Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Look

Passing people on the street, the convoys always draw stares. It's easy to guess why - the vehicles are imposing, and there are often turret gunners rolling their .50-caliber barrel back and forth, looking for possible vectors of incoming fire. Since July 1, too, the American military has made a concerted effort to stay out of urban areas whenever possible, so the mine-resistant vehicles are more of a novelty than they used to be.

There's no mistaking the looks, though, and they run the gamut from idle curiosity to annoyance to suspicion and outright glaring. It's not too often that someone is happy to see the convoys. It does happen, though - while I was in a convoy on the way to a detainee release in Baqubah this morning, a naked boy waved and smiled from a roadside merchant's stand. The merchant, presumably his relative, eyed us less charitably.

Some people might think the Iraqis are being ungrateful for American efforts to rebuild the country and foster stability. The truth is, though, that if armored vehicles from some foreign power were rolling down the streets of Fairbanks, I doubt I would be all smiles either.


  1. Do me a favor, while you're there, can you comment/look into the morale of the guys from 1-25? There has been lots of questions/concerns about 'group care packages' not reaching the guys there, or at the JCOPs (when they were there)

  2. well said Tom! I completely agree with you! It is hard for us to relate when we are so far away, but it certainly wouldn't bode well here!

  3. SaintAelphaba, I just asked the public affairs officer about those care packages. He says that as of mid-July, the army started turning all mail for the 1-25th back around in preparation for their return home. I guess the only thing to do from now on is hold stuff until they get back.

    As far as what I've seen of the troops' morale, they seem in large part to be holding up all right, but they're definitely going to be happy to come home. Not much question about that.

  4. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 08/06/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.