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.
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.
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