Skip to comments."It sucks being in Iraq"
Posted on 01/15/2008 3:54:16 PM PST by got_moab?
Albert Jordan, 21, isnt one to hold back, especially when he describes what its like being a soldier in Iraq.
It sucks Its definitely an experience, but it sucks being in Iraq, said Jordan, a U.S. Army Specialist, during an interview with the Beacon, a day after returning home from his first tour of duty.
At first its kind of exciting because youre doing different things. Youre doing what you see in video games, but then a couple of IEDs [improvised explosive devices] go off or a couple of bullets go by your head and you go, Whoa, what is this I got myself into? And then you start thinking too much.
The 21-year-old 2004 Pilgrim graduate who lives on Parkview Avenue joined the Army in May of 2005, and was sent to Baghdad, the worlds most dangerous city, in 2006. He spent both his 20th and 21st birthday in Baghdad.
To illustrate the extreme danger soldiers face on a daily basis, Jordan told a story.
One afternoon in Baghdad, Jordan and his comrades were on patrol. They noticed a mound of fresh dirt in the yard of a residencea telltale sign of a hidden weapons cache. After affirming their suspicions and finding barrels full of weapons, the group followed protocol and checked the lot next door.
Jordan, a staff sergeant and an interpreter approached an Iraqi man in the next house and began to question him.
We were just kind of standing around, and then we heard a single crack and the wall, just a few feet away from my face, exploded. It went Ka-boom, said Jordan.
He was the target of a sniper.
We didnt know where it was coming from, but someones not just going to shoot randomly We got out of there and I was like Wow, I almost got shot in the face, he said.
The story isnt an isolated incident. Its one of many that Jordan chose randomly.
Thats the reality of being an Army Specialist in Baghdad. The threat of a snipers bullet, an explosion of an improvised bomb or even a drive-by shooting, is as pervasive as the sand during a windstorm.
You go out and you say to yourself, Is this going to be the last day that I woke up, said Jordan.
How does one deal with the reality that death could realistically come at any given second?
You just dont think about it. You try not to as hard as you can, said Jordan.
As time passed, Jordan began to question the purpose of the mission.
Every day someone is getting killed, and wed ask ourselves, What is this for, Jordan said.
Jordan granted that while he doesnt like being in a war zone, it does come with the territory. What makes the Iraq war an even harder pill for him to swallow is the fact that he doesnt understand the rationale for it. After all, Iraq never attacked America, he notes.
Some will argue that America is establishing democracy in the Middle East, but Jordan counters that democracy is something that must come from within, it cant be imposed.
Most troubling, he said, is the fact that since the invasion, the military has acted less and less like a military and more like police.
Were not police officers. Were trained to go and kill people in battles, not keep them in line, said Jordan.
Like many in the private sector, while he doesnt agree with the mission set up by his superiors, he follows orders dutifully.
Jordan said he believes the surge has been successful in reducing violence over the last year, but notes that it also increases the likelihood of soldiers being killed because with more American troops comes more targets for the Iraqi insurgents.
And although he doesnt agree with the war, he rejects the notion of setting timetables for withdrawals, as some prominent Democrats have suggested. It wouldnt be wise, Jordan said, to tell an enemy when you plan on retreating.
He believes the U.S. will treat Iraq like South Korea, Japan and Germany and remain there indefinitely.
Jordan joined the Army for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, he comes from a military family. His sister, Shannon Wyatt, is also a member of the Army. His older brother, Don Moyer, a Warwick lawyer, was also in the military before becoming a lawyer.
As a child, Jordan always wanted to become a career military man. But he didnt get around to joining the Army until a couple years after graduating from Pilgrim. He lacked direction, and decided to do his country a favor by enlisting in the Army.
After completing his first stint in Iraq, Jordan said he has no intention of becoming a career military man.
Despite his distaste for the current war, Jordan deeply respects the military, and is thankful for the benefits of being a soldier. The tax-free pay he receives as a soldier is better than that he earned at his last job before enlistinghe worked at Ocean State Job Lot. Also, before he enlisted in the Army, he was in debt. Now hes debt free.
When he completes his service, he hopes to either parlay his military experience into a position at a local police department, or attend college.
He fully expects to get sent back to Iraq sometime next year, but he isnt looking forward to it.
