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Old 10-12-2003, 06:47 AM   #1
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Happy greetings from Iraq,...

If this is true,.....

WASHINGTON -- Letters from hometown soldiers describing their successes rebuilding Iraq have been appearing in newspapers across the country as U.S. public opinion on the mission sours.
And all the letters are the same.

A Gannett News Service search found identical letters from different soldiers with the 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, also known as "The Rock," in 11 newspapers, including Snohomish, Wash.

http://www.theolympian.com/home/news...e/121390.shtml
http://www.veteransforcommonsense.or...le.asp?id=1166
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Old 10-12-2003, 12:33 PM   #2
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If this is true, than bad form all around.
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Old 10-12-2003, 04:38 PM   #3
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I know what my friends feel and thats enough. In addition, not a single US representive, whether they be Republican or Democrat, who have been to Iraq, has come back saying that there is no progress and the situation is a disaster as most liberals would like people to believe. They come saying how amazed they are at the dedication of the troops and how successful they have been in helping Iraq. They certainly acknowledge the amount of work that needs to be done, but all agree that media coverage in Iraq over the past few months has been inaccurate and unobjective, especially in regards to the accomplishments the troops have made.
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Old 10-13-2003, 12:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
I know what my friends feel and thats enough. In addition, not a single US representive, whether they be Republican or Democrat, who have been to Iraq, has come back saying that there is no progress and the situation is a disaster as most liberals would like people to believe. They come saying how amazed they are at the dedication of the troops and how successful they have been in helping Iraq. They certainly acknowledge the amount of work that needs to be done, but all agree that media coverage in Iraq over the past few months has been inaccurate and unobjective, especially in regards to the accomplishments the troops have made.
Good for you,...
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Old 10-14-2003, 03:03 AM   #5
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"Non Compos Mentis" by Mr M, SPC McLain
Howdy, all.

Mister M here, hailing from the Shia ghettos of Sadr City .

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Qatar , wearing civilian clothes and cursing the world under my breath. You see, I was given R&R leave, four days to kick back and relax.

I showed up at the Baghdad International Airport early in the morning, where I was stripped of my body armor and my weapon. For some reason, our chalk was skipped, so we sat around for about 12 hours in the sun, sleeping on the gravel and hating life. After a few false starts (one involving a C-130 engine going out), we were finally airborne, and en route to Qatar .

I was seated next to one of the most irritating kids I've ever had the displeasure of sharing space with. He just wouldn't shut the fuck up, and after about 2 hours of listening to his fucking verbal diarrhea, I was about to pull rank and seriously fuck his day up. But the gods smiled on me, and we landed. My ass was completely numb from the webbing seats.

The bleak surroundings which greeted us were almost apocalyptic in their starkness. Flat, featureless desert for miles around, the bitter tang of sea salt in the air, and the cramped bus I was riding all contributed to my feelings that perhaps this was going to suck.

And suck it did.

We were in briefed by a number of people, who told us the following, either implied or directly:

• There is a limit of three beers per evening, per soldier. The beers are three dollars for a 12 ounce can.

• Unless one was lucky and got picked in a lottery, there was to be no leaving of the military installation without a sponsor.

• Female soldiers could not sponsor all males, and vice versa. Each sponsor group was to include an equal number of male and female soldiers. (This was clever, because male soldiers outnumbered females nearly 50 to 1, so in effect, all the male soldiers were getting screwed).

• We were to live in tents that were erected in warehouses.

• There is to be no fucking.

We arrived too late to partake of the beer or the vendors, so we just unpacked and went to sleep. The warehouse was freezing, and we were issued nothing but sheets to keep us warm, so I woke every 15 minutes cold as fuck. I curled into the fetal position and tried to ignore it.

The next day, we struck out to get the grand tour of Qatar 's military installation, which we quick determined to be shitty.

We spent three days in Qatar , bored out of our skulls, drinking three beers an evening, and spending vast amounts of money on overpriced fast food.

It fucking sucked. It fucking sucked Satan 's red hot cock.

When I returned from Qatar , I was informed that the Army had instituted a program of mid-tour leave, where soldiers get 2 weeks to go home. However, people who went to Qatar couldn't go.

Fuck.

We'll see how that plays out, though.

I would give a kidney to be able to see my family, drink some real beer, and get laid.

