Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Minh-Duc's Untold Story
...the 206th ING was reliable and courageous. We had almost zero desertion and most held their ground when “shit hit the fan” (excuse my authentic military language). The 206th ING suffered three times the casualties we suffered despite having only a third of our man power. It is also important to put thing into context. We get to go home after 365 days of war. They live the war everyday; their homes are in the war zone.Read the rest. Iraq is not a simple place and does not have a simple story. And read Minh-Duc. Start here:
I watched with amazement as the 206th ING grew from a ragtag band of undisciplined armed men into a cohesive and effective fighting force. When I left at the end of 2004, they were operating mostly on their own – either as a category 2 or 3 unit. They were quite aggressive – sometime a bit reckless.
And what I remember most about the 206th is their hospitality. We were the first unit to arrive at the area and we had to build the base from nothing. So for the first 6 months, we ate T-ration. ... So we were happy when the 206th insisted that we eat with them whenever we work at their compound. They had fresh bread and rice. We then discovered that their food budget was limited and that we were eating into their budget – the Coalition Provisional Government was quite stingy when it comes to Iraqi units funding. We stopped. Colonel Khaki was offended that we stopped eating with his unit. We explained to him that the food was for his men and it was limited, and that it is not right for us to eat food that was meant for his men. Colonel Khaki acclaims, “But you are my men too.” And a bunch of other Iraqi soldiers joined the colonel in insisting that we share the meal with them.
Today, it is confirmed that the Iraqi constitution has passed. I cannot help but think that those days in Iraq were the proudest days of my life. Days that I can retell my children and grandchildren with pride. I have served with the most noble breed of men and women - some are counted among the 2,000 deads. I will remember fondly the numerous convoys we were on together - on an IED ladden road between Mandali and Balad Ruz. The rides were terrified - but the companies were terrific. I will remember fondly the meals we ate together. It was the worst tasting food I ever had; but I could not have it with better companions.I don't know, Minh-Duc. I think you too are leaving your mark on the world, and it is a great one.
Let them count the deads, I will count them too. But I will remember them with pride, not with shame. My proudest days was short live, their are eternal.
They haven't been devalued, either.
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