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Do You Want To Know What Happens First Hand In Iraq!!

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posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 11:02 PM
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I just recently returned home from Iraq on Dec 15 2005 after serving 14 months there.

I have heard many and responded to various things that are happening in Iraq. I want to share with you a brief account of what it's like over there firsthand.

Most of the time life over there is pretty mundane and monotonous. Other times it is pretty hairy when mortars and rockets are incoming. There was one time when we were at a FOB (Forward Operating Base) near us and had 14 incoming mortars within 5 minutes time. Let me tell you that was pretty hairy and nerve racking.

My job over there was to conduct combat patrols as a combat engineer.
We had various duties including escorting Iraqi dignitaries where they needed to go.

We also patrolled the roads looking for IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) as well as Vibe’s (Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Devices). When we found these explosives we had to sit on them and wait for EOD (Explosive Ordinance Division) to arrive on-scene and take care of the problem. This I didn't understand because as a Combat Engineer we are also trained to handle explosives and could have well blown up the IED from the start instead of sitting on it for 2-3 hours waiting for EOD to show up.

There was one day on July 3rd 2005 when we had a pretty scary time. We were traveling to another FOB taking officers down there to take pictures of CHUs (Combat Housing Units) in order to expand on the FOB.

The day started out normally on our trip that took us 2 hrs away from home at the time. When we entered the town outside this FOB people were everywhere and the town was bustling. I was the lead vehicle gunner in our convoy and going through the town the people were giving us this look that said "what the hell are you doing here".

We made our way to the FOB and waited around for 2 hrs for the pictures to be taken and prepared to take off and head back home to our FOB. From the start things were screwed up because we had no radio communications with the FOB we were leaving. I being the COMMO person in the convoy got the frequencies from the personnel at the gate and inputting them into the radios and getting contact said everything is good to go.

We rolled out of the base and started our trek home. We journeyed down the road and started to enter town. This is when things started to get suspicious and worry all of us. Heading back into town I noticed that it was deserted except for a few women running off the street about 1/2 mile up ahead of us. Not long after I thought how eerie this felt did LT come over the radio and say, "what time is prayer time?". We made a left turn being the lead vehicle in a 4 vehicle convoy of armored HMMVs. About 30 meters up the road I heard an explosion and quickly heard the driver of the rear vehicle yelling over the radio, "We were hit". I turned around and saw his vehicle coming around the corner on 2 wheels.

At this point our commander I guess you could say froze up and my driver who is young and only been out of boot camp 3 months before heading over to Iraq started freaking out. I quickly told him to go around the traffic circle we had just come into. About half way around "Kenny's" vehicles rear wheels had locked up due to the explosion that had just rocked it. We came up behind it and pushed it out of the kill zone at about 5-10 mph. By making the complete circle we had left another vehicle in the lead and they missed the turn we should have taken.

Down the road about 3-4 miles we came upon a pontoon bridge that had been blocked off by our Army and as you see hit a dead-end. At this point we decided to secure a perimeter, being we only had to defend 3 sides, to make an assessment on the damaged vehicle. About 5 minutes later I observed 2 men moving around to our left flank and yelled to them and for the LT. They didn't heed my warnings and subsequently pulled AK's from their sides and I had to defend myself and opened up with the .50 cal machine gun.

Little did we know that during this time insurgents were maneuvering around and surrounding us. A few minutes later all hell broke loose and we were taking small arms fire as well as RPG's. The next 45 minutes or so went by so abruptly and unknowingly that I had gone through 1100 rounds of ammo on my .50 cal (I started out with 1200).

Finally LT had made the call to leave the vehicle and pull any sensitive items from it. The transfer of items only took 5 minutes but it seemed like an eternity.

We pulled out of the area and proceeded down the road with 3 vehicles. About 2 miles down the road we came upon a group of people on the right side of the road. The people were all crouched down with 3 kids and 5 women in front of the one man that was holding a RPG. In the split second of events with the RPG being aimed at us I opened fire on the group with my main gun and were by them. Suddenly I heard and explosion and the commander of the rear vehicle yelling his gunner was hit but they were mobile so we pressed on.

