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May 30, 2009

SLIDESHOW: A local soldier's photos from Iraq


Q: As a unit leader, you spend a lot of time in and around the Stryker vehicles. Are they performing as you expected?

A: The Strykers are performing great. All of our vehicle crews are doing outstanding jobs and the maintenance crews are doing a great job at keeping our vehicles ready to roll out on missions.

Q: Can you name one positive and one negative aspect of the vehicles you’ve discovered as applied to your current mission?

A: Positives: fast, agile armor. Safe. Negatives: Iraq’s back roads are narrow and it takes a good driver to get us around. Not just anyone can drive on the back roads.

Q: How has the psychological and physical condition of your men evolved in the time you have been in Iraq?

A: Physical: We are all getting stronger going to gym all the time. Psychological: We will be glad to be back in U.S. with our loved ones.

Q: Now that you’ve experienced Iraq firsthand, what misconceptions and misunderstandings do you believe most people have of the place?

A: That Iraq is all sand. It’s not — as you move north in Iraq there is a lot of green from palm trees to fields of crops.

Q: Given what you’ve seen, are you confident Iraq is ready to stand on its own in the timetable set by the Obama administration?

A: The Iraqis are a proud people and they will do their best. They are not like the U.S. with our military power, but they will do OK. They have some good soldiers and leaders.

Pat Bywater can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at

We want to hear from your soldier

If you have a soldier in your family serving in or supporting our missions Iraq or Afghanistan, let them know we’d like to hear from them and share their photographs with our readers. If you or someone you know is interested in participating, e-mail editor Pat Bywater at or call him at (814) 724-6370.

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