Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Captain Tom Returns From Iraq
Some of you who have been visiting my blog for awhile know I have a friend in the Army who is over in Iraq. (Here's his last letter). Well today he sent me some good news! He's coming home! Here's his letter!
Family and Friends,
We ended combat operations about two weeks ago. Two more weeks of cleaning and packing and we should be out of here before the end of the month. I want to say Thanks to all of you for the prayers, cards and packages over the past 14 months.
It is hard to say whether or not Iraq is a better place than it was when we arrived last March. Violence against Coalition Forces is down significantly over the past year but the country as a whole remains a very violent place. It is hard to make generalizations about the whole country because it is so different from one province to the other. However, from what I have seen working in three provinces, the enemy most closely resembles Tony Soprano. The insurgency resembles what is basically organized crime with little ideological underpinning at only the highest levels. Corruption permeates every aspect of Iraqi society and is just the cost of doing business. Most of the Iraqi's that we fight and detain are more motivated by bling than by jihad.
After a rough summer I am happy to say that we have only lost one soldier from October to now. We have been partly lucky but have also gained the benefit or working in predominately Sunni areas that have become much more stable since September.
During my time I witnessed daily amazement and frustration at the Army’s ability/inability to accomplish tasks. We are able to tackle large problems but are continually hindered by small problems. There is truly a ridiculous amount of money being spent on this war. The number of civilian contractors, it’s about a 1:1 ratio, would surprise most people. Seeing all the money that is spent is truly mind-bottling.
I've attached a picture of the fighting staff officers of 4-9 on our most coveted possession a reclaimed 82' Chevy, as well as a great photo of our last medevac.
I should be back in Washington in June and will be in Colorado for a couple weeks in July. Looking forward to seeing you all again on American soil,