Continuing down the road we came upon some Bradley fighting vehicles with infantry inside. I told my driver to pull in between them so we could call for Medivac as we had no radio contact at this point.

We finally made our way back to the base we left and had taken the pictures at and got our friend to a waiting chopper.

At this point did I sit back and think about what had happened and realized we almost died with 13 of us surrounded and only 1 being injured. It was only later during our debriefing did we learn that we had just came up against Sadaam's elite special forces. We were also told by the officers there that they have no idea how we are still sitting there walking and talking to them knowing what we had come up against.

Do you remember back to when I said we missed a right turn well this is when we found out what could have happened. About 50 meters around the turn we should have made the insurgents had an ambush set up with about 30-40 waiting to hit us. They had RPGs, IEDs, and rifles waiting for us. The tanks and Bradleys that were coming to our aid got caught up with them and had a pretty intense fight to get to us. We can't say but we think that if we had made that turn well I wouldn't be here telling you this because we would all be dead.

This is just one of many stories I can tell you about but the one that sticks out in my mind. I loved being over there and seeing the looks on the kids eyes when we rolled into town.

They always came up to us talked and could speak decent English I might add. They were what made our whole reason for being there just seem right.




posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 12:47 AM
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Welcome back, I'm glad you got home safely.



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 01:11 AM
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Glad to hear you made it back home safe.

Also thanks for sharing your story with all of us
Its always interesting to hear stories about life over there.



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 07:11 AM
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Thank you for your service IncognitoGhostman.

My son was in Fallujah in 04-05, Scout, USMC.

I'm glad you are back safe.

Roper

[edit on 15-2-2006 by Roper]



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 07:16 AM
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This is just one of many stories I can tell you about but the one that sticks out in my mind. I loved being over there and seeing the looks on the kids eyes when we rolled into town.

They always came up to us talked and could speak decent English I might add. They were what made our whole reason for being there just seem right.


What? I thought all the US soldiers were just shooting any kids they found? You mean to tell me that you cared for the Iraqi children? But that can’t be!! There are so many people on these boards who state otherwise all day long, and they watch the news, so they know the truth... They even post “facts” from other websites. Yes, I know you were there for over a year actually interacting with Iraqi’s, but the people on these boards must know better because they have the internet…





Welcome back, glad you are safe.



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 09:30 PM
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First I would like to say I am glad to be home specially since I met the love of my life over there in the midst of a war.

It is strange how we met because I moved to NC 2 years before I was deployed having left the Rochester, NY area. Getting mobilized with an engineer unit out of Mississippi and heading over to Iraq I met a girl that was in the Engineer Brigade from Buffalo. Needless to say I moved to Buffalo and we are living together and have never been happier in my life.

Roper I applaud your son and thiank him for his service and patriotism. I know his life over there is tough and I will put him in my prayers for a safe return home.

Yes there are times when you are confronted with an unfortunate situation that is beyond your control and the only thing for you to do is react. One in particular is when I said the woman and children were in front of the man with an RPG, well I reacted and think about it every second now as to whether I should have or not. There was another time about a month later we were going through the same town and got caught up in traffic. My whole tour over there I was the lead vehicle gunner. I saw a little girl only about 6-7 yrs old walking up to the right side of the HMMV and noticed a grenade in her hand. Instantly I grabbed my 9mm pistol from my side and pointed it at her. This is when I noticed the pin was still in the grenade and the little girl looked at me in terror and sorrow. I didn't squeeze the trigger and she let the grenade drop to the ground and turned and ran.

Yes I am sure that there are some people that would have just reacted without assessing the situation but this time I am glad I looked at everything and didn't react.

The thing is that over there you never know what is going to happen. The soldiers are there because the government tells us to and we do our as best as we can. We believe in what we are doing over there and are accomplishing a lot.

