Saturday, August 26, 2006



T.F. Boggs
Monday, May 08, 2006

The past week I have been surrounded by 18-50 year
old Sunni Iraqis and have lived to tell about it.
In this racially profiling type of world that we
live in these men are terrorists hell bent on the
destruction of the Western world, but in my new
world I have a different view of these guys. Who
are these Iraqis you may be asking? My new best

Part of my day is spent controlling the flow
of traffic in and out of the base and the rest
of it is spent hanging out with the Iraqi
soldiers learning Arabic, drinking tea, and
smoking hookahs. I joke around with the IA
(Iraqi Army) saying that we should call it
school instead of work since we spend the
majority of our day learning from each other.

I have met numerous local civilians in my area
who are more concerned with getting rid of the
terrorists in their neighborhoods then they are
with their own safety. Each time they give us
information to the whereabouts and activities
of terrorists in our area they risk not only
their lives but also the lives of their family.
I work in an area where the IA are locally born
and raised and the civilians do what they can
to help the Americans root out the bad guys,
and all of this in a Sunni town.

I know a lot of people would caution me not to
put my complete trust in my new friends, but I
would say that they would have to come to Iraq
and see these guys for themselves. I have only
been around the soldiers for a week and already
I have wrestled with them in a guard shack, been
beaten in an arm wrestling contest, shared food
off the same plate, and smoked out of the same
pipe with them. I joke around with them in Arabic
and call them my brothers and they always reply
in English with a resounding “Yes, very good.”

They are just as eager to bring me anything that
I might need as I am to do the same for them. One
soldier even invited me to dinner with his family
and I look forward to going as soon as I am able
to. They have the same gripes and complaints that
American soldiers do: they are underpaid, under-
appreciated, and definitely know how to do things
better then their commanders do. They complain
about their food, clothes, and rules they have
to follow. All soldiers are the same apparently.

Overall I enjoy spending my time learning about
the Iraqi soldiers’ culture and lives. I enjoy
their acceptance of my soldiers and I and am
thankful that I am able to see them with my own
eyes as people with cares and needs. They aren’t
crazed terrorists like the media would have you
believe. They want to make the most of the
opportunity that they have right now. They realize
that now is the time for them to decide their own
fate and they are acting accordingly by showing
bravery and courage in the face of certain danger.

They are our allies and although they don’t agree
with us on everything they do agree with us on one
key point; freedom is the best answer and if Iraq
is ever going to be truly free then they have to
get rid of the terrorists in their towns and make
a stand while they still can. Their future is in
their own hands and from what I have seen so far
I would say that their future looks bright.

T. F. Boggs


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