Monday, July 11, 2005

Shomali

I went with my battalion commander to a local villiage the other day along and had lunch with the police chief and mayor. The experience was rather interesting. The fare was the same as every other local meal I've had here; chicken on a bed of rice, freshly made flat bread, a tomato broth with egg plant, and some freshly cut vegatables. The food is actually pretty good and is nothing incredibly out of the ordinary. I was told the chicken had seen the sunrise that morning. Obviously it was their last.

As I have stated before, there is still very much a welfare mentality here. The discussion largely revolved around "we need this or that" and "how can you help us with this or that situation." After 30 years of Saddam's regime a majority of the people do not know how to take initiative to solve their own problems. This is why it is so crucial that we continually hand more and more responsibility to the Iraqi people so they can learn to look to themselves to develop solutions. I believe it will take an entire generation before there is real change in the general population. I fear most of the current adult generation are too set in their ways. However I have hope that the younger generation, with the proper influences, will grow to be more independent and productive.

Here are a few photos I took that day. The villiage has a population of approximately 30,000 people, is largely agricultural, and as you can see is in pretty poor condition. If you took down the Arabic and replaced it with Spanish you would feel like you were in a Mexican border town.















This is one of me standing on top of the police station making a good sniper target.
















And here is the commander's personal securty team pulling security while we were inside.
















Just another day in paradise.

j

11 Comments:

Blogger plfr said...

What a crazy place to be I can't imagine it but having your first hand account is closer to understanding being a soldier then I'll ever get watching the news.So thank you and God-Bless for sharing and doing a job most of us our to afraid to do.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Hey,

I hope, after the comment about the chicken seeing his last sunrise, that you said, AH..yes, but it was
a Glorious Sunrise!

So...for the Chicken, It was a Glorious Day to Die.

What is that ol' saying?
Give a man a fish and he
will only eat for a day,
teach him to fish and he will....sell them to you,
for too much money?

Whatever..

Continue the Mission

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes John,,,,,

But At least it is not like down in TJ,,,no one is stealing electricity off the power pole, just over Your shoulder. Good to see Some pics....


Fresher THAN KFC,,,,where is the drive thru?fresh tender BBQ chicken,,,,oh man LINE me UP,,,,,,,,,,,DEMMMS GOOD EATTEN,,,how are the chips ?

Jason,

ps,,,on a serious note, my friends HAVE the lords Blessing,,,,one was a little late and kept the group from getting on a bus in down town London,,,they made it home a little while ago......

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you trying to get shot, with that bald white head a sniper could see you from miles away

jus

4:48 AM  
Anonymous Shelly and Jessic said...

Hey John! Not only do the pictures resemble Mexico, but also Jamaica!

I hope you're doing well. The family is eagerly awaiting your arrival. :)

Thanks for the blogs and interesting pictures.

Stay safe!

Love,
Shelly

6:00 AM  
Blogger Chevy Rose said...

I just found you today and I'm adding you to my list of daily reads. It's been pretty hot here in Houston area, no rain since June 4, but we're getting lots since Dennis blew by.
Take care and God bless you for your service to our country.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long sigh of relief. I've been checking for a new post every day. Your last one had left me a little uneasy. Glad to hear that you were just out socializing.

Suellen

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must have a really nice commander who takes you to lunch with him. Perhaps if you order more supplies that are desperately needed by your unit, you can get him to take you to other meetings.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Thanks for sharing the pics. It is interesting to see what some of the smaller villages look like. My husband just returned from Iraq (as a private security contractor). You and your men have my prayers of safety and support, as well. God bless! ;-)

3:04 PM  
Blogger Lexie said...

Give a man a chicken....

Keep up the good work on all fronts.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey dad well it looks like you're comming home to a wedding(if you havent heard already)! uncle justus proposed and joan called us with the good news, but we were mostly shocked that he actually did it in public. anyway im counting down the days until we get to see u again and go on our awesome family trip!!! well see u in a few weeks! love ya!

jenn :)

8:03 PM  

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