My Weather

Saturday, August 04, 2007


For the past nine months, I’ve been serving with a Military Police Brigade in Baghdad. “Oh great”, I thought when I first got assigned here, “I’ll be working with a bunch of Cops writing tickets and checking ID cards.”
Nothing could be farther from the truth! To have a functioning democracy, an effective police force is essential. It is also something that is fairly uncommon over here. Saddam, the Shah, and other leaders used their Army to control the populace. The collation has been busy building the Iraqi Police into a functioning force. That is where our MPs come into play. They provide much of the training and logistical support to the IPs (Iraqi Police) It is a difficult job on so many levels. Our guys are outside of the wire every day, visiting local stations, conducting joint patrols and providing security throughout the country.
It is tough work. On the street level, some of these police stations are located in some of the worse areas of the country and Baghdad. We have taken a lot of casualties as a result. One guy I work with was hit by IEDs two days in a row. Sometimes, the local police are loyal to the insurgents. On the national level, inefficiency, politics and corruption make this a very difficult mission.
I have 18 years in the Navy and I have to say that this is one of the best organizations I have ever worked with. All the way from the Commander, down to the lowest “Joe”, these guys are professional, dedicated and very very good in what they do.
One thing that demonstrates what kind of leather their saddles are made of is the fact that they are re-enlisting. Since 9-11, there has been a huge demand for law enforcement professionals across the US. Any one of these guys can get a job in their home town, making 3 times what they are making now. Why don’t they? Well, there are many reasons, some stay for patriotism, some because of the strong bonds of camaraderie, but most of all, it is simply who they are.
Some members on congress say the Army is broken—I sure don’t see it. Of course, what do I know; I’m just a guy on the ground.

1 comment:

maryeasterling said...

Thanks for posting the picture of you and Paul. I was a little upset to read the posting about the flamigos from the other day. Paul made it seem like the base was a safe place. I guess it's safer than anywhere else over there, but not safe. Good luck on your journey home, and thank you again for setting everything up for Paul.