The biggest thing for us is to have the support of the people back in the states regardless if you believe we should be there or not. We just want and need your support it means everything to us.



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 10:21 PM
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welcome back, and i was just wondering, have they used kids to stop transports or covoys to create an ambush, and also do hey really give orders to run them over if necessary?and do you have to go back to iraq in the future at all?

im sorry if that question bothers you in any way.

and once again welcome back and God Bless you all



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 10:37 PM
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Welcome back! I went with the 51st SIG BN, out of Ft. Bragg, at the beginning of the invasion and occupation. I was in the Army for six years, and was always jealous of the cats with combat patches on their BDUs! I finally go to Iraq, get one, but now everyone has one, so it's not special anymore! Oh the irony!
Glad you made it back, and in one piece!



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 11:06 PM
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Incog, what was the most outrageous thing you ever saw those insurgent cowards do? Any other examples on how they used women and children as shields?



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 11:11 PM
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Excellent man, glad to have you home....and glad you could openly share your stories with us. I was Airborne Infantry and got out 10 months ago, but I didn't get to go to Iraq. I am surprised that you can speak so easily about it, some of my buddies aren't so open about it.

Keep those stories commin, I like reading about what I missed over there, and I'm still pissed about not getting to go.



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 11:29 PM
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This is my only responce here because I know what will happen long term and care not to watch flaming happen:
Its amazing how the Govt. has at least 1 guy on EACH forum I can find of concequence (I have found 3 so far that are "decent" by modest standards) and they ALL have the "american GI" on it saying how great the war is and how great it is in one form of another and how much they love it and other screwed up stuff.
I know at 2 schools in my area (for a FACT) they govt. had 2 "ex-Iraq" soldiers go in and give promo speeches and say the same stuff he just said up there but with a different story twist to it. One was a native american who is a sniper and was talking about going into Fallujha and the usual spchiel about how they won and so on and how great it was and how much he loved it. The same thing happened at the other school 1 room at a time (the other was at the high school and he held about 3 presentations I think). I got to hear 1 because I was working in the library at the time and was bored and decided to listen to his load of bull that he spouted. Oh he even had pictures to so he had a +1 against the guy talking on here in a sick way.
I remember a few months back some media outlets talking about the govt. telling soldiers to "support the war" by talking to people and I think this is EXACTLY that, just another duped soldier following orders who thinks he is doing it for the betterment of all. I have 0 symathy for US soldiers and I myself have several family members in the military and if 1 of them sets foot in Iraq or supports it I denounce them immediatly. I will NOT talk kindly to people who talk like him when we have enough pictures to have the president shot on sight if only the courts would listen (just keep cruising the internet if you want them or ask other ATS people to refer you to the posts and such I dont pay much attention to every single one anymore due to how many I have seen here and other places).
Now if "soldier boy" up there is honest and is just back from Iraq ok, if he is a liar= shut up, get out I do not trust people on a forum with "oh look who I am so you should repsect me more than anyone else" I know you will give a speech about protection and other junk or at least think about it but I wont listen to it because I have heard it several times from people just like him. Frankly if you love it so much go back NOW and give the resistance a chance to blast you so while your thinking about the war missing an arm and finding out you have 0 GI health support you can revamp how much you love it. Or if your a lucky one you will get a little pension for you missing limb, call this cruel or even "not the right thing to say whatnot" I still say it and will say it again and again because its true. I find it so amusing how many people supported vietnam till they were missing an arm then realized their mistake. The same with Iraq, they go so happy and want to fight then come back white as a ghost and scream in the night or cant sleep because of what they have been ordered to do and the govt. denighs them help.
Your comments and your little "story" are just one side of a coin. We want the other one that your not allowed to talk about and will denigh because you think it didnt happen or its not something to talk about to "civilians" who "support" you though (Even though I dont the others who do should
know first hand). even though the part in () will never happen. Blood lust is an amazing thing to see, and its another thing to see the person and others who support them denigh it. I have talked to parents and cousins of those returning from Iraq and they are now scared of them because all they want is to go back and kill more Iraqis or whatever YOU call them now and their gloating over their kills.
To say the least your "secondary" purpose here disgusts me greatly. Others may never see it but I do, to try and convert people to your side. Instead your just causing me to move the other way and confirm everything I have been hearing up to date.
Now let the flamming begin, massive PMing and people going bonzo over what I just said because they are mad at me for having no "respect" and other junk they like to throw around but have no clue what it means. Followed by massive hostility on other posts and possibly them trying to get me kicked off of ATS for voicing my opinion or then again maybe they will have no choice but to vent their annoyance on a "nerve ball" or on this forum at me because they know no other way. You will not suprise me with how you react only confirm my suspicion so dont bother replying to this, save yourself the time and effort for someone else who wants to make a long drawn out fight of this.