Im not happy over there. Im not happy, said Jordan.
I don’t think the guys at Bastogne were happy either... Soldiers always gripe, it’s their right. It’s just now we have an anti-American vulture media.
I sure am glad that when I was a kid there wasn’t any reporters interested in anything I had to say!
Noone ever shot at me when I served, so this young man gets a free pass from me anytime. There was very little about the service I liked when I was in. Half the time I understood why they locked up our guns and seldom handed us ammo.
One thing you can bet: when he’s finished with his time, and prayerfully in one piece, he’ll be forever proud of his service. He’ll be looked up to by his friends and family. He’ll be able to look a lib and war protester in the eye, shake his hand, and wink at his gilrfriend, thinking, she’s going to bed with a pussy.
Here’s to you, kid!
and there it is...
I agree. I repsect his decision to serve his country and his opinions are certainly valid since he’s commenting on what he sees. I just wonder how many people did they have to interview till they finally found someone who would say what the MSM wanted to hear about Iraq. If I’m not mistaken there were no quotes from other people in Iraq in this story. If his opinion were a majority opinion they you would think there would be more quotes than just this one soldier. Either way I respect him for serving his country and following thru on his committment to serve country.
Well, as we know here at FR that's not quite true. There is compelling evidence that Saddam was behind the first World Trade Center bombing. Saddam supported al-queda and other islamic terrorist groups intent on harming America and those that had. He tried to assassinate 2 Presidents. Oil for food. We took out of Iraq everything that saddam needed to build a bomb. Saddam's own admission that he intended to restart the nuke program after sanctions were lifted. The zarqawi bomb plot for Jordan and the US Embassy.
It’s not easy, and I understand his feelings.
I’ve muttered the “This sucks” mantra a time or two while in the field.
Don’t be too hard on the kid. Pray for him and his comrades.
I hope they all come home safe and sound.
He says he wants a cop's joblike that's a walk in the park. :-\
Remember, he is from rhode island........the fairy state.
Airborne! Worry when the troops aren’t complaining.
Not much of what he says is something to be proud of but would you all please remember who got to edit it before you got to read it. He’s there and I’m here, he can have a lot of slack as far as I’m concerned, I still owe him.
I recall reading and hearing “embrace the suck”.
I’ll bet that those criticizing him haven’t been to Iraq.
How much time did you spend in Iraq?
I'll be the first to admit. I've never been there. But I'll point out two things. First, I'm highly skeptical of media reports of soldiers speaking out against the war, and criticizing publicly President Bush's strategy. Why? Because the press has been know to report stories from fake soldiers.
Second, I know several people who have been over there. My best friend signed up so he COULD go over there, and tried his best to get transferred to Baghdad. Yes, he told me privately that things weren't perfect over there. Yes, he was very ready to come home back to his fiance. However, he would never go to the press and speak out against his Commander in Chief, nor question why they were over there.
This fellow thinks that he bright enough to have his opinions reviewed in Public, but he’s not stupid for joining in the first place?
Troops always gripe, but this bit of ranting might probably qualify him for a Field Grade Article 15.
The beauty of implementing those effective WW II standards is that it would be almost impossible for the Left/MSM to argue against them. All the President would have to do is say "If it was good enough and the right thing to do for FDR, one of America's greatest wartime leaders, then it's good enough for us now."
This would require, of course, a President with the courage to confront the Left/media/Democrats, make his case forcefully and directly to the American people, and stand firm in the face of the inevitable media hysteria and hissy fit they would pitch. Unfortunately, we didn't have a President who was willing to what was necessary.
Perhaps one day we'll have such a man or woman as President...
What does that have to do with it? Everyone in the military gripes but few gripe to the left wing enemedia.
One reason that I support Hunter. He was one of the VERY few that wanted to prosecute the leakers AND printers of classified info as well
Rhode Island. Says it all. Nice place to visit if there are no Democrats.
Otherwise, it is still a political pile of crap and so are their newspapers.
At one time Rhode Island was part of the US. Now it is the Peoples Republic of Rhode Island. Some of our founding fathers just turned over in their graves.
PS: I didn’t have any trouble in Saigon. More trouble on the streets of DC. What is wrong with this story?
The article says this was a day after the guy returned from Iraq.
