Over the past year I hope I have shed some light on this war and given
you a perspective on what Iraq has been like.
I have traveled all over the country recently — back to the Palace
in Baghdad and will be back there again this week. Afterwards I’m
headed north — though for security reasons I can’t say where.
I dread this trip — it will be the most dangerous trip so far.
We’ll fly to an undisclosed location and then convoy to our final
It’s a rough trek of over 30 miles by vehicle. All of us will be
armored up and ready to go with a full-authorized battle load.
I’m not scared, but I do have some trepidation about this trip.
But I suppose that’s a good thing — it’ll keep me on
Over my travels, I have seen the poverty, and destitution of the Iraqi
people, which is still rampant. The money that is being spent over
here would floor you. The coalition is doing some wonderful things here,
but the country is flushing money into issues that won’t fix themselves
for years to come. It took Europe nearly 25 years to stabilize after
WWII in some areas and it’s not going to happen here in Iraq — no
matter what we do — for a long time, or until the people here decide
to make it happen.
I’m happy to be coming home soon — but it saddens me to think
that this tour of duty is coming to an end. It’s a chapter of my
life that I will never forget. The sights, sounds and smells will resonate
with me forever, conjuring up many images even now I’d like to
I will miss the friends and colleagues I have worked with for over
a year, my Iraqi counterparts who I work with regularly and my interpreters.
To be honest, I’m a bit nervous about coming home. What has become
normal for me here is dramatically different from my life at home. I’m
different for this experience — for the better in many ways, and
I’m thankful. Psychologically I think I’m fine.
Who knows, really? I guess we’ll figure that out for sure after
I’ve been home awhile.
— Reporting from Iraq,
your friend and soldier from Charlotte