Friday, November 19, 2004

An email from Iraq

Update: More good stuff sent from another reader. "More pictures from Iraq".

Email from a friend of a friend. Good stuff going on over there that you are never hearing about.

Hello Everyone,

I hope things are going well back home. Sorry I haven't been keeping my e-mails coming your way very often. It's been busy here lately but everyone in my unit is doing fine.

I've been putting in some long days. With our ongoing missions and all the administrative duties that I have to do, there doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to do all I need to do.

Everyone is watching the news and wondering what's going to happen in Fallujah and that area. I am not directly involved with that operation so I really don't know what is going to happen. I'll watch it on the news like everybody else.

There has been a lot of enemy activity in the city. A lot happens in Baghdad as you can see on the news. We see some of it but none of the bombings or killings has affected anyone in my unit. We continue to be fortunate. There is an angel in our company that has been with us on all our patrols. I think you recruited her with your prayers. If I could get her name I would put her in for a medal.

Here are some of the latest things that aren't making the news....

The girls in this picture were a few of the students we recently visited at schools in my zone. We gave away bookbags and school supplies. The kids were very excited to receive the gifts. We gave away 1,500 book bags at 4 schools. It was a lot of fun and a huge success. Ever since that day we see the kids walking to and from school and our backpacks are everywhere. We have about 6,000 bags on the way and we will go out again in the coming weeks to hand them out. Everybody wins on those days. The kids get something they need and enjoy and we really have fun seeing the kids having a good time. It helps us keep things in perspective when we get to see the good we are doing first hand.

We continue to keep working on our Civil Affairs projects in my zones. They keep us busy and with each one we get completed we are helping improve the quality of the lives of the citizens here. We have several sewer improvement projects that we are working on. There are a few communities in my zone that need lots of help in that area and we are having some success. We are also working on building 3 health clinics and improving several others. Schools continue to be on our hit list of improvements and the students here are very appreciative of that.

We completed a water project recently that brought running water to one community. It is the first time many in that village have ever had water running in their homes. That was a big accomplishment for us. Lot's of good things continue to happen here in spite of all the bad things the insurgents are trying to do to disrupt things.

We also had a new experience here last week. Rain. It rained (sprinkled) for 3 days which is the first rain we've seen rain since April. For a few minutes I really enjoyed seeing the rain but then all the dust turned to mud. Then I realized that I like sunshine more than rain and the excitement wore off (or washed off).

It is Fall here and temperatures are in the 80s. This city gets about 6 inches of rain annually and just about all of it falls in November, December and January. We have our ponchos ready.

I'll shoot you another e-mail soon. Take care and write back.



P.S. Feel free to forward this e-mail to whomever you like. You've been doing it so far and I appreciate you spreading the word throughout the U.S. and the world (literally) that we aren't wasting everyone's time here in Iraq (as some would have you believe), but we are doing lots of good things in a difficult environment.

CPT Joel Lynch
A/3-153 IN, 39th BCT, 1CD
Baghdad, Iraq

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