What a week. I have just returned from another trip around
Our next stop was at the “soccer team”. This particular family is very friendly to Coalition Forces and they try to keep their neighborhood cleaned up. We stopped there for a few minutes talking to the family through the interpreter. The children were out prancing through the yard playing those endless games that children can play without using a lick of energy. I sometimes wonder what goes through these young minds as they see foreigners walking through their yard. Do their parents explain to them in the simplest ways who we are and what we are trying to do? Do they understand that we are trying to make a safer place for them to live and grow up in? I guess these are questions I may never get answered and can only hope that some how, some way they know that we are not the bad guys.
After the little discussions with the family, we headed off to finish up our patrol. As we crossed over a road onto the other side, we started to head back in the direction of the base and we came across a beautiful house. The patrol leader wanted to know if we wanted to stop in. I thought to myself, what are we just going to barge in? The patrol leader stepped up to the door with the interpreter and knocked on the door. The gentleman opened the door and immediately started smiling and asking us to come in and sit down. It turns out that we were in the nephew of a sheik’s house. It seems our guys stop in there regularly to talk with him. He is a very prominent person in the area with a bit of influence. He was very courteous to us and offered us to sit down and relax. Of course you can’t really relax but it was nice to sit down for a few minutes. He then brought out tea for us which was excellent. They were in small cups with about a teaspoon in a half of sugar at the bottom of the cup. The tea, which he called chai, was the best I have tasted in awhile and after finishing the small cup I was wired. The gentleman told our interpreter he wanted the company commander to come out for dinner one night and we happily obliged to set it up. During the conversation, the funniest thing was said. We had asked the guy if he could turn off his spotlights in his yard for they blinded the guys on guard duty at the base. He said of course, that he would turn them off and that he would be marked with a certain color. If the guards saw anyone else in his yard or near his house after hours to shoot them. I couldn’t’ believe this guy said that. He said he wanted to get rid of the bad guys. After our little chat, we headed back to the base. Myself and my boss had to get ready to head out to our next leg of the journey. I will continue another time for this post is already gotten pretty long.