Do we see progress in Iraq?

How do the Iraqi people respond to the American Soldier's presence?

What kind of progress to you see in Iraq?


Gigotti78- Well, Kristi, as far as how do ppl respond to us, they seem to warm up to us as each passing day. They now realize that we are not here for any other reason but for their independence and for them to be able to be free and have a voice. We as soldiers, reach out to the Iraqi people every chance we get to show them our gratitude. Now, progress, I was waiting for this question....this is a fun question. If you just read the daily paper and watch the MSM, you would think that we are losing this war on terror and that we are making no progress whatsoever. I say BULLSHIT! Everyday that passes we make progress. We are training the Iraqi soldiers and police forces so that they can deal with this insurgency and the normal problems of a country. We are handing over more and more of their country to them so that they can root out the evil and we kinda watch them, like a big brother. This past October, they had an election to vote for their constitution. Like I said in an earlier post, and I will keep saying to the whole world realizes this, 65% of their eligible population turned out to vote yes or no. 65%!!! Try getting that turn out in a western civlization country. That screams progress. These people are basking in what freedom can do for them and their families. As each day passes, progress is made, no matter how miniscule or major, whether it is political or humanitarian, progress is made...

Mr. Matt - I have explained in the previous answer that mostly all Iraqi citizens like having us here for example the waving hello as opposed to the finger. Yet, most of them understand that we are here for them not against them. As for the progress part.... If the Liberal media diden't look for all of the minor flaws that pop up and then flaunt them everyone would see that progress is being made. Plain and Simple. We are helping then build schools and hospitals, training there law enforcement and troops, and helping those in need with supplies and medical care. So according to the media were getting blown up all the time and being very unproductive. That is bullshit. They (the media) should pull their heads out of their asses and focus on the real deal not bashing the President and his political party.

Multiple Questions from Maria

First and foremost,thank you for starting Ask the Soldiers. What a great idea! I do have a few questions.

  1. How is the morale of the troops? I am very concern because I feel you have the hardest of jobs being stationed in Iraq. I'm sure it's hard enough being in a war —without feeling the country is becoming divided about it. Are the troops affected by what is going on back home, or do they pretty much ignore it? (And does this count as one, or two questions? LOL)
  2. What is the attitude of the Iraqi people towards Americans? Is the press being honest in reporting that most hate us or do you see it differently? Is it more of a 50-50? Do Iraqis seem to appreciate what we are trying to do? Do they support our efforts? (Did I go over my quota of questions?)
  3. Are you getting all the supplies you need? Sometimes I hear about soldiers requesting batteries for flashlights, and gloves for the winter. It is very concerning; because I would think the military would provide you with needed items. Are you being kept well equipped? (That's my last question promise!)

Again, thanks for doing this. God bless you and keep you safe!

Maria I would link you but you didn't leave a site.

Mr. Matt

1. The morale of the troops as always fluctuates. It always depends on the individuals mood or feelings for that day. Everyone knows what is going on at home and it is hard to ignore it at times because we know that we have lives there and we also worry about our loved ones.

2. I'm putting a link in here that relates to your questionearliereariler question GIGotti78 and I have already answered. I hope you don't mind. http://askthesoldiers.blogspot.com/2005/11/Iraqi's-iraqis-feel-about-their.html

3. Where we are we do get the supplies that we need. We can get batteries for most electronic items that we have and we have been issued gloves. They are not the best gloves but they do the trick. 9 times out of 10 the military does provide us with everything we need. The other times it's on us. Like if you need SPECIAL batteries for your flashlight that's on you due to the fact that no one told purchaseurchace a $90 lantern.


