Monday, February 16, 2004

Spc. Thomas Daniels' one-year stint in Iraq as an Army engineer is almost over. But the 24-year-old is already making plans to return — without a gun and, he hopes, with a lot a more money.

Daniels has applied online for construction work with Washington, D.C.'s military contractor in Iraq — Kellogg, Brown & Root — eyeing a job he says will pay more than twice his current salary of around $1,700 a month.

"That's where I am going. It's where I need to be," said Daniels, of Wilmington, Del. "I know I can't stay in the Army. It doesn't pay enough."

Daniels is one of many soldiers at this military base being lured back to Iraq when their term of service ends — not by re-enlisting but by taking up work with companies contracted by the Pentagon...

Besides higher pay, soldiers, reservists and retired officers are attracted by perks like tax-free salaries, better living conditions and regular home leaves — a major draw for soldiers as one-year deployments become the norm.

Alongside jobs in cafeterias, construction, engineering and communications, demand is high for armed security guards. Iraq is awash with ex-soldiers from around the world working for private security firms.

No comments: