Friday, May 25, 2007

Week One

I have settled in here in Fallujah and have begun getting into a work routine, it took a few nights to get my sleeping patterns corrected from the east coast but I am on track now. I am not sure I will get used to the blazing hot temperatures that exceed 110+ now in May, I am sure June, July and August will be like living in an inferno. I have started talking with a lot of people here in Camp Fallujah and I am amazed at the upbeat and confident attitude of the Marines here. The positive outlook towards Iraq as a whole and the turn around that is happening in the Al Anbar province are a few of the topics I have discussed. I have spent a couple of days reading reports and reviewing data and contrasting how this area was a year ago and the significant changes that are taking place currently. The IP (Iraqi Police) and the IA (Iraqi Army) are growing monthly with new recruits something that was unheard of a year ago. This is a key to the Iraqi people eventually taking over from us. In my limited time here reading and talking to Marines there seems to be progress being made that I do not remember reading about in the Washington Post or seeing on CNN with regard to the Al Anbar Province. A different perspective when one is no kidding boots on the ground.

I have also begun doing interviews which is my primary focus here from a historical perspective. It feels good to begin working and doing what I was sent here for. I have also tried to take each day and remember it, what it is like to be here right now, observing the Marines and Soldiers around me, hearing the artillery, gunfire and helo's at night, the heat and smell. I had forgotten about the camaraderie and closeness that exists in Marine Corps units and how that is amplified more so while deployed and especially in combat. It brings back a lot of memories for me of Marines that I served with years ago and how tight we were and in some cases still are. The glue that binds those friendships was made many miles from our homes when we relied on each other to get through. America should be very proud of her young men and women out here doing a very difficult job under very demanding conditions. Take a moment this memorial day weekend and remember them far away from their homes and loved ones doing a job that few would do. The dedication of these Marines is inspiring for most working 14-18 hour days is common. Many of these same Marines risking their lives everyday to complete a very difficult mission. Keep them in your prayers.

Monday I am headed to the big air base of Al Asad to spent a week with the Air Wing and start collecting the aviation stories of this war. It will be good to go to the Wing as that is my back ground and I feel like the prodigal son returning. It will be good for me to stand on a flight line once again and hear the sound of Marine aircraft overhead.

Many thanks to those back home for offers of anything I need here, you would be surprised at all the care packages that are here, the overwhelming support of the good people of the United States is most appreciated here. These little acts of kindness show folks here they are not forgotten and people care about them.


Anonymous said...


just keep up the mission, we are all here for you.

Bag Blog said...

I have read lots of good things about the changes in the Al Anbar Provice mostly from other blogs and from my USMC cousin in Ramadi, but you are right, little is heard from the MSM. I posted this email from my cousin that you might find interesting.

Stay Safe.