Recently I've received some mail from loved ones of other soldiers deployed to Iraq.
It occured to me that they might have news from their soldiers to help the rest fill in our own mental picture of what it is like over there.
Here, the mother of SGT Ryan (I wont use last names) of B Co, 16th Engineer Brigade shares with us anecdotes she has received from her son.
I talked with him on the phone recently and he sounded the best I've heard him since being in Baghdad. He was very up beat and said he was doing well. He had been pulling guard duty and patrols, but recently he has been building a wall around the base camp.
In one of our conversations he talked about the children and how they hang around the soldiers and say things like, "We love you Americans". "
He said "The children want to touch me and they hold up Iraqi money with Saddam's face on it and spit on it and say pooie"
He said "the Iraqi people seem friendly most of the time, but I do what you told me to do Mom and I watch my back all the time"
At one point they went to a house and went inside to search it and he said there was 6 kids there in a room all under the age of 5 or 6 years old and they were all crying and scared and he would smile at them to try and keep them from being scared.
He said " Mom, I don't know how people live like this, the conditions are so bad it's hard to believe that people live in some of these places".
And hard to believe our soldiers are making freedom possible for folks who live in those places.
Thank you SGT Ryan for what you are doing.