Iraq tidbits if anyone is interested

I have had the opportunity to correspond over email with an old high school friend who is currently serving in . Since I am interested in the conditions over there, I have asked him lots of questions. I thought that others might also be interested in getting some info so I have posted the questions and answers here

His email
I am in Iraq now, in the suburbs of B-. Right now it is the rainy season so there is alot of water collecting everywhere and the mud is horrid. You end up being 5 inches taller when you finally make it to y our location and it takes 10 minutes to clean the stuff off

me
Sorry that you are over in Iraq. I didn’t know they had suburbs over there. From the news you get the impression that everyone is just living in horrible squalor and that once we bring stability to the region, their lives will be sooooo much better. I really don’t know what to think of all of it. I don’t really trust the news and I definately don’t trust what the president says. I can’t imagine it being boring though???

him
Other then when getting attacked Iraq is boring, there is not alot to do here. We are in a area called Taji. You can look it up on google earth. Iraq is a dirty country but its not the shit hole alot of people think it is. The northern parts of Iraq in Kurdishstan are nice and clean but the other parts are not so nice. Southern Iraq is horrid. The live in mud huts.

me
Do they let you guys watch the news over there? they did a special the other day about how they are trying to increase the number of facilies they have dedicated to Tramatic Brain Injury (apparently from bombs) and they are supposed to be increasing funds for veteran health care and are moving any veteran disability claims to the front of the line so that they can get their needs taken care of first. what kind of entertainment do they have for you guys over there you are not looking in mud huts for osama? I know alot of entertainers supposedly go over there and put on shows for you all. Have you seen anybody interesting?

him
I can not speculate on the health benefits because I have not had a reason to try yet. We have MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recriation) areas were they have everything from movies to gyms as well as internet and libraries for the Soldiers to use. Normally I go work out, watch a movie or read a book at night. I do not get the greatest amount of free time but I still have enough time to do some things. Working 7 days a week 12 hours a day does not afford alot of time for fun stuff. The first time I came over I saw Robin Williams, John Elway, Leanne Tweeden and had a chance to see Toby Kieth and the band Adema. This time so far I saw one of the comedians from In Living ( name escapes me but I remember seeing him on the show).

questions and responses

do you guys form good friendships,

Well like a there are some you like and others you can not stand. While I am frieldly with some of the people here I would only call a small few actual friends. I would guess the number around 5 or so and maybe another 5 that I could form a friendship with. When I say friends I mean like our old click in High School.

>>> is it mostly guys or are there some women over there too?

We have some female Soldiers over here with us, not as many as last time though. This FOB (Foward Operating Base) has a large number of female Soldiers on it from what I have observed.

>>>when you get to come back home do you get back together and hang out,

Some of us hang out, as I said above here are about 5 or so that I call friends and we hang out and go drink together or just go out and have fun or they come over to the and have dinner (bringing their families if they have one).

>>>when you ship back to Iraq do you usually get to go out with pretty much the same
> group or do you have to get to know all new people?

We always get new people before we deploy but I can”t really talk number here, OPSEC (Operational Security) risk.

Do any of the Iraqs know english? do you speak to them at all? Are you part of the group that is supposed to be training the Iraq police to take over?

I know a little arabic and they know a little english so we can normally comuniate one way or another. Can’t answer the question about our mission here, once again OPSEC.

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