You called this man a sniveler, yet you’ve not spent a day in his boots.
Nothing he said was over the line in any way shape or form.
He EARNED his opinion of the war and every aspect to it.
YOU exercise your rights because of men like him.
You call him a sniveler but he protects you.
What does that make you?
Liberals (aka Socialists)
How did he learn ARABIC by 21?? Is he an ARAB? ARABIC is NOT easy, as I understand.
And so you never read any port-a-can graffiti from troops in Iraq, have you?
You think they all love what they're doing, why and how?
A day after the guy returns from his first tour in Iraq and he feels like spilling his guts? So what?
Maybe you should have a few drinks with some vets and see what they really think.
My son did two tours of Iraq as a Marine. He never complained.
He left for boot camp at 3:30am the day we caught Saddam. I’ll never forget it.
You seem to be good at hot air EE.
You got that right!
Captain Miller: I don't gripe to you, Reiben. I'm a captain. There's a chain of command. Gripes go up, not down. Always up. You gripe to me, I gripe to my superior officer, so on, so on, and so on. I don't gripe to you. I don't gripe in front of you. You should know that as a Ranger.
Calling a returning 21 year old vet a coward cuz he says thing you don't like?
How despicable of you.
Unlike you I support the troops.
Did it here, did it there. Doing it now.
Yeah, leave it to the boneheads at Free Republic. They are all "rah rah rah Support the Troops", but when a troop says something completely typical of a young soldier (Iraq sucks), they bash the poor kid to pulp.
Hey guess what, folks? EVERY MEMBER OF THE MILITARY THINKS BEING IN IRAQ SUCKS. None of them will hesitate to tell you that if you ask.
Are you prepared to bash every member of the military?
Fair weather troop supporters.
Hey, screw you! This guy is an American combat vet. He says he isn't happy being in that stinkhole Iraq, and he's a POS that should be flipping burgers? You're a moron.
Go back to DU or Daily Kos.
I don't know how this soldier made it out of BCT. Boggles the mind with an attitude like that. I had tours of duty that sucked, but that's the way it goes.
Jordan, you were very lucky to be born in the U.S.of A.
And Jordan, thank you for your service.
I’ll give the soldier a couple of miles of leeway. I bet a lot of guys in Iraq feel the same way.
Maybe the reporter can take a time machine and ask someone, “What’s it like being on Omaha Beach?”, if either one of them lives long enough to give an answer..
Look, its not like he protested in his uniform, threw his medals over the White House fence, or accused his fellow country men of murdering, raping, and pillaging like JENN-GISS Khan.
This guy isn't a moron. What he says mirrors what almost every member of the Army I know thinks. I'm active duty Army. You, and most Freepers, would be amazed how many people in the Army think the only reason we should still be in Iraq is to basically "fix what we've broken" and that we can't pull out now because we started this mess and we have to make sure it's fixed before we leave.
That sentiment belongs to the overwhelming majority of the soldiers, NCOs and Officers.
Why is it that bonehead Freepers don't hesitate to bash combat vets if they don't cheer from the mountaintops about how great the Iraq war is? These guys have to actually fight this thing. I think they have the right to bitch about it without being called morons.
The truth is that it DOES suck to be in Iraq. Both of my kids thought so, my son-in-law thought so, and I thought Afghanistan sucked. And I was at one of the largest and nicest FOBs!
Of course, I’d also volunteer to go back another tour (not likely, got a retirement date and 85% of the PCS-ing folks in my office haven’t been replaced, so we’re a bit short handed).
It is like my Dad said, in one of the very few comments I got out of him about war. He had been in WW2 & Korea, and was about to leave for Vietnam (where he died). He said, “You’re always dirty, you’re always tired - but you have a job to do and you do it.”
Hey, buy him a drink on my behalf.
And since you’re paying (LOL) make it a premium brand!
The media is the traitor, the soldier, well, he’s mistaken.
Must be a generational thing, because I would at least want to put on the best face possible when my story was told to the world.
A bit harsh, IMO.
The kid is griping, not deserting.
Have you served in the military?
I’m not criticizing, just felt kind of conflicted after reading this in my local paper and figured I’d see what others felt (particularly those who have served).
Yes absolutely, the media and liberals are the traitors.