1. I will have to agree with Mr. Matt. Morale fluctuates constantly. Alot of how soldiers feel depends on different factors like, what the mission is at hand, the time of the year, how much rest and food they are getting etc. Now, dont take the food thing wrong, their are always MRE's
(Meals Ready to Eat) that you can take on patrol but if you eat enough of them, you would rather eat sand with tabasco sauce on it. The most depressing time that brings morale down is the holidays. That is always the HARDEST time to be gone and I dont care who you are. Being home during the holidays is something everyone wants but unfortunately, not everyone can. That is why you see that movie stars and musicians come over and do little shows, it helps boost the morale. I'm still hoping that Toby Keith comes over while Im here or I will have low morale. (You hear that Toby? your biggest fan is in Iraq so come over and do a show!)
2. Like anywhere you go, not everyone is going to like you. For the most part, the Iraqi people are starting to realize what freedom is and as they warm up to it, they help us fight the insurgency. So, I would say the Iraqi people for the most part appreciate what we have done for them and are doing for them. Nothing like the liberation of Europe, but yes, the MSM askew everything so dont watch TV!
3. This is a very good question. When we first invaded (lack of better word) Iraq, we had to set up bases for our soldiers to conduct missions out of. In the beginning, it was very difficult for soldiers to get alot of the supplies they needed. But, after 2 years of being here, the military has set up their networks, so it is alot easier for soldiers to get the essentials and then some. For instance, on our base, we have a PX (that is the store) has computers for sale. Now, their are some soldiers who still dont have all these luxuries, but for the most part, we are all well taken care of since we have more semi-permanent residences.


Multiple Questions From Frederick.

Hey, Guys,
One thing that continues to bug me about all this: the news, etc.
continue to call this "The War in Iraq". Didn't The War end really
quickly, back in 2003? Put simply, the former military and government
of Iraq do not exist. That usually means the war is over. This fight
with rebels, terrorists, etc. must be called something else, no? How
do you consider this or is it just semantics, i.e., war is war?
Oops, that's technically a few questions...thanks

curious in NYC,

Frederick Otilius Olsen, Jr.

GIGOTTI78 - Wow, now these are some tough questions Frederick. First off, your right,
technically the war ended rather quickly in 2003. Some would say that our government prematurely
called the war over. BUT, this is still a very hostile combat zone with all the insurgency and
unrest. The way I look at it, it's not the "War in Iraq" we are fighting but the bigger beast,
"The War on Terrorism". We still have troops in Afghanistan fighting the same type of insurgencies
we see here in Iraq, but they dont call it the "War in Afghanistan". I really think the MSM coined
the term War in Iraq due to all the losses we have taken since official battles ended in 2003. So,
to be politically correct, the next time someone mentions the "War in Iraq", tell them to wake up that
its the "War on Terrorism". Let's give all our men and women credit all around the world for once.

MR.Matt - I would have to agree with GIGotti78 on this one. This is also one of the few times that we
will agree on much. Yes the media is still blowing up the whole "war in Iraq" deal. It is more then just
a war on Iraq but a war on terrorism. Right now we are tring to stop the insurgency here in Iraq which
is keeping some of the Iraqi's in a constant state of fear. Being in a constant state of fear is no
way to rebuild ones government. We are kinda like the police officers you don't always see us but you
know were close.

Do We Get What Is Sent.

The question: we see a lot of links out there for supporting you guys 
with various small items that we think yall would appreciate (say maybe
some tabasco sauce). Do these items ever make it to you?


Mr. Matt - As a matter of fact we do. Right out back we have the MWR (Morale Welfare and Recreation) tent
in that tent you can find books, condiments, drink mixers, magazines, and various personel hygene products.
I would like to thank everyone that takes time out of their day and a little cash out of their pockets to
send us those things. There have been plenty of nights that I've gotten off of work and found myself a snack,
or even waking in the morning to realize that I've run out of razor blades or shaving cream and there it is.

GIGOTTI78 - I have to agree with Mr. Matt. Each day soldiers recieve packages from these different online organizations
or from local clubs. If you are wondering about which ones are good or not, I can tell you that Any Soldier
is a great site. You can also check with your local VFW or American Legion too. Soldiers can sign themselves up or their whole companies and citizens can "adopt" them and send
care packages. Of course, their are some things that are banned, so just check with the websites what is allowed
and what is not. And like Mr. Matt said, THANK YOU all for your support!

How do Iraqis feel about their Independence?

Great idea guys. I've only been to the Stan, but was wondering how the Iraqi people feel about their independence? Are you able to tell if the vast majority is excited to live in a free nation of their own, or perhaps most are indifferent? Thanks.