Here is a few of his "liberated" people (just a tiny few out of over 100,000):
www.informationclearinghouse.info...

As Arundhati Roy said: (I cant find the EXACT quote at this time)
"the US's idea of liberation is to just kill them all, then they will be liberated."
Side note: I was born in america (ohio) and am still in america.

[edit on 15-2-2006 by Vekar]



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 11:37 PM
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Fake Arab posing as American alert.

Click

ignore

It burns you that America is winning this war right? Guess what- we won't leave, and if we do a tame little puppet goverment is what you will get at most.

Bring your fantasies of American soldiers shooting children for target practice to the Hezzbollah forum. Everybody here knows what happens in Iraq, the only desserter I ever met was an idiot who joined the army solely to dessert (and then claimed a fictitious video presentation of torture policy being dished out to GIs was the reason he left). Thankfully he was jailed. America is tired of dhimwits who refuse to see the danger militant Islamic extremists pose to it. I'm not even a Bush fan, but I'm tired of traitors. Think using whiskey Pete on child killers and civilian slaughterers was harsh? That's called war.



[edit on 15-2-2006 by Nakash]



posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 01:21 AM
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My very best to the originator of the thread. America is very proud of what you've done in it's service.

Vekar has utilized his freedom of speech to highlight his own view on things, an entirely reasonably approach.

I have read both, weighed the merits of each, and have come to my own conclusions. That is what we do in America.



posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 01:26 AM
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Originally posted by Vekar
This is my only responce here because I know what will happen long term and care not to watch flaming happen:
Its amazing how the Govt. has at least 1 guy on EACH forum I can find of concequence (I have found 3 so far that are "decent" by modest standards) and they ALL have the "american GI" on it saying how great the war is and how great it is in one form of another and how much they love it and other screwed up stuff.
I know at 2 schools in my area (for a FACT) they govt. had 2 "ex-Iraq" soldiers go in and give promo speeches and say the same stuff he just said up there but with a different story twist to it. One was a native american who is a sniper and was talking about going into Fallujha and the usual spchiel about how they won and so on and how great it was and how much he loved it. I have 0 symathy for US soldiers and I myself have several family members in the military and if 1 of them sets foot in Iraq or supports it I denounce them immediatly. I will NOT talk kindly to people who talk like him when we have enough pictures to have the president shot on sight if only the courts would listen (just keep cruising the internet if you want them or ask other ATS people to refer you to the posts and such I dont pay much attention to every single one anymore due to how many I have seen here and other places).
Now if "soldier boy" up there is honest and is just back from Iraq okYour comments and your little "story" are just one side of a coin.


Can everyone say troll ? Yeah Ill bet he's a libranian.


Originally posted by Vekar
Side note: I was born in america (ohio) and am still in america.
[edit on 15-2-2006 by Vekar]


Thats the great thing about the net, its annonamys, and you can say anything. Some one had a thread about it (the digital ego). Divide a conquer.


I agree after I post this I will have to hit the Ignore button. I know you have freedom of speech but I also have the freedom to ignore.

