Wednesday, July 04, 2007

America’s Finest

Readers Note: Some of you may recall Scott Pierce who blogged at Right in Raleigh before he moved with his family to New York. Scott was a fine blogger.

A friend of Scott’s, Mike Williams, just sent me the following and I want to share it with you. It’s a reminder of the outstanding men and women who serve in our armed forces.

Those men and women, their families, and veterans and their families have earned our deepest admiration and gratitude for the sacrifices they’ve made to protect our freedoms.


Army vet Scott C. Pierce has a [West Point] classmate in the 1st Cav who is currently serving in Iraq. Here is an excerpt from an email Scott shared with me recently:

Much has happened since the last update, life has become so very dynamic around here. I just returned to the job as MiTT Chief after spending three weeks as the Brigade Commander while he was on leave.

The temperatures are hitting highs of 117 degrees in these first days of summer. It’s been truly an exhausting and amazing time to see Soldiers perform magnificently under the harshest of conditions, yet motivated and serving freely in a foreign place as your ambassadors.

Soldiers are the reason that this has been easier to deal with at all levels. You all would continue to be so proud of all they do every day, with their patience, vigilance, compassion, resilience and toughness.

We also received word about a three month extension, and it will probably work out to around a 2 month extension give or take a week and a half. Nevertheless, under the current plan, I will get home before Christmas and my 20th wedding anniversary!

No matter what any newspaper says, the Troops are over it – don’t get me wrong, we all want to get home and it wasn’t like we were jumping for joy, but we found out far enough out that we have been able to adjust our expectations to a point that we are just focused on a new date and getting our job done safely.

In all this, we are focused on helping the Iraqi Brigade we are working with to get past where they are in their administrative and logistical systems, as well as how they plan for and conduct combat operations. It is a real challenge for all of us, but there are many rewarding times.

The Iraqi people here in Diyala Province are beginning to work with us to get rid of Al Qaeda, and it is making it easier to see a way ahead for them. There is much work to do – a long hard road ahead to really see some results, but the key thing is that we have started to see a true change in the will of the people here.

Obviously the entire country of Iraq is not showing the same hope every day, but here in Diyala, despite the horrific events that we have seen, we are moving ahead and making progress.

The last couple of weeks have been fairly hopeful, and I attribute, again, to a true change in the will of the people. It is starting to catch fire across the Province, and I can only hope that similar things are happening everywhere. Please keep this in your prayers as you think about us.

I experienced a very special meal recently called Pachar. It is the head of the sheep with the feet, boiled and served with rice. I know that sounds pretty weird and nasty, but it is a great delicacy and was considered an honor that they served it to us.

I had fun digging right into it and challenging everyone to be “culturally sensitive” and dig right in with me (ha ha ha). Needless to say, there were a couple brave souls who tried it, but the majority decided to eat some rice and bread and just act like they weren’t that hungry. And of course there were some of us playing with the eyes and tongues before eating up.

Different cultures for different people!

Later I reminded many of the folks how hot dogs and sausages are manufactured and that the Iraqis may have a real hard time if they saw that process.
Diyala, you may recall, is in the Baghdad belts and one of al Qaeda’s former safe havens. Warriors like Scott’s classmate are truly heirs of The Greatest Generation.

And speaking of The Greatest Generation, we recently lost one of its most decorated heroes. He was a WWII submarine skipper who “sunk” a Japanese train, in addition to an aircraft carrier and assorted other ships. If you get a chance follow this link, and hoist the adult beverage of your choice to him and to Scott’s classmate as we celebrate our independence and our freedoms.


Anonymous said...

A Fourth of July thanks to John in Carolina, relentless, courageous, accurate, focused. Your great work is very much appreciated, especially your intent to hold N.C. newspapers responsible.