John McCain/Dick Cheney Pay Surprise Visit To Iraq
FORWARD OPERATING BASE NORMANDY, Iraq — At the five-year mark since U.S. troops entered Iraq, warriors here continue fighting and dealing with the consequences.
It is doubtful that Army Capt. Vince Morris, a hard-charging company commander with the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment normally stationed in Vilsek, Germany, is tracking the anniversary debates. He is in a military hospital recovering from the severe concussion he suffered when his armored vehicle exploded immediately outside the entrance to this base, northeast of Baqouba.
Sgt. Rob Robertson will be working from his combat operations post — without television, radio or newspapers — in the town of Himbus, in Diyala's "breadbasket." He will be conducting foot patrols and searching for improvised explosive devices (IEDs), weapons caches and terrorists who went into hiding after a major U.S. and Iraqi push into the region in January.
When he is not on combat duty, he and other men of Iron Company will comb through scores of applications from people in his area wanting to join Concerned Local Citizens groups, the armed neighborhood-watch units renamed Sons of Iraq, which are viewed as a major contributor to increased security in parts of the country.
"What about this one, this Ahmed guy?" he asked a colleague recently while sitting in his tent. "He was a sergeant in Saddam's army."
Ahmed was photographed, questioned and fingerprinted during a recruitment drive. If he passes initial vetting, he could be given a midlevel leadership spot in a Sons of Iraq unit at $450 a month.
Capt. Matt Ross and Lt. Andy Teague of Golf Company are absorbed elsewhere. They are trying to persuade Sunni residents forced from their village by Shi'ite Mahdi militiamen — who also are thought to be members of the local Iraqi police force — to identify the culprits so they can be arrested.
"I showed [one of the displaced families] the book of photographs of the IPs," Lt. Teague told the captain, referencing the records of Iraqi police.
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I forgot to post this the other day. To all the Troops who have Served and are Serving...Semper Fi
I thought this was cool that John McCain and Vice President Dick Cheney payed the Troops a surprise visit on the 5th anniversary of the Liberation of Iraq. What a wonderful bunch of men and women we have Serving in the Military