And to the original poster, welcome back, glad your safe and ignore ol' numb nuts here the majority do support our troops. One of the leasons we learned from Vietnam.

Keep the stories coming, because I have always wondered what the soldier on the groud thinks and what the Iraqi citizens think (there real opinion, not the edited version from CNN (Communist News Network)).




posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 02:29 AM
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Originally posted by IncognitoGhostman
Yes there are times when you are confronted with an unfortunate situation that is beyond your control and the only thing for you to do is react. One in particular is when I said the woman and children were in front of the man with an RPG, well I reacted and think about it every second now as to whether I should have or not. There was another time about a month later we were going through the same town and got caught up in traffic. My whole tour over there I was the lead vehicle gunner. I saw a little girl only about 6-7 yrs old walking up to the right side of the HMMV and noticed a grenade in her hand. Instantly I grabbed my 9mm pistol from my side and pointed it at her. This is when I noticed the pin was still in the grenade and the little girl looked at me in terror and sorrow. I didn't squeeze the trigger and she let the grenade drop to the ground and turned and ran.

Yes I am sure that there are some people that would have just reacted without assessing the situation but this time I am glad I looked at everything and didn't react.


Good on ya, mate! If you are really who you say you are (I'm a natural skeptic, don't take it personally) then I applaud you for your incredible restraint and practicing "look before you leap."


Like you said, there most definitely will be those who don't "look before they leap" and those who tend to be "trigger-happy." In my opinion, these sort of people are the bigger problem than the insurgents.

I mean think about it, when these trigger happy dudes get women and children killed, it's only gonna give more popular support to the insurgents. Whether those women and children were used as "human shields" or not really is irrelevant, because people are just gonna get hung-up on the "women and children" part. The spin works everywhere, you know.

Now having said that, let me explain my position on the whole thing. I do not support your war in Iraq. I don't think your government is telling much truths in it's justification for war. However, what's done is done, and now there's an insurgency going on. I think America should stick around and quell it. America broke Babylon, you guys are responsible to fix it.

To quell this insurgency, you guys gotta remove popular support for it. Air raids here or missile strikes there won't do the trick. Force will not do the trick. "Whiskey Pete" certainly won't do the trick. Those sort of things will only lead to more collateral damage (read: women and children).

You guys gotta cut that out, and other questionable acts that will give more popular support to the insurgency/resistance (prisoner abuse comes to mind). If you continue down that path then in the eyes of locals you are no better than the insurgents, and the locals would most surely support the insurgency as they would be choosing "the lesser of two evils." Not to mention they'd also be choosing their own people over "the invaders."

There has to be more trust between the locals and the occupational forces. All this will take time, but not too long a time. 5-7 years tops, if you guys are efficient about it. If it takes more than that, then I don't think you guys are actually doing much good. Maybe pulling out isn't such a bad move then..

It only took the British 3 years to fight off the Communist Insurgents in Malaya. Of course there were lot's of mitigating factors, that's why I'm giving it 5-7 years for the Iraqi Insurgency to be quelled. 3 years have elapsed, the clock is ticking.

Just my whole take on it, and one more round of applause to those (if they're really not US Gov disinfo agent
) who "look before they leap."



posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 04:22 AM
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I was checking out some of the post that Vekar makes on other threads and it seems he uses the hit and run tactic a lot. In fact he started 4 other post in the same way he did on this thread. " I am only going to post once because .........................." he then dishes out a few insults and its off to the next thread to troll around.


Check out some of his posts to see what I mean.



posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 04:28 AM
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You could always ignore those sort of people, or let the mods know about it with the gripe/idea button. No need to get all upset. Trolls will be trolls. No board is completely free of them.



posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 11:47 AM
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I myself and others I know and proudly served with were not the trigger happy bunch and in fact we were reluctant to squeeze the trigger. I'ts not something easy to do when there is another human being at the receiving end of the barrel.

