Alex describes living conditions that have regressed as his tour has evolved.
A good deal of those around me are in their second tour, which was from
2003-2004. They deployed eight months after the beginning of the war. I hear it
often: their living conditions improved as time went on. From tents they moved
into squad rooms, and finally two man shipping containers with AC. In 2007, we
have de-evolved. From containers in Mosul we moved into a bay that housed the
platoon in Baghdad. NCOs shared rooms with each other in a separate area. Now in
Baqubah, the whole platoon shares one tent.
It may seem to be a little thing to worry about, but you try and live for 15 months in a GP Medium!
The "Surge" evidently is creating problems elsewhere as well.
I didn’t recognize the two dead. Instead I recognized the body bag being
unfolded next to the corkscrewed Stryker that lay on its side. I recognized the
school ablaze next to it with dead and dying kids. I recognized that we were so
strained by the fight that we had no time to mourn the fallen. It came back to
routine. Everywhere we were beforehand, there was a rotation in place so you
could rest at some point. Two companies holding a city does not allow that. This
is how serious the situation is: Al Qaeda moved their headquarters to this city,
to this province. It’s their Alamo. In response, not even a whole battalion was
sent to put out the fire. Out of twelve dead in the deployment, ten have been
killed in Baqubah since March 14. We can never match the days in with the days
out. We just returned from eight days in the city, battling the heat, bugs and
insurgents. If we are lucky, we will finish out three days back in the rear, to
rest and recuperate. Soon, the shortsightedness of sending two companies here
will be corrected by the arrival of reinforcements.
Hundreds of thousands of troops, and we've got two infantry companies attempting to hold an entire city?
So, on the heels of yesterday's Daily Kos and deadissue story and the ensuing debate with Matt Sanchez, AoD provides us with another story consistent with other non-mainstream sources reporting from Iraq.
I end this post with what can best be described as the frustrations of an enlisted man who struggles with why we are still in Iraq, it's a sentiment that is more common than not, regardless of what the pundits tell us.
I’m just a lowly enlisted dude, so I don’t have the privilege of reading reports from generals and colonels saying how we’re sticking it to the enemy, or of how many schools we’ve built in the last year, or anything of the sort. But from what I can see, the only progress that is absolute it the progression of time, moving like a glacier to that day when we fulfill our obligation and make our way back home.
Nice work Alex! Stay safe...