What else?

Well, I'm sure if you watch the news, you'll note that there's an awful lot about riots and demonstrations in Baghdad , because the Coalition decided to arrest an Imam and raid his mosque.

That is some bad juju, no bullshit. The last thing I personally want to do is piss off the 2.5 million ghetto denizens of Sadr City . These people don't fuck around; they take their religion deadly serious.

We'll see how it turns out. Our popularity seems to be waning as of late, so I predict life will take a turn for the interesting.

Right now, our biggest danger is the roadside bombs, fashioned by terrorists, criminals, lunatics, and Ba'athists . There is no more cowardly way to attack us, but it is also effective, to a point. There is so much garbage and shit everywhere; a bomb could be anywhere, anything. It could be hiding in a plastic bag, a metal can, a tire, a pile of rocks, anywhere.

Let's see. Mail is working now, and it's somewhat reliable.

Our food has improved a bit, and it's palatable most of the time.

I've taken to a strict weightlifting routine, so hopefully I can gain back some of the muscle I lost out here in this desert.

I'm learning Arabic.

If I manage to stay out of trouble, I will make my Sergeant stripes before I leave this place.

A female friend of mine is going to be here at Camp Marlboro for a few weeks, so maybe I can get me some.

Life goes on, much as it has for six plus months now, and I can't complain too much. It sucks, but not as bad as it could.

I got a letter the other day, from the mother of a fellow soldier. He is in another squadron, and apparently he hasn't been home in a couple of years. She told me that he doesn't tell her what is going on, that no one in the news reports what's going on in Al Thawra , and that through Eightball Magazine, I have given her the peace of mind she needed about what's happening here.

Mrs. Harvey , I'm glad I could be of some service to you.

I found myself the other day, down in the Arab Cybercafe, talking with my father via IM. Suddenly it struck me that I was half a world away, and every day was another opportunity for some crazy extremist fuck to kill me, and that I might never see his cantankerous, bearded face again. I hope whatever god is out there smiles upon me, and I get that chance again. To see my little brothers and my father. To smell that damp Florida air, to drink and be merry. To climb the gears in my motorcycle and fly along the dark highways at a hundred miles an hour, screaming the lyrics to old songs into the wind.

Fuck. For all the stupid shit I've done in my life, and I'm not dead already, I suppose this little guerilla war isn't going to get me.

Yeah. You hear that, you terrorist fucks? Bring it the fuck on. Me and my machine gun got something for your ass, and your mother's too.

..

Ah. I feel better.

If I could, let me tell you a story.

One night, a couple of months ago, we went on a night patrol. Nothing unusual, just a standard presence patrol to keep the streets safe from machinegun-wielding Ali Babas.

We drove into the city, and we came upon a strange scene. A group of people was at our 10 o'clock , beating the living fuck out of each other with various weapons. It was pretty brutal shit, even by Iraqi standards.

We pull up to the fray in a convoy of three gun HMMWVs. It was up against a building, under one of those surreal arc-sodium lights that make everything orange. There was a vendor's shack between us and the melee, and when one of my Sergeants came around the side of it, a man popped out and tried to knife him. The soldier swung his rifle in a beautiful textbook butt stroke, and it collided with the man's skull with a sickening crack, even as the knife made its arc toward his tender bits.

The man dropped like a sack of rocks, boneless and lolling, with a huge gash in his scalp. At the same time, one of my homies, brave but stupid, had got himself right in the middle of this fracas, where a man hit him upside the Kevlar helmet with a big ass pipe.

This is the dilemma: Shoot? Don't shoot? Technically, the soldier's life was in danger, but taking a human life up close is something rarely done outside the movies. Most shoot outs occur at a distance of 25 meters or more.

My friend pulled out his extendable baton, police style, and proceeded to wail the living shit out of Mr. Pipe . At this point, the whole scene had taken on a lazy, dreamlike feel to it, and this is what I witnessed next:

As the baton came down, it didn't seem to faze the guy at first. He just kept fighting, and my friend kept hitting him, baton in one hand and pistol in the other. Finally, the man went down to one knee, and he tried to stand up. The Sergeant, who had earlier just butt stroked some Mr. Knife, came out of left field with a Mortal Kombat-esque kick to the head, sending Mr. Pipe to the ground. I remember seeing the man's head shoot to the side, neck suddenly limp.

