August 25, 2007

Excertpts from "I Can Taste It"

Alex, among the first group of soldiers in Iraq to have their tours extended three months*, is nearing the end of his duty,
Going home is a beautiful, terrifying thought to have once it gets this close to happening.

I’ll look back on the hysterical laughter during fifteen hour Baghdad clears, the terror of being pinned down by machine gun fire, the sight of a Stryker on its side and the unfolding of a body bag under the flames of a nearby school, unzipped tenderly to fit the body of Chevy as RPGs screamed overhead. Soon this place will all be in the past.

The key to it all [the surge] would be 24/7 interaction with Iraqi Army and a constant presence among the Iraqi citizens, giving them confidence in the mission of coalition forces. The building we picked used to be a whiskey distillery, and we’ve been busy putting up concrete barriers and wire around it. A house was too close to where the wall was supposed to be, so engineers blew it to smithereens and sent the family packing. The father owned the plot for forty years and comes by every so often to collect the useful bricks left scattered a hundred yards in every direction. Before he entered once, I patted his seventy year old frame down like a common criminal.

Next month we’ll be the first unit home that completed a three month extension. We were one of few to see Iraq before and after the surge. If the media got anything right, it was that the surge failed.

* One way the Pentagon increased the number of US soldiers inside Iraq during the surge was to make some soldiers stay in Iraq longer.


Full Blog Entry on Army of Dude "I Can Taste It"

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