I know many of you as friends and family may be wondering, "Yeah, Ernie, but what about you? How are you doing?" You know what? I'm doing great. I'm just don't have that much exciting going on for me. Where I am and what's going on here is what's exciting.
I will tell you this. I'm excited to be here. I have a very rewarding job. I am in a very exciting place. I am surrounded by extraordianary circumstances. I am surrounded, yes, by some extroadrinary people, but more so, ordinary people who are doing their duty in extraordinary circumstances.
But do you realize that this base I'm on, this little 2 miles by 2 miles square area, is one of the driving engines in the rebirth of a formerly violent nation? Here now, the violence barely rivals that of common criminals and car accidents in some of America's larger cities. Not to mention about 1000 Americans died in one hurricane Katrina in a week, more than during a year in Iraq, just to put things in perspective.
But from this little area in Kirkuk, the fabric of freedom is being sown, as it is from other small areas. Iraq is going through swome major heart surgery. Just as in Germany, Japan, South Vietnam, and everywhere else that the US has gone to change a murderous regime into a productive country of democracy and freedom.
Do you realize this? And so I am here with my eyes and mind wide open. What are the ingredients, the methods, the early signs, the latter signs? What is it about the people that changes, what is it about the leadership that guides it, what is it about the Americans and the people they interact with that brings about these miracles? And I am soaking it in, and trying to pass the experience on. Be sure I'll drop a few tidbits about myself, how can I help it?
Or you can check back into the first year archives. But to me it's about other things and other people...