-Sgt Hook

GIGOTTI78- Well Sgt. Hook, that is a great question. I think the citizens of Iraq are starting to understand the benefits of a free society. After all these years of oppression, they actually have a voice now and they are starting to use it. Just look at their latest accomplishment at the polls. Around 65% of the eligible people who could vote on October 15th did. Try getting that number in America, yea right! Also, talking to some of the Iraqis who work on the base and they are loving life. I have heard reports that citizens in the bigger cities are starting to do their own neighborhood watch sort of thing. But instead of calling the police or coalition forces, they just shoot the insurgents themselves! Their is also reports that some of the local insurgents are starting to understand what freedom is and are willing to work for the political process. Like anytime their is drastic change, it takes some time to understand and follow, but I feel the Iraqis are grasping this concept real quick and warming up quick to it.

MR. Matt- Well I was on a convoy up to our current base from Kuwait. I think they are more or less 50-50 at this time. The reason I say this is because along with the friendly waves I received I was also given the finger many times. I really want to give it right back but just smiled and waved. Any how it seams that some individuals are really for it because being here you hear the accounts of the local towns people starting to clean up their towns by stopping the insurgents themselves then turning them into the collation forces. So over all since I've been here most of them are getting used to the independence that they now have and they like it.


Dear Soldiers,

I've been curious as to how many people have re-enlisted or are planning to re-enlist when they are eligible after serving over here and would I do the same?


Although I do not know actual figures for the entire theatre, I do know how our own unit and brigade is fairing and honestly I am surprised. The amount of people that were eligible to re-enlist while on this 18 month deployment was quite a lot. For my unit, about 25% of the soldiers are eligible at some point during this deployment. We are roughly averaging about 4 re-enlistments a month which is still more than I thought we would do. The military takes this part of the business real serious. This is where money talks, bullshit walks. Active Duty has all kinds of enticing bonuses giving lots of money to stay where you are. National Guard is not that lucky, although we do have bonuses. I think one major factor is that if you re-enlist in a combat zone (like Iraq/Afghanistan), your bonus is tax free. So if you sign for "X" amount of years you get the whole bonus whether it be $1,000 or $10,000 dollars. Now, as for myself, when my contract is up (I still have about 3 1/2 years) I will be at about 12 years in the service. More than likely I am going to stay in and get my 20 years and my retirement. No sense in throwing that away. I'm sure Mr. Matt is gonna see things a helluva lot different.

Mr. Matt- Well it seams to be up and down as far as the re-enlistments go in my eyes. There used to be a lot of extentions and re-enlistments before we got deployed to fight the war. Since I was deployed to Bosnia I've noticed that there is a downward spiral type of trend with the re-enlistments even now while were here in Iraq I also see that there is a lot of soldiers that will not be re-enlisting regardless of their time in service. My third enlistment is almost complete which will be in 2008. As of right now I'm unsure weather or not I'm going to be staying in. I'll be close to 10 years of service for our country. Personally as of right now I will not re-enlist to stay in the current unit I'm in due to lack of upward mobility and honestly, I've had enough of most of these idiots.



Gigotti78- Let me be the first to welcome you to the truth. I say truth because through this blog I will try to convey to you, the blogosphere, the truth of what is going on with the War in Iraq. I have seen all too often the uninformed slamming everything and everyone from the President right on down to the lowest private. Now, I will not defend the President on every topic because this is a free country and I have a voice. With my voice, I will attempt to answer any question you may have regarding these tough times whether it be about what we are doing over here, what do we want to accomplish, or simply what its like over here. So come one, ask a question. You may be amazed at the answer you get from me. I can't say the same from my partner Mr. Matt.

Mr. Matt- Okay, I'll be the second to welcome you. By letting you know that I will answer mostly all of the questions asked to us the soldiers fighting here in the war in Iraq. I son't defend anyone I just speak my mind as I feel that I should if I think a topic is correct I'll defend it. The topic may be the president, my self, or the waste of bullets being used here. So as my partner Gigotti78 is motioning to you to ask a question do so e-mail it in to us and we'll post your question and answer the question the best we can. His answers you might be amazed mine you just might be appauled or visa versa.