First Offbase Contact with Iraqis
Date Published: 22 July 2004
Well, I got my first experience with the locals today when we did a drive through a village area today. I was in the back of an APC in a small convoy; basically we were just patrolling and trying to find out what was in the area. One take-away I have is that the folks living there have it pretty rough. It occurred to me, for instance, that when talking about doing raids we always hear the term 'kicking doors in'. These folks, at least, didn't have any doors. Just small brick shelters which they were lucky if they had a tarp over top of for cover from the sun. Anyway, the kids there were very friendly and would all run out to see us and wave. Toward the end, some of our guys were throwing candy to them, which they loved. It felt a bit like being at a parade back home, in that way. It was a bit troubling, though, that when the first handful of candy was thrown the kids turned and ran in fear. But after they realized it wouldn't hurt them, they were all over it.
I have no idea how often I'll be in a similar situation since I've only been here a couple of days, but for anybody who is sending me stuff, bags of candy (not meltable stuff), pencils/pens, small notepads, and small toys would all be good filler items to promote some good will over here. No crayons - those would melt.
Anyway, that's about all I can say. I'll post some pics of blowing stuff up soon. I'm doing fine and pretty happy to be doing a job here that's worthwhile (although I did watch Fahrenheit 9/11 tonight, which did wonders for my morale, let me tell you. It'd definitely worth watching, even if you're not a left wing person, and that's all I'll say on that).
Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.