OK

Hi, everyone. I haven't written in a while so I thought I would check in. I've had a few interesting experiences and I've also gotten to know several local nationals. I'm afraid I'm going to have to be vague due to OPSEC standards and rules concerning active duty and political activity.

I'm over here with 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne. We already lost a couple of soldiers, none of them I knew personally. But I still couldn't help but feel terrible for their families. How do you tell someone something like that? I'm an Infantryman who's been tasked out to duties that keep me inside the wire. Few infantry soldiers want to be away from the fight, and that week made me resent being away from the line even more. I've spoken with some of the powers that be, and "they're working on it." We'll see.

It has, however, given me the opportunity to interact with FOB workers who are Iraqi nationals. I've also gotten to know a number of the interpreters. Some of them are actualy US nationals that migrated from Iraq. It's kind of an odd feeling. We bombed the crap out of them, invaded their country and here we are laughing, telling jokes, playing games and hanging out like friends.

Another thing, they all risk their lives working for us... especially the interpreters. Whether it's out of necessity or ideology (or both), every single one puts themselves at risk. And it got me to thinking. Us troopers receive all kinds of care packages and letters from organizations. We receive so many that we're almost numb to it. But some of the Iraqi workers go crazy over free shit, even simple stuff like candy. Why aren't there organizations who send them letters of appreciation and care packages?

So that's the basic run down so far. Things are kind of boring for me. My life consists of work, the gym, a couple hours playing chess at MWR and then more work. I think what I'm missing most (besides well, you know) is freedom and variety. To be able to vary my day, go to the beach, that sort of thing.

By the way, certain buildings have the chain of command posted on the wall. It's nice to see Obama on top! :)

Cheers everyone.

UPDATE: And oh, yeah. I'm the FOB chess champion

Originally posted to USArmyParatrooper on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 04:31 AM PST.

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