An email from a sailor in Iraq dated 02 Nov 07:
We all thank you for the cards you and your friends made for us. They’re GREAT! Very creative, I must say. We appreciate your support. We can’t thank you enough.
We all miss home so much! But we’ll be home before we know it. If my digital camera will actually work, I will take a picture of all of us and send it to you. I don’t have any pictures of my group, yet.
It’s ok over here. Nothing much is happening. It has calmed down a lot, where we are at. It sucks being away from home and not being able to get away from work. We work almost every day all week.
Last week was pretty cool. I was able to experience Iraq for the first time. I volunteered to go out on 2 humanitarian missions. We went with an infantry unit, from [location]. We were picked up by them and taken to their tiny compound. Then we went one mile down the road from their compound to an “Iraqi doctor’s office.” We examined and treated over 200 people in about 6 hours. We saw men, women, children, infants, and elderly. The Iraqi’s kept swarming and trying to rush us. This was because the word on the street was that “we were taking 10 Iraqi’s back to America to correct all of their problems because we are miracle workers. And we make old men and women young, again.” So, I can see why it was complete chaos….everyone wanted to be one of the ten to come back to the states. I also went and handed out candy and toys to as many kids as I could. I felt really good about helping people, but at the same time its so sad. Those people don’t have anything. It makes me appreciate what I have and what the US has for its poor people.
The following morning we went to a different place, which was about 1 1/2 hour drive. That place was really rural. They had many mud-huts that they were living out of. I really liked treating the kids and making them feel better. It was so cool to give them candy and toys cause they have nothing.
After that we went back to the Marine infantry’s compound: re-grouped and ate lunch. We had to drop off about 4 female Marines that were out of Falujah. After we dropped them off, we actually drove through the entire city of Falujah. Everything was shot-up or blown up. Most of the city was a ghost town. When the bombing from the war started, most people left the city. I was definitely a site to see. All of the kids would wave to us the whole drive back to base.
FYI, the Marine Corps is a department of the Navy. Therefore, the Navy funds the USMC and lends them medical personnel because they don’t have medical jobs in the USMC. I’ve been in the Navy for 8 1/2 years. I have spent 5 years as a medic for
the Marines. The other 3, I spent stationed right outside of [city]. The entire time, I have only been on a ship for a max of 2 weeks. A sailor that doesn’t sail, weird, I know.
Thank your friends for me and the rest of my crew. Take care and keep in touch! Bye!
-HM2 M.C., Iraq