I can talk about this so freely because I came to terms with what I have done and by talking about it helps me in a way to understand it as well. Not that I am ever fully going to understand it but except it as something that will always be a part of my life and have to live with forever.

Yes there are times that I know of like I states originally that woman and children are used as shields. It is a sickening thing to see this and if you want to survive and your buddies as well you have to do something that by far you absolutely didn't think you were ever going to have to do. Who knows the little girl walking up to our HMMV could have been a precursor to an ambush had I shot her and because I didn't they decided to just let us go. This I feel is quite possible because the troops stationed at the FOB near here have a different ROE (Rules Of Engagement) than we did. They shot when they felt a threat and even more so when they were hit by and IED or small arms, they would shoot at anything walking or moving after this point.

We did a lot of human relations projects over there and got to interact with many Iraqi citizens. This was the most rewarding part of everything. We rebuilt schools, and even built new ones. One school we built was in a very small village where the people lived in mud brick house and only had electricity 2 hours a day. Along with the school we built we also built a mosque and in fact the school that was built was funded from the pockets of a high ranking officer in our Brigade.

Vekar I see you don't support anything that is going on over there and that's your right to say so. I do, however, wonder how you say I am fake and never was over there. What I posted here was just to tell my story and to help me deal with it and that's it. I have never been told by anyone to say anything about gaining support for us or anything like that. Another thing I have to add is about the link you posted about the pictures of dead children. How do you know how and by who these children were killed. My guess is they were unfortunately killed by insurgents IED's or VBIED's as most of the Iraqi citizens over there are killed by these means and not by American Soldiers. In fact that day on July 3rd I shot at a vehicle that was in our way when we were heading back to the nearby FOB and it was deliberately staying in the way. I fired warning shots just past the driver side window and after it didn't heed the warning I disabled the vehicle. Later on did we find out that this vehicle had a video camera in it and a second was found a week later that was filming our attack most likely to usa as propaganda showing us shooting women and children.

I was stationed over there with the 42nd ID, they were the first National Gaurd division put in control of an area over there. The total troop loss as well as Iraqi losses was the lowest of any command before they were activated and even since then. In fact the unit that took over for us an Active Duty unit lost more soldiers in the first 30 days than we did in the whole year we were over there. We also set a record for the most IED discoveries since the war began and we are proud of that.

The majority of the Iraqi citizens to support us and thank us all the time for the help. I can also tell you that they completely hate Sadaam and are glad he is no longer in charge. They were absolutely in fear of there lives everyday because they never knew if they were going to be killed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

[edit on 16-2-2006 by IncognitoGhostman]



posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by IncognitoGhostman
We did a lot of human relations projects over there and got to interact with many Iraqi citizens. This was the most rewarding part of everything. We rebuilt schools, and even built new ones. One school we built was in a very small village where the people lived in mud brick house and only had electricity 2 hours a day. Along with the school we built we also built a mosque and in fact the school that was built was funded from the pockets of a high ranking officer in our Brigade.


I hope you people used local contractors and workers for that. I don't really understand the purpose of bringing in outsiders and foreigners to rebuild the country when using locals would be better.

Off the top of my head I'd say that it will provide some locals with jobs, much needed jobs that were prolly lost after the invasion. Also local contractors can do it for much cheaper. Plus just that two reasons alone could go a long way in winning the hearts and minds of the people, in addition to being good PR.

The jobs part is definitely the biggest incentive to get locals to do the rebuilding. People tend not to get pissed off if they're receiving money



posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 01:48 PM
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I like vets, but we civilians are getting progressively more suspicious over videos of bloodless"beatings." Torture pics come out at opportune times, and old cartoons are suddenly offensive.

Of course, I'm sure you have nothing to do with this stuff, but it feels as if we are being encouraged to enlist as Muslims are being incited.

This dishonoring of your efforts makes the prospect of enlistment discomfitting.



[edit on 16-2-2006 by pdo3]




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