Monday, January 10, 2005

What do I post about?

Hello, everyone.

I'm new 'round here. I'll tell you a bit about myself and how this blog came to be.

I've been visiting blogs for a while now, especially Iraq the Model and now Ali's new one. I've never left many comments, and when I was going to comment for the first time on Ali's sent me to a page to create my own...hence, this new blog.

A little background for now, I suppose.

I'm 32 years old, was born in Rhode Island and pretty much grew up there. At age 18 I joined the Rhode Island National Guard while I was going to school. At age 20, I went active and have been stationed at Ft. Riley, KS; Korea; Ft. Hood, TX; and now Ft. Drum, NY as part of the 10th Mountain Division.

I'm a 13F (Fire Support Sargeant) and I'm a Staff Sargeant...which in the Army is an E-6. As a Fire Support Sargeant I plan for, direct and adjust fire support assets such as mortars, artillery, attack aviation (rotary wing, IE Apaches and Kiowa warriors) and close air support.

I've been deployed to Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq.

In Bosnia I did mostly presence patrols. Which were designed to secure the area around our base. It also allowed us to speak with the people of the surrounding area so we'd learn what they needed, problems they were having and any other local goings on. It was a great experience and it also changed some perceptions I had about Muslims though, in retrospect I have to say that Bosnian Muslims are much different than any others I've since encountered.

In Kosovo, I was a liason to a Greek Infantry Company that operated out of Partes, which is just outside of Gjilan. Those two towns and the people there really changed me. I learned that Serbians are a really wonderful people...strong, resiliant and beautiful. My main job was to keep in contact with the mayors of Partes and a neighboring village, Donji Budriga. During that deployment I got to work with Macedonians, the UN, numerous NGOs(non-governmental organizations like C.A.R.E.), Italians and others. It is extremely difficult to get in contract with people from there....if anyone knows a way...please, let me know.

As far as the Balkans are concerned, I'm pretty much well versed in their history, culture and opinions. I'll most likely post about this area of the world often.

In Iraq, I also got to work with a lot of different nations and ethnicities. I have a strong love for the Kurds and their Peshmerga are some of the best soldiers I've ever met. Iraqis, as a whole, are educated and open minded. I'll be returning to Iraq shortly and while there, I will try to post of my experiences as often as possible. I'll be concentrating on things I see personally but don't expect some 'war' stories or operational notes. I'll be posting about people I meet and things we are getting done over there. If you want to hear about the bombs, go to CNN. If you want to hear about projects going on in the whole nation of Iraq, go to the links above. If you want to hear what's going on in my sector...where I'm working, then come here.

I hope while I'm there I get to meet the three brothers, and I hope I can make a positive difference. The first time I was there I saw some huge changes...simple things like internet cafe's opening up everywhere, small business flourishing and cell phone systems being brought up. For those of you who think we were met with distain as we arrived and Rumsfeld was full of crap saying that we'd be greeted like liberators, let me just say he wasn't full of crap. As we moved through Iraq I felt sometimes as if I was in a parade with people on the side of the roads cheering as we drove by. Of course, I can't speak for all of Iraq but the parts I was in, that was the case.

I'm married to a wonderful woman and have three children. I'll most likely post often about them too since being married is the biggest thing in my life right now and probably will be for the rest of it.

Well, that's all I can think of right now. Hope you all enjoy it.


At 10:26 PM, Blogger Eric Sowell said...

Stumbled across your blog. Looking forward to your posts. Thanks for doing what you do.

At 6:48 PM, Blogger dcat said...

Thank you for what you do! :)

Welcome to the blogs!


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