Let me tell you, a kick like that normally knocks someone the fuck out. These guys, however, were some kind of super fuckers, and they lay on the ground, trying to get up, synapses misfiring and eyes rolling around in their skinny faces.

Out of right field, a black-cloaked woman grabbed my friend from behind, startling him. He whipped around, swinging his baton in big cowboy loops, cracking her about the arms and shoulders. She stepped back, and another man jumped up, yanking his man-dress up around his belly without warning. On his leg was a gaping knife wound, looking like a bleeding vagina somehow stuck to his thigh.

The scene before me was utter anarchy, some kind of Quentin Tarentino , Jet Li type shit, with motherfuckers laying about on the ground, moaning and writhing.

Original intentions were to simply stop the fight, but it just turned out that everyone got their asses kicked. Normally, Iraqis like to get close to soldiers, crowding up and touching them, talking a mile a minute, but this was suddenly different. The crowd parted as the soldiers walked out, awestruck Iraqis silent for the first time since we pulled up.

I can only imagine what they saw from their point of view: Three guntrucks pull up and soldiers exit, kicking the living shit out of everyone with kung fu. It was truly a testament to the toughness of American soldiers. A man grabbed my attention and said, “Yes! Good soldiers! Yes!” as he gave me a thumbs up, framed by his grinning, toothless face.

The colonel walked into the mob and asked what the fight was about via his translator. The Iraqis said it was some kind of squabble about drugs. Apparently everyone was high as a fucking kite, which explains why it was so hard to beat the shit out of them, and why they'd try something as foolish as attempt to knife an armored, pissed off soldier.

We remounted our trucks, and were once again on the road.

Five minutes later, as we traveled down Canal Road , I was in the gun turret, scanning my sector as we flew down the road in blackout mode. This is a term that describes a mode of light discipline, where all lights are off, save dim internal lights, and we are driving with night vision devices. I was wearing the AN-PVS 14, a night vision monocular that made the wearer look like a Borg .

Suddenly, I heard a tremendous boom and din. It was so loud that I felt the concussion in my chest. My first thought was that it was some kind of bomb that hit our chase vehicle, and I was further confused by two vehicles to my 9 o'clock that zipped by. The farthest left vehicle was a black luxury car of some kind, hauling ass at probably 90 mph. The second vehicle was a smaller car, sliding along sideways, full of people.

I saw a little girl hanging out of the car, her limp body held fast by her leg, and her head dragging on the pavement at 40 mph.

With my right eye, I saw this in normal human vision. With my left eye, I saw this as some kind of trippy, sharp green shit, with the sparks leaving white trails across my retina.

The car slid in front of us, and as we stopped, I couldn't tear my eyes from the little girl. She looked perfectly calm and peaceful, as if dragging one's skull along the asphalt was a relaxing and normal thing to do.

The HMMWV ahead of us pulled after the black car, and I saw tiny figures in the distance drawing weapons and pulling people from the vehicle.

The people in the little car in front of us were sitting in the car, in shock, as if nothing just happened. Nope, the car wasn't completely decimated, and it wasn't a miracle that everyone inside wasn't crushed by its cheap metal.

The soldiers exited the HMMWV and proceeded to rescue the people in the car, which was slowly leaking it's fluids onto the pavement.

I screamed at the chase vehicle to get a goddamn combat lifesaver out here, and a soldier got out with his little bag and started patching people up. The little girl wasn't doing so well. She had a broken leg and she was leaking sweet-smelling fluid from her ear.

Iraqis came out of their houses and gathered around, watching the soldiers work on the family.

The lead vehicle brought their people back to where we were, and I noticed that everyone was in zip-tie handcuffs. Turns out, the black car was full of criminals, and when they saw our HMMWVs, the driver panicked and slammed into the family's car. A soldier stood over one of the Ali Babas, giving him a flinty stare as the man lamented the rip in his scalp.

I noticed flares going up in the city. Sometimes these are indicators of attack, where elements that are set to ambush us have spotted us with their forward spotters. I made note of it, and told my Sergeant.

We were lit up light fucking Christmas trees, bright headlights on, standing around on the side of a major highway, five vehicles just helter skelter. If we were to be attacked, it'd be ugly.

