Note: These are the thoughts of a gay soldier — a North Carolina
native — who has been deployed to Iraq. Because of the military’s “Don’t
Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, he must remain anonymous.
While I’m thinking about Christmas and family and friends back home — things
are getting really dangerous over here. Life in Iraq has gotten a bit worse
since my last column. I have lost two interpreters as a result of the ongoing
As they left the camp to go home on a break, they were attacked. That day
was sad. These guys become your friend and are your allies to communicate
effectively. There have been also at least a half dozen soldiers from my
camp alone that have perished. Small arms fire is increasing daily in the
area, there are mortar attacks and there has been a sniper shooting at
us here and there on the camp from outside the wire. There was a large
weapons cache found just a few miles from our camp on a small island in
the river. I’m feeling uneasy — it’s a tragic thing to
lose a fellow soldier or a friend.
We took several safety measures during the recent Iraqi elections, including
being in full battle rattle all week — which means wearing our body
armor, eye protection and helmets. We also had a full, authorized battle
load of ammunition. There was a polling location not far from where our
compound is located for Iraqi soldiers and nationals working on the base.
They made the elections a national holiday, which means there were curfews
and no weapons allowed on the streets.
Yes, people carry weapons around here like we carry our Prada brief cases,
Gucci, Louis Vuitton or Kenneth Cole shoulder bags. They accessorize with
some type of pistol or AK-47. Can you imagine walking into Liaisons and
seeing such a thing? Nothing like a cold beer and the feeling of cold steel
of an AK or 9 on your shoulder or hip. Sometimes life here is like the
Keep us all in your thoughts and prayers and I hope you all have a wonderful
holiday season. Remember to be safe and have a designated driver — I
know you guys know how to party.
Missing you all and signing out for now — your soldier in Iraq.
P.S. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
— Reporting from Iraq,
your friend and soldier from Charlotte.