YES, IT IS A WAR
Saturday, not that you would know it if you didn’t look at a calendar. About 20 days into this trip with less than 40 days to go, hopefully. If I had even considered complaining about this, that thought was replaced this morning as I waited for my bus. I talked to two young Soldiers, they were filthy, tired and hungry. They were on a layover here, carrying only what they wore on their backs. They were running convoy support (one of the more dangerous jobs here in Iraq) and the load they came here to pick up won’t be ready for two days. So they have a chance to experience the lavish luxury of LSA Anaconda. And they were happy, nearly giddy. We have a stocked PX, we have hot and cold running water, we have excellent hot meals, we have bus routes and we have a movie theatre … and a pool. And they were happy to be here. I said it again because I wanted it to sink in, to you … and to me.
Of course this is still Iraq and the neighbors aren’t exactly thrilled to have us here. But, as my mother always reminds me:
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11
So I make my best effort to be positive, do my job, try to keep everyone content and moving in the right direction. And take everyone home safe and sound when our part of this mission is done.
They have a saying here, “Don’t count the days, make the days count!” I think that that could apply to anyone, anywhere, but it is especially pertinent here.
So, when you say your prayers tonight remember me, and the 150,000 other people here that are exactly like me, doing what they signed up to do, and not – for the most part – complaining about it. And do your best to do the same.
I meet a lot of different people here, especially during the time I spend volunteering at the hospital. And I catch 20 minutes of CNN news everyday when I eat my evening meal. And the two pictures could not be any different.
Yes, this is a war, and yes, it is ugly.
But the people of Iraq continue to show up to apply to be members of the police and the army. And the terrorists continue to blow themselves, and the Iraqi citizens up at these posts. And the Iraqi people continue to come, I think that speaks volumes towards what is really going on here.
So, like I always say, “I won’t try to change your mind, if you don’t try to change mine.” But the continued bombardment of negative news at home can get through to you. I know for sure because they almost got me. But I am here for the third time and I’ve never been more sure, that however bad this is, I am in the right place, doing the right thing and trying – for the most part – therewith to be content.
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