It is still very much a war zone.
Anti-American insurgents fired mortar rounds at a military camp, killing one American soldier and wounding 34 others, the U.S. command said.
Six mortar rounds exploded about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday at Logistical Base Seitz west of Baghdad, in the so-called Sunni Muslim triangle that is a stronghold of resistance to the U.S. occupation of Iraq, a spokesman said.
Thirty-five soldiers were wounded in the attack, and one of them died overnight, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition said Thursday.
"The wounded soldiers were given first aid and have been evacuated from the site for further medical treatment," the statement said. The Pentagon added that the soldiers were from the Army's 541st Maintenance Battalion, based in Fort Riley, Kan., and part of the 3rd Corps Support Command.
The mortars hit "a living area where they have their sleeping quarters," the spokesman said.
I notice these are suport Soldiers...called Combat Service Support or CSS in Army speak. That is what CPT Patti is. It is what I was during my career. It is what the soldiers of the 507th Maintenance Company (PFC Jessica Lynch, et al.) are.
Once upon a time support Soldiers were referred to as REMFs. The first two stand for Rear Echelon...you can figure out the last two. But these days we find there is no rear echelon...the support Soldiers move right with the so-called warfighters.
And beginning with Desert Storm, the instances of large casualties have tended to accrue to the support types.
During Desert Storm one Iraqi SCUD missile made its way to a US Barracks. 13 members of the 14th Quartermaster Detachment died that night.
We add to that the 507th Maintenance Company and the 541st Maintenance Battalion from Operation Iraqi Freedom and we add 14 dead, 53 wounded in single incident losses for each unit.
Support Soldiers have earned the respect of all...but all have not yet given their respect.