I have found that there is no word in Arabic that translates “bush”, as in the vegetation kind. It’s either a tall tree or a small tree. Of course my Iraqi Counterparts would be in disbelief if they saw some of the tree’s back home. In the Iraqi Chow Hall there are posters of various places around the world, all green and lush, none of the desert. In the movie Lawrence of Arabia, Prince Fiesal tells Lawrence that Arabs love trees and water, not the desert. I have a few pictures of back home, I may print one off for them. They sometimes ask me where I’m from…”Florida…LA…Washington?” They don’t know I have a Southern Accent. The other day we explained some Southern English to the Translators, they seemed to get a kick out of it.
Translators. I don’t know what we would do without them. They live a dangerous life…if it’s found that they work for the Americans they will be killed. Some won’t give you their real name, only a western nick name. Our Interpreters have a pretty good set up. It’s safer than going on patrols. They live on site and even have a day room with satellite TV.
The other night I saw a MEDAVAC Blackhawk go out being escorted by two Apaches. You don’t like to think of what someone is going through. Sometimes the phones are blacked out. That’s not good; it usually means someone was killed. No one yet has complained about a phone being blacked out. I don’t think anyone ever will. Someone’s going to get a knock on the door. Dealing without being able to call home for a few hours is not a problem.
Whenever you watch the news and you see that an American/Coalition Soldier has been killed, know that many more Iraqi’s are being killed. You only see and hear the dramatic stories, not the assassinations, or the bomb that wasn’t as big as the other one. This war is often paralleled with Vietnam, and in some cases eerily so. But, those who focus on deaths are wrong. Far more were killed in the same amount of time in Vietnam that we have been in Iraq. The Vietcong and NVA were good…Damn good. I wouldn’t credit our advanced force protection alone. Simply, this is not as intense as Vietnam. In Vietnam we concentrated on body counts. What kind of Government does it have now? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
To make a long story short I lost the 19D from my Escort Team. I had a young E-5 shooting for a Commission, but, he has to resubmit his packet. It didn’t look like I was going to have him, so I didn’t even mention him in my post about it. So, I had three guy’s, not including myself. It looked like I would be stretched thin…The Lord heard my prayers. I picked up two extra NCO’s to go on the team. One is from Puerto Rico and knew some of the places I had been. He told me Salinas, the little town outside of Camp Santiago had not changed much, but was “better”* since I was there.(You hear that Twister?) I would really like to see what it’s like now. The other is from Trinidad. Yeah, he’s got the cool accent and I really enjoy the guy.
I’ve had people ask me about Wildlife here. I’ve seen some birds by beautiful Lake Taji. I’ve also caught glimpses of the Phantom Dog. It’s not quite the size of a Feist. I ‘ve only seen it from the torso back. All way’s crossing a road. I’ve also seen other wild Dog’s. Hopefully one day soon I will be able to stop at beautiful Lake Taji and get a few pictures of the birds.
I get a kick out of this…My Mother sent me some news paper clippings from home. Someone broke into a convenience store and stole some things. He’s on $10,000.00 Bond. You know what he stole? Four packs of cigarettes and a lighter.
*I failed to ask how it was better…You ought to go find out, Twister!
I’ll have another post in a few day’s, so tuned for more Appalachian Patria!
Labels: Iraq, Military, War