August 29, 2007

Another Whirlwind Day in Iraq

Hello Everybody,

Our day started with interviews with the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment (Steel Battalion) from Ft Carson. Their Executive Officer, Major Christopher Wendland, gave us a great overview of progress in their area of Eastern Baghdad. It was one of their units that we went on a convoy with and spent sometime with in two outposts in Baghdad earlier this week. As with our other interviews, after you hear Major Wendland you will have a clear picture that their is in fact a lot of progress in Baghdad.

We had more "shout-outs" from soldiers with the 2/17. Captain Steve Simmons gave us a good interview, and 1LT Robyn Jacobs talked about projects that they are working on in Eastern Baghdad. 1LT Jacobs regularly meets with Iraqis to talk about projects they want work on. She spoke with us about the rebuilding of the 2nd largest Youth Center in Baghdad, water, trash, sewage, schools and more.

We had a quick lunch, then we met up with Major Ryan for more interviews with the 2nd Brigade, Special Troops Battalion---another unit that we went out on a convoy with looking for IED's and other roadside explosives.

We had many more shout-outs, plus interviews, including Capt. Greg Voelkel. Capt. Voelkel is an F-15 pilot with the Air Force, and for a two year period he and his 14-member team are working in Eastern Baghdad. It was avery interesting interview, as are all of them. In addition, many others talked about the progress that they have seen over the past 11 months in eastern Baghdad.

We temporarily stopped our interviews when Major Ryan came over and took us into a high-level security meeting with two Iraqi Army generals and their staff, a British major general, American General Campbell (the 2IBCT Brigade Commander), Iraqi army and police, and many others. We were allowed to film and tape the meeting for about 10 minutes, and were the only media there. After you all hear this, there will be no doubt that everybody here except for the insurgents--the criminals--are all working together for the future of Baghdad and Iraq.

After we finished filming, Major Ryan gave us more of an overview of the meeting and others like it. We then interviewed Iraqi soldiers, an Iraqi Interpreter and more of our soldiers out in a parking area where all Iraqi and Coalition vehicles were parked.

We also met Lt. Col. Walsh in the parking lot. He agreed to give us an interview. Lt Col Walsh is one of the MITT (Military Transition Team) Leaders in the Eastern Baghdad area. He overseas 10-man MITT Teams with 3 Brigades. His was another of so many great interviews.

All of America will want to see these interviews!

Tonight we will have our last interview with another high military officer with the 2IBCT to give us kind of like a closing overview--an even bigger picture of progress in Eastern Baghdad. Tomorrow we leave by helicopter for another part of Eastern Baghdad. And there is more planned after that!

Thanks again to FbL for taking care of this blog for me, and thanks to Patti Bader and Soldiers' Angels and the wonderful folks in Colorado Springs for making this third trip to Iraq possible.

While I'm here in Iraq, I am working on plans to get these interviews with our troops out to millions of Americans. With the help of all of you reading this (and more), we will accomplish this mission and alter the conversation in America. When you all hear these interviews you will understand!!

Please keep us in your Prayers.


Bob Calvert

Update: Pictures of this day here.


tuxedop said...

Great work! Keep it up. Please let our troops know that we very much appreciate the work they are doing to keep our freedom. Finally, a blog that is using our technology in a positive, productive manner. Thanks and we look forward to hearing more from you.

Anonymous said...

You are in my prayers. God bless you, regards Peter McCartney

Anonymous said...

Major General Berragan is from the United Kingdom - not Australia.

FbL said...

Anonymous, thanks for the correction. So sorry about that. I've also corrected it in another post.