The Story of an American Soldier in Iraq

Life as a soldier in Baghdad, Iraq is definitely interesting and full of life changing experiences, like... being shot at and blown up! Yee haw, what fun eh?

Actually, it has its ups and downs, and as a journalist in the US Army (assigned to CJTF-7 Public Affairs) I've had the chance to see many things that others have only heard of through the news themselves - I hope you'll enjoy them too, through my eyes. ; )

Friday, January 30, 2004

I feel a real mix of feelings today - both happiness and a little sadness - as I prepare to head home and leave Iraq behind. I'm happy to be leaving this war torn area and heading back to an American base where I can walk the streets without fearing for my life, but I'm sad because I have made so many very close life-long friends while I've been here.
During my stay in Baghdad I have met an amazing array of American soldiers, Nepalese Gurkhas, Aussies, Brits and contract workers from accross the globe. I think that in one year here, I've met more high-quality people than in all my previous 23 years!
Every day when I head to chow, the smiling faces of over a dozen hard working Indian and Pakistani contractors greet me and these men who slave so hard to feed my belly have also fed my soul with their jokes, laughter and friendship.
WhenI visit the Al Rasheed or the CPA Palace, and during the month I spent pulling guard there, I get to chat with the highly skilled Gurkha soldiers of Nepal. I'd never thought of going to Nepal before, but after meeting such a fine section of their population - extremely polite and honorable men - it is at the top of my list for future travels. I was even lucky enough to learn the traditional game "back-chaul" from a good gurkha friend that I teasingly called "Jackie Chan II" for his simularity to the star.
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