Friday, January 20, 2006

Guest Post.....

I asked a friend in the Army to write up his view of what's going on in Iraq.... Here is what he had to say.... BTW--- Thanks Brian.... Thanks for your service to our country... thanks for doing the job you do... Thanks for the post... Stay safe! Have you ever watched the evening news and listened to all the horror stories coming from the Middle East and wondered "Does anything go right there?" Or do you take what your local news broadcasts and absorb it like the absolute truth? Well my friends, let me assure you that their is more to the story than what you get out of that 30 second soundbite. You are probably asking yourself what does this moron know that I don't? If you will allow me to entertain you for a few minutes I may be able to answer that question. I am a Pennsylvania National Guard soldier deployed to Iraq for an 12 month rotation and I am halfway through this deployment. I have served 5 years on Active Duty prior to my National Guard status and this is my second deployment since 9/11. My first deployment was a 7 month rotation in Bosnia, a small muslim country in Eastern Europe. I have seen alot of events take place in just a short period of time. I have kept my eyes and ears open and my mouth shut, absorbing my surroundings and learning everything I could. Upon venturing overhere to Iraq, I kept the same focus I had in Bosnia and blocked out as much of the negative coverage of Iraq so I wouldn't have a predisposed hatred for a country I had yet to step foot in. Allow me to indulge you into what it is really like to be in Iraq and why it is important that we finish the mission. My unit is stationed in the Al Anbar Province in the northwest region of the country. This area is better known as the "Sunni Triangle". Most of the violence and deaths that you hear about everyday happen in this very small area. The majority of Iraq has become rather quiet since the official end of the war with only a few minor protests or rallies here and there. It is in the cities Baghdad, Fallujah, and Ar Ramadi that the majority of the insurgency and terrorism is occuring. When we first arrived in country, parts of the Sunni Triangle was like the wild wild west. It was a shock to the system both culturally and humanely. But as soldiers we did not back down or cower to the insurgents in our area. We picked up where our predecessors left off and we began to improve what they left for us. We started clearing out schools that the insurgents were using to make bombs and store weapons and turned them back over to the town/city/province that they belonged to so the children can go back to school. We have repaired water treatment plants and helped repair water and sewage lines in the cities so citizens can bathe properly and use bathroom facilities correctly. We have done all this while still managing to patrol the roads, enforce curfews which by the way has cut down drastically the amount of roadside bombs that we encounter. Also, the US forces are training the Iraqi police in latest techniques of law enforcement and counter terror tactics just as our own S.W.A.T. teams do in our big cities. The new Iraqi Army is training side by side with the US soldiers and since our arrival have begun to take over sectors of their cities to get rid of insurgents. These are just a few humanitarian events that we have accomplished in our short time here. I have also been privileged to witness history not once but twice. I am talking about the voting of the Iraqi Constitution drafted up by Iraq themselves, not by outside governments. I have also seen Iraqi's come out in droves to vote in their first FREE elections. During each of these times, the insurgents did not even attempt to strike. In their only chances for shining moments they cowered and did nothing allowing the great citizens of this nation to take that much more control of their destiny. With each passing day the citizens, the police force, and their soldiers grow stronger and stronger both physically and mentally so that they can beat this insurgency with its ever changing face. But it has not been all victory and triumph. My unit has lost 7 of its members in this struggle to help create a free Iraq. My fellow brethren laid down their lives helping these people to enjoy the same freedoms we have enjoyed for centuries and for that they are forever my heroes. I too, have been injured in my short time here. I am one of the lucky ones for I only took a small pebble sized piece of shrapnel to my nose during a roadside blast. But I do not let that change my perception of this nation nor its people. I do not blame Islam for the behavior of radicals who hide behind religion as a shield. I also do not let events like Abu Ghraib cloud my vision of what is right or wrong. The people of this great nation have also learned not to judge all by the actions of a few. As long as we continue down this road we will help this nation stand on its own two feet once again but stronger than ever. Stronger in the sense that the people will have a voice. Victory can only be achieved when that moment comes, not when every last insurgent is eradicated. I hope for those of you who have read this post walk away with something learned, that you have a better understanding of what goes on here from a soldier's perspective. -To live is to suffer, to survive, well that defines the meaning of life.- SGT Brian Capozzi HHC 1-109 IN (M) Iraq

21 comments:

PresentStorm said...

