From the front 
Saturday, November 29, 2008, 02:09 PM - frontFoo
From my nephew, serving in the Army in Iraq:

So I am a bit surprised by my first few weeks in Iraq. Sure, there are still those who think it's fun to shoot at the Americans, but it really is nothing like the news portrays. I am a combat medic, and being so, I am in a position to speak with the locals on a slightly more persona level than most other soldiers. My squad patrols through cities every day, both looking for dangers for the American troops, and looking for more ways to help the Iraqi people. I am happy to say that I have treated far more Iraqi citizens for illness and injury than American soldiers or airmen, and I have had to pick up my own rifle even less. That my not be a "nice" or "PC" thing to say, but it is how I feel. But I digress. While treating said locals, I get a chance to talk face to face with Iraqi families every day (Usually through an interpreter, as I don't speak much Arabic), and the general feeling I get from them is gratitude. It was explained to me best yesterday when one Hajji (Hajji being a respected elder who has made a pilgrimage to the holy land, not the derogatory slang term most Americans like to use) told me that "Yes, I am glad Sadam [sic] is gone, but that is not what is important. You Americans have helped my family by bringing us clean water and "healing" my brother. You have helped my community by making it cleaner and safer. These are the things that matter." Needless to say, I was nearly floored. The things that we do on a national level do not concern most people here. It is the individual effort that these people see, and for the most part, are grateful for. I check news websites from back home, and they make it look like the Iraqi's want us to leave, but when I ask them, they say they are happy we are here, an that we make them safe. It feels to me as if something is being lost (or intentionally twisted) in translation.

  |  [ 0 trackbacks ]   |  permalink