The medic showed up, and he started working on the worst cases, the little girl and the little boy inside the small car. She was dying on the side of the highway, and he was pretty fucked up. Cool as a cucumber, the medic triaged all the people and began saving lives. The Iraqi ambulance arrived on scene, and as they were loading up the family, gunfire erupted all around us.

It seemed as if hundreds of people were firing assault rifles, RPKs, and everything else in every which direction. In the first minute, we heard literally thousands of rounds, and the skies were busy with tracer fire. Bullets were coming down and hitting the roads around us, and we handed over the scene to the medics and Iraqi police.

We marched, and it was one of the most bizarre drives in my life. Gunfire everywhere, tracers streaking to and fro, hundreds of people firing weapons in seemingly random directions.

When we arrived back on Camp Marlboro , we found out that Uday and Qusay were dead.

That's what the fire was. It was celebration.

Have a good night, folks. Love your country for me. It's the best one in the world, with or without Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Mister M
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Old 10-14-2003, 08:28 AM   #6
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he writes well.
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Old 10-14-2003, 10:47 AM   #7
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where did that come from deep?
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Old 10-14-2003, 11:48 AM   #8
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I smell hoax - the reference to Uday and Qusay and Arnold Schwarzenegger do not sync-up.
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Old 10-14-2003, 12:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
I smell hoax - the reference to Uday and Qusay and Arnold Schwarzenegger do not sync-up.
I was wondering about the same thing...I'm not sure what that reference was.
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Old 10-14-2003, 12:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
I smell hoax - the reference to Uday and Qusay and Arnold Schwarzenegger do not sync-up.
Me too.
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Old 10-14-2003, 12:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
I smell hoax - the reference to Uday and Qusay and Arnold Schwarzenegger do not sync-up.
It definitely makes me wonder. I'm getting cynical about these letters.
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Old 10-14-2003, 01:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
where did that come from deep?
i was surfing the web, going from link to link, when i happened upon it.

I am at work now. When i get home i go to my history icon and find it again and let you know.


Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
he writes well.

True. Which leads me to believe that someone with may have written it who possesses polished creative writing skills.


Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
I smell hoax - the reference to Uday and Qusay and Arnold Schwarzenegger do not sync-up.

I agree. It seems a bit too all-encompassing.

Quote:
Originally posted by verte76


It definitely makes me wonder. I'm getting cynical about these letters.
Very true. This letter is probably no more legit than the bunch that was mentioned in the beginning of this thread. Many enlisted men are saying they did not mail those letters to their so-called home town newspapers.

Does anyone not question the timing, that this occurred at the same time the Bush Administration launched a public relations campaign to influence people about their Iraq war.
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Old 10-14-2003, 01:21 PM   #13
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Ahhh, the power of lies.

I also thought it was interesting how one was written as an all around good guy, nice, articulate and the other as this foul mouth, crass, racist.
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Old 10-15-2003, 08:02 PM   #14
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I thought this a tender look a seemilgly real soldier and the forlough program. I think it has all the ambiguetey(?) of most of us.

http://www.informationclearinghouse....rticle4983.htm

On Furlough, Soldier Savors Every Moment

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 15 (New York Times) Juan Castillo just came home from war. Now he is going back.

For the last 14 days, Specialist Castillo, a 21-year-old artilleryman, has been trying to savor each kiss from his wife, each minute with the baby, each inch of his bed and each sip of Mountain Dew.

But it has not been easy. Happiness is endless happiness, and it is hard to really enjoy 15 days off from the occupation of Iraq when you know war is back there waiting for you and your vacation is basically a bittersweet countdown.

"My strategy," Specialist Castillo explained one night, "is don't sleep too much, because you can sleep all you want back there. Eat a lot — my mom's trying to get me to gain 10 pounds. And try not to think about the madness back there."

The Army's new furlough program is an experiment, and Specialist Castillo, who is deployed with the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, based at Fort Carson, Colo., is one of its guinea pigs. Begun in September, the program is meant to give a "sanity check" to soldiers whose tours of duty in Iraq have been extended to a year, by splitting 365 days into two manageable halves.

"Our intent was that if we can give these men and women a chance to see their families and sort out what they've been through, they'll come back stronger," said Lt. Col. Bob Hagen, an Army spokesman.

