August 17, 2007

Talking with Heroes Arrives In Kuwait

FbL: Bob and Jim have arrived in Baghdad and are settled in the Green Zone. Below is his report of the arrival in Kuwait...

We arrived Kuwait in the evening and were told up front that it was about 110 degrees out. Welcome to the world of hot and sand--or as some call it: The Sand Pit. We could see what looked like clouds, but was the fine powder sand. I hope I do not get sick, like the first time when we were in Al Qaim for three days due to the sand storms.

How our troops get through this day by day is amazing to me. Coming here now, our third time, causes me to want to shout from the rooftops to all of America: we need to be out there from one end of American to another, showing--not just talking--showing our support for all our troops and their families back home!

How about all of us together getting the word out?

Once we deplaned in Ali Al Salem Base, we (the only civilians) and the troops were loaded into big buses... bus after bus of troops heading back into Iraq. For some of them this is their 2nd, third our fourth tour. Some are coming back from R&R's.

We waiting in a holding area for a long time... seemed forever--especially when you are trying to stay awake. But not a complaint on the bus at all; everybody is there to do a job... serving our country and the Iraqis and--for those going to Afghanistan--the Afghan people.

What a privilege to mingle with and talk with our military... men and women of all ages, backgrounds, races, religions... Americans standing up once again for what is right.

To me they are all heroes no matter whether they are in combat or not. My daughter who never made it to combat but served well... she is my hero. My son-in-law who finished a one-year tour and is close to his second (15 months this time)... they are all our heroes. Having had the opportunity on the second of our trips here to Iraq to interview Iraqis, I can share that they are amazed at the sacrifice of so many from a country called America so that Iraqis can have the freedoms we all take for granted.

Being at Ali Al Salem in some ways was like coming home. We have been there twice, and knew a little more of what to do next then the first two times. And SGT Kevin Buckly, SSG Phillip Eugene and their team met us after awhile and took good care of us.

Our goal was to leave Kuwait as soon as possible, get to Baghdad International Airport, then to the International Zone to get our Press Credentials. Until we have those we cannot start any interviews.

Again, it is amazing to be here and do what our troops have to do. It makes you really appreciate more and more, over and over again, their sacrifices every day. And oh, the heat! Wow... how they can survive a year or more is incredible.

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