Some of my opinions on Iraq
It is difficult for me to write about Iraq because I am very opinionated and have a lot of thoughts. But here goes. I arrived in Kuwait in Mid May of 2003. After going through some great training in Colorado Springs in a lot of snow we were shocked to have temperatures in the 130s and 140s in Kuwait. After a little over a month we moved to Iraq. We at first thought the children were blowing kisses at us, but it turned out that actually they were asking for food. The people seemed to me to be very thin, but also very friendly and glad to see us.

We eventually arrived outside of Tikrit and the people there were very glad to see us. The children lined the roads to wave at us. After a short while we went out in the local town and cleaned up a lot of buildings that had fallen, we repared bicycles that the children had, and our medical people saved some of the people from infections and disease. We helped clean up several schools and did some road improvements. One family was very glad to have us build them a new bridge into their neighborhood. One of the sights that will stay with me is the soldier in full battle uniform holding a small Iraqi baby.  I also recall a small attempt to play soccer with some Iraqi school children. We (the soldiers) were carrying our weapons and all wearing body armor, but we still kicked the ball with the Iraqi kids. If we had played a game I think they would have beaten us severely as many of them looked pretty good.

Finally the high did not go over 100. I think this occured in about October. By December it was getting pretty cold, espescailly if we were out building new bases. I called home one day and it was 19 degrees in Iraq, and may have been warmer here in Colorado. Iraq started warming up again in February and after a couple months of rain it got much greener. It was nice to see the plants--we were very near the Garden of Eden, but up until that time it was hard to visualize it at all.

The Tigris River is a large river. I was quite amazed that there could be so much water when we hadn't seen any snow or rain for several months. The palace in Tikrit is very opulant.

In closing I would like to say that the people of Iraq are for the most part very friendly and are hoping for a brighter future. I join them in that hope.
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