Awesome post Brian ..as usual .I always love reading what you have to say.I hate the media's versions of what is going on .It is great to hear the positive side of what is going on over there.I never understood why the media chose to portray the War and what is going on over there the way they did and do.It almost seems like our troops have no reason to be there.I think regardless of whether or not people agree with the fact that we should or not ..We have got to support you guys while you are there fighting for our freedom and now the freedom of others.That is the only thing to do.I thank you for all that you do.Thank you for fighting for my freedom to say what I believe.You guys ROCK!!! God Bless and stay Safe ....

Seawave said...

Guppy -- thank you so much for publishing this inspiring guest post.

Brian -- Your writing always shows such heart and such character, and I want to add my thanks and appreciation for your service and your dedication. I know it comes at great personal sacrifice to you and to all of your fellow soldiers. You are in our prayers and in our hearts. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Be safe, be well.

mrshellonheels said...

God Bless and Come home safe.

Beanhead said...

Wow! Thanks Brian for the post and for all you are doing.

Thanks Guppy for giving Brian the platform to post.

Jetting Through Life said...

Guppy... Wow!

Brian... I had goosebumps... You are an amazing writer! Thank you for this post!

XXOO,
JTL

Carol said...

Great post - I will probably refer to it in a post of my own. Thanks!

Cat said...

Great post...very informative and appreciated.

Thanks for the awesome post, guppyman!

carrie said...

that was cool to read.

someone i know who was in the army....
says it's propaganda... that soldier believes it... but he's buying into what he's being told.. he has to, in order to stay there.

gigotti said...

to point u are right carrie. But when you see the events for yourself and you see the mission at hand, it is not propaganda. The things I mentioned in this post were things my unit has accomplished, not what some general told me to write. Everyone has a right to your opinion, and I thank you for sharing your opinion. Guppy, thank you for allowing me to post, I would love to do it again sometime.

SGT Capozzi

Nic said...

SGT Capozzi, excellent post! Thank you for letting us know what is really going on over there instead of what we are being force fed, crammed down our throats via the liberal MSM over here. God bless you for your service to our country!

bozette said...

Thanks for your comment.
Hubby saz God put squirrels on this earth to amuse him.

Beth said...

Thanks for this post. It's very encouraging and good to hear things from your perspective.

Thanks for everything.

TrueJerseyGirl said...

Thank you Brian for everything you are doing. Even us Democrats appreciate you and the sacrifices you are making. Thanks.

Gup, I like the new look, although I don't know how new it is. Its been months since I have visited anyone's blogs.

David said...

Brian, this was very helpful for me to read. While I have always been uneasy about our government's reasons for starting this war, I have been proud of the way our soldiers have been working so hard to make this war have a positive outcome. Your hearts are true.

The media covers the war the way it does because if they talked mostly about positive things, no one would watch or read the news. It is a sad but true comment on human nature but, to paraphrase a famous quote "no one wants to read about all the houses that didn't burn down last night." We as a people love drama, and if reporting on bomb attacks gets people's blood pumping and glued to the TV set, that's what will be reported.

Thanks, guppyman, for showcasing Brian's words - from a fellow human being who happends to be a Democrat, and a Jew.

panthergirl said...

With all due respect, if this is all about giving the Iraqi people a voice, and ensuring human rights there, then we had better be prepared to send troops to North Korea and other countries where people need the same voice.

Are we prepared to do that?

Here via michele...

Carmi said...

Brian, I was touched by your entry and hope that the rest of your tour proceeds safely and uneventfully.

I hope that you know that the media distortion works both ways: everyone back home believes in your mission and your need to get home safely. Sadly, today's media leaders choose to focus almost exclusively on the administration's perspective.

What you're doing matters. We care, and not a day goes by that we don't pray for you all.

Godspeed, and I look forward to hearing more from you.

Guppyman: thank you for sharing this profile in courage.

srp said...

Here from Michele.
A very touching and appropriate post. We are praying for the brave troops like you Brian. As you can tell by some of the comments, not everyone is of the same mind. While this is very irritating, it is democracy at work.

Thank you guppyman, your heart is in the right place.

Minerva said...

A fascinating post...

Keep safe, keep well and come home safely,

Minerva...

Crazy Dan said...

Kill'em all and let God sort them out.

Mama B said...

Decided to stay a bit a read your blog. Particularly enjoyed this post along with the others. My husband was in the military for 20 years, went on 7 deployments. I never take for granted what he has done for our country. I'll be back to read more later....I'm blogrolling you. :)

JOE B said...

Hey Guppy, I went by and left Brian a quick comment. Thanks for the post. You know I have a soft spot for anyone who serves our country. They are heroes to me.
Thanks, Joe B