More than 3,600 soldiers have come home so far. The reunions have been joyous, of course. One Baltimore specialist got married. But some people, including some veterans, are warning that plucking soldiers out of combat zones to go back home for mere days, which has rarely been done before, is a bad idea. They say such sudden re-entries into family life may cause more stress, not less. The respite is too brief, they say, the disorientation too extreme. And the goodbyes bring twice the pain.

Some soldiers, stoically, have refused the chance to go home.

Specialist Castillo, one of those instinctively sunny types, was not about to miss this furlough. But even his mood could quickly darken when someone asked about the unfinished business only a duffel bag away.

Day 1

As the plane banked over Cincinnati on its way to Florida, Specialist Castillo crunched an ice cube in his teeth, scanned the twinkling lights below and proclaimed: "I can't wait to go to Wendy's. I mean, you can't go wrong with Wendy's."

Two full weeks lay in front of him like a red carpet. He had plans, big plans: a National Football League game, Universal Studios, a swig of tequila with his boys, quality time with the wife and kid, maybe even sky diving. Why not? He had always wanted to go sky diving.

His family lives in DeLand, a town in central Florida between Daytona Beach and Orlando. As the doors whooshed open at the Orlando airport, a shout rang out: "There he is!"

And then: "Johnnnieee!"

His mother, Yomara, was bouncing up and down with all the pent-up energy of a shaken bottle of Champagne. She burst toward her son and smothered him with hugs, kisses, squeezes and pinches.

"Mom, Mom, stop, stop," he said.

"I ain't stopping nothing."

Specialist Castillo turned to his wife, April, 19. Her expectant face glowed with fresh makeup. They kissed. His mother-in-law then handed him his newborn son.

Specialist Castillo's eyes blazed with tenderness and awe as he looked down at Juan Castillo Jr. for the first time.

"Hold his head up, John, hold his head up," April said.

"Oh my God," was all he could mutter.

Little Juan was three weeks old. Like his father, the family calls him John. The leave program gives preference to soldiers with young children, especially newborns.

That first night, Specialist Castillo paced his mother's spotless living room in his combat boots, eating toasted ham sandwiches, marveling at the running water, telling everybody how great it was in Cincinnati, where the plane stopped, to see the first rain he had seen in months.

His mother could not take her eyes off him.

"I was so worried about you," she said. "I gained a lot of weight, then I lost a lot of weight, and then I gained it back. I was a mess. I even thought of joining the Red Cross so I could go over to Iraq and see you."

Specialist Castillo barely slept that night.

Day 2

The first stop the next morning was his old high school.

"Man, you look good," said the school police officer, Greg Roberts, as the two hugged.

Specialist Castillo said, "Got you an Iraqi police patch."

The police officer was almost embarrassed by the thoughtfulness. He collects police patches and Specialist Castillo had remembered that.

"So, how you doing over there?" the deputy asked.

"It's madness," Specialist Castillo said. That is his favorite word to describe Iraq. "Madness."

Specialist Castillo, who works the radio for his artillery battery at the Asad air base west of Baghdad, started telling stories about fainting from heat exhaustion and getting pelted with rocks and running patrols in dark desert towns where his unit invariably gets shot at. A few weeks ago, a sergeant in his squadron was torn apart by a road bomb.

"In the beginning I was into this; we all were," he said. But now, he feels the war is a waste.

"We haven't found anything, no weapons of mass destruction, no Saddam, no nothing. And the people there hate us. If we were rolling through a town and they were cheering, hell yeah, it would make us feel better. But when they're not cooperating and throwing rocks and giving us evil looks, we don't want to be there. We're conquerors to them. It wasn't supposed to be like that."

Sometimes, the biggest enemy is boredom. When Specialist Castillo finishes his shift on the radio, he seems to have acres of time to do nothing but think of home.

Now that he is home, he cannot stop thinking of going back.

"I can't stay long," he told the police officer. "Only got 14 days."

The police officer shook his head.

"Fourteen days ain't much, is it?"

Specialist Castillo then dropped in on his old guidance counselor, Teresa Snyder, whom he showed pictures of himself strolling through palaces and posing with bricks of confiscated Iraqi gold. In many photos, it looked as if Specialist Castillo were playing war rather than fighting it.

"What are you exactly doing over there?" Ms. Snyder said.

