By Tom Hewitt
BAQUBAH, Iraq — Shortly after entering the police station, Staff Sgt. Daniel Blalock of the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment found himself in the embrace of an Iraqi officer.
“I knew it was going to be a sad day when we told them we couldn’t come back,” Blalock said, after he returned the hug.
Sgt. Blalock and other members of 1-5’s Charlie Company had come to the station, just north of Baqubah in Diyala Province on a mission to help train the Iraqi Emergency Response Force. The ERF, a special branch of the Iraqi Police trained for security operations, had worked with the American soldiers for months, and it was their final session...