor and congratulated by Colonels, and it's all hollow because it is for nothing. That's why I'm against the war in Iraq . . . .

There was also this family of 3 girls that lived next to a police station, which their father happened to work at. All the guys in my unit would give them candy when they stopped by on their way home from school. We knew these kids for like 3 months. Then we left and about 2 weeks later a car bomb blew up their father when he was at a checkpoint. A mother and 3 girls dont have much to look forward to in Iraq when they are alone. That bothered me and the guys alot.

It just amazes me now that I'm home that for the most part (except families affected by the war), people don't even pay attention to it anymore. It's like we come home get a pat on the back and a smile and then poof, that's it. You're just supposed to get on with your life.

I just don't understand America anymore. People spending $100 on shoes, that's what the average Iraqi makes a month. People worrying about stupid stuff like their clothes or cars. They need to see a woman throw out a chamber pot into the street at 6am and then 2 hours later her kids are playing in it naked. Or for example the inordinate amount of birth defects I saw in Sadr City. I have never seen more physical deformities, not even on television in my entire life, than I saw in Iraq. There were people with chicken wing arms, people that were basically just a torso and a head. It amazed me . . . .

That's another thing that I think most americans dont understand, when you hear about a bombing or attack in Iraq on the news, there are about 20 other bombings or firefights that you don't hear about. I would call or email home about a carbombing or shooting to see if they heard anything about it on the news and until our 4 guys were killed the answer was always no. So it astounds me as to how little information really filters down to the american people. There is sometimes days that go by now that I'm home that I wont hear anything about Iraq, and I can promise you something happens every day. My camp was mortared so frequently during one week it was as if we were underseige, like 20 mortars a day for 5 days straight, and when your camp is only about 1square mile those booms sound awfullly close.

And you never hear about how many Iraqi civilians are killed just because they work for Americans and are trying to provide for their families. We had a restaurant on our FOB run by haji's that we used to go to whenever we were either sick of the chow hall food or if we came in too late to get dinner. One night a bunch of us went there to get dinner and we ordered french fries. The guy that took the order, who was also the owner said he didnt have any french fries, so we started ribbing him about how we could give some kid that lives under a bridge $2 to get us fries but yet here he is with a restaurant without a fairly basic item, so after about 2 minutes of busting this guy a little he gets red and says, " I will tell you why we have no fries, man that delivers fries was killed because he works with americans". When he said that it just floored us. We couldnt imagine some one who delivers french fries would be killed just because he delivers food to a guy that works for americans.

Whatever you do, don't take what you have here for granted.

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