He replied: "Ever seen the show `Cops'? That's basically it: kicking in doors, searching things, looking for weapons and gold and stuff like that."

Her eyes studied his face.

"Is it getting better?" she asked.

"No," he said.

Day 4

Specialist Castillo was learning to be a dad. He changed his first diaper.

"Little John peed all over me," he said. "It was awesome."

April Castillo said her husband was adjusting well, considering.

"But he still needs a little help with the car seat," she said.

Some military psychologists say the two-week furlough should be used as a vacation, not a time to play house.

"It's not a time to make big decisions or take care of business," said Shelley MacDermid, co-director of Purdue University's Military Family Research Institute.

Day 6

Specialist Castillo confessed that he did not want to go back to the dust and heat and the kids with dirty little hands always touching him, pleading, "water, water."

He said he was not a mean guy. But he has had to coarsen. He has had to kick kids away, he said.

"Over there, man, something happens; something inside me snaps."

Then he added, "If I didn't have a wife and baby, I might seriously not go back."

According to Colonel Hagen, all soldiers who have been granted leave have reported for duty when their two weeks were up. "No AWOLs so far," Colonel Hagen said. "They know the consequences."

In Vietnam, soldiers got a week of rest and relaxation in Saigon, Bangkok or Honolulu. The current leave program is the first that sends soldiers to the continental United States, though some people have suggested that someplace like Europe might be easier on families.

E. C. Hurley, executive director of the Marriage and Family Institute, which counsels many military families, said "coming home and saying goodbye is not as acute if it's on neutral territory."

He also said a few spouses had told him that they did not want their soldiers to come home, though nearly all the families he works with support the program.

Nichelle Jordan-Brown, a supply sergeant who arrived on the same flight as Specialist Castillo, said some soldiers in her unit had turned down the leave.

"They said it would be too hard to go back," Sergeant Jordan-Brown said.

As for herself, she planned a surprise and did not tell her children a word. When she went to pick up her 7-year-old daughter at school, the girl thought her mother was a mirage.

Day 9

Specialist Castillo and his older brother Luis went to visit their father's grave. The father, Miguel Castillo, an immigrant from Puerto Rico and a Marine sergeant, died of cancer at 41. The brothers put fresh roses on his grave and brushed away dead leaves.

Time was beginning to wear down Specialist Castillo. At first, the 15-day furlough felt endless. Now it felt fleeting.

Day 10

Specialist Castillo went sky diving.

Right before he jumped out of the plane, he looked into a video camera and mouthed "I love you."

Some of his friends joked that he was acting as if he had a terminal disease. Sometimes that is what it felt like. That night on the news, there was another report: Two more American soldiers had been ambushed and killed in Baghdad.

"Nobody's safe over there," Specialist Castillo said. When he first got to Iraq, he said, he wanted to win a Purple Heart. "Now, I'm like, `You take the mission, guy.' I just want to come home."

Day 12

The techno music blasted, the blender whirled and the tequila flowed from glass to mouth.

It was send-off time, and Specialist Castillo's mother was giving a party.

"Everything's been great so far, Mom," Specialist Castillo told her as he cut through a crowd salsa dancing by the pool. "And it ain't over yet."

He flashed a smile. It slid right off his face.

Now, more than ever, Specialist Castillo looked like a man distracted. His eyes darted around the room; his shoulders were tight.

"I'm a little bit worried, because he's distant," said an uncle, Larry Quinones.

Joe Rosario, a friend of the Castillos and an Army veteran, said the leave program was a bad idea. "It's going to be really hard to reprogram this guy for combat," Mr. Rosario said. "And you know what's going to happen to his morale when he gets back? Straight down. Rock bottom."

As the night petered out and the guests hugged Specialist Castillo goodbye, the chain of emotions came to an end: anticipation, celebration, contemplation and now just dread.

"I hate it over there, I hate it," Specialist Castillo said.

But then he caught himself.

"I shouldn't be complaining," Specialist Castillo said. "The Army can't keep me there forever."
Copyright: New York Times
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Old 10-15-2003, 08:39 PM   #15
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Tomorrow night, my best friend who spent 8 months in Iraq this year will be coming back to his home home from his US base in California. My friends and I are all going out tomorrow night to see him and have some beers and talk face to face for the first time since Christmas/New Years. It should be an amazing and fantastic time.
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