Sunday, December 9, 2007

Well, after three or so weeks I'm finally posting an update. I hope no one was too worried about me. I have excuses out the whazoo for why I haven't written. Let me get them out of the way - first, I've been sick. Yes, I know that's a lame one, after all I should have had more time to write. I was sleeping most of the time when I was in my room so I wasn't doing any writing. I was also gone again. Out seeing the wonderful sights of Iraq - plus did I mention I was sick? See, now I'm looking for sympathy. Sick and traveling at the same time was really no fun. My final excuse is bad Internet connectivity. We've had a great deal of trouble with our Internet connection and it's been down a lot lately. OK - now I have all my excuses out of the way and I'll get down to the business of updating you on what's happening.

Things have been very quiet lately. With the exception of some small arms fire a few times there hasn't been much activity - let's hope it stays that way. I'm sure you've all seen the news on how the violence has decreased around Iraq. It's true - things are getting better. Here comes the personal opinion part - now is the time for the Iraqi people to seize this moment and actually rebuild their country. Other agencies outside of DoD need to step in and do some Nation building (hello? anyone from the State Department out there?) The military is great at lots of things but I don't think it's in our arena to rebuild Iraq from the ground up. Things are lined up to go in the right direction thanks to the tireless efforts of a small group of American men and women. If this initiative isn't capitalized on things can just as easily slip back into total chaos. It would be a sad day if that were to happen.

Enough of my opinion for now. I spent a little time in a real garden spot last week. Easily the dustiest place I've ever been in my life. Here are a couple pictures to show you how bare and desolate that place was.

I traveled by CH-46 again, my new least favorite way to fly. These things are the slowest, noisiest, most hydraulic fluid leaking things imaginable. On the positive side we didn't crash or get shot down. There's something to be said for that.
As my closing thoughts for today, I'd like to reflect on something. I've been here for about 10 weeks now. This is probably the time that seems the most bleak. The newness of being here has completely worn off and time has slowed down. Looking to the future I see over 9 months ahead of me. It seems like forever. Nothing seems close and everything seems slightly out of reach. The holidays take their toll also. I miss my family. I have the best wife and greatest kids a person could ever ask for and there are many times I kick myself for asking to be sent away from them. I have comfort in the thousands around me who are in the same situation, but it's a sad and lonely comfort for all of us. I hope Americans give more than a passing thought to the people who have volunteered to fight their battles and endure the hardships (and make the ultimate sacrifice) they do so the rest don't have to. Next time you talk to someone not associated with the military either directly or through a friend or loved one, ask them if they appreciate what people do for them.
That's it for today,

1 comment:

ktvice said...

Keep the faith Andy. This must be the most difficult time of year to be away from Mel and the kids. We are all thinking of you!!!