Monday, October 13, 2003

Christy remembers Iraq as country in the process of decay.

"The buildings weren't collapsing because of bombs. It was like going back in time," he said. "You got the feeling that the country had been kept poor."

The Iraqis that he met confirmed this belief, he said. Often, city leaders would come to the train station where they were stationed to speak to the higher ups about repairing roads or buildings. He painted, cleaned and repaired the stucco schools in As Samawah, Iraq.

Americans who criticize the progress in Iraq, don't understand that the country has virtually no infrastructure, he said.

While it was difficult to be away from his family, he had an easier time than soldiers in Northern Iraq where many of the attacks on coalition forces have taken place. Not once did anyone throw a rock or even shout at him, he said.

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