I know this doesn't have anything to do with genealogy right now (a hundred
years from now it will) but I thought I would forward this letter from my
sister so everyone might get a small glimpse of what the life of a soldier
in Iraq is. Tony is 45 years old, a father of 3 and a Sgt. in the reserves.
He was supposed to retire last year but they said no and shipped him off to
Iraq. He is proud to serve his country. If anyone wants to drop him a note
I am sure he would appreciate it. His e-mail is peleuila.maiava(a)us.army.mil
I heard from him on Saturday. He said overall the election time was very
quiet. They did no transporting during the elections and all communications
were on black-out. He stated that the Iraqi people he has been in contact
with are overjoyed at the prospect of voting for the first time in 50 years
and are extremely grateful for what the USA has done to make this happen.
I must say to see the footage on TV and talking to him, it made a little
more sense to me about why he is there. If truly our presence will make a
positive, significant and permanent change for the people, then his being
there is has purpose.
Last week his convoy was lost for about 12 hours. Normally the trucks
travel at night, however, for the first time, he was outside the American
posts during the day. I think it had quite an effect on him. He talked in
depth about the primitive living conditions, the devastation in some of the
cities, but most particularly about all the children along the road sides.
He was quite taken back that many were no older than three or four, dark
with filth, and in nothing but rags. They beg for food as their families
are standing off in the sand waiting for them. The soldiers are warned
about throwing food to them, not because of danger to themselves, but
because as the food is thrown and the children run out to the road to
retrieve it, they are hit by the next truck behind. But bless Tony's heart,
I think he and his partner in the truck are trying to get over. It sounds
as if they are traveling a little faster so that they have to slow down or
stop to wait on the convoy, they then throw out stuff to the kids as they
wait. You have to love him, although that scares me a bit.
He did give a list of a few things he needs when people send packages:
1. Battery operated razors. They have them at wal-mart at about $5.00
bucks each. They are disposable electric razors. He uses them on the road.
I bought 5 and sent with my last box.
2. Oral-B finger toothbrushes. I sent five
3. AT&T phone cards. AT&T are the only cards that work.
4. Gum and suckers for the kids
Take care and keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
Linda D. Maiava