Posted by Curt on 20 May, 2006 at 3:52 pm. Be the first to comment!

In honor of Armed Forced Day I found this article describing the gratitude one Iraqi city and it’s mayor felt for our fighting soldiers:

COLORADO SPRINGS – An Iraqi mayor stood before troops lined up on the lawn at Fort Carson on Friday morning and said only two words in English.

But those two words brought the crowd to its feet.

“Thank you.”

[…]”Are you truly my friends?” he asked through a translator. “Yes. I walk a happier man because you are my friends. You are the world to me. I smell the sweet perfume that emanates from your flower of your strength, honor and greatness in every corner of Tal Afar. The nightmares of terror fled when the lion of your bravery entered our city.”

Last year, the 3rd ACR was credited with securing the city of Tal Afar and largely ridding it of insurgents. The mayor singled out Col. H.R. McMaster, whom he called “a wise leader.”

The mayor patted his hand on his heart and made the peace sign as a crowd of soldiers and their families gave him a standing ovation.

[…]The mayor said afterward through a translator that he worried about fading support for the war in Iraq and urged Americans to remember what it was like before U.S. forces arrived.

“One year ago today, not even a bird used to be inside the city of Tal Afar because of all the shooting that happened continuously,” he said. “All of the schools were closed and all the government facilities were closed completely. Killing and murdering was allowed – even of the children.”

He said mistakes have been made – he did not specify them – but Al Jibouri said he believed troops might need to stay for another two to three years. He said there is still a lot of work to do.

That’s what 1st Lt. Nate Garner thought.

Back from his first tour in Iraq, he said the sagging support for the war didn’t bother him much because he saw a lot of progress in the country. Stationed in Baghdad, he said the improvised explosive devices along the roadsides seemed more hurried and crude and ineffective.

A big round of thanks and gratitude from this former Marine as well to those serving. Happy Armed Forces Day.