One of the returning soldiers from this regiment is Chief Warrant Officer Roger Wood of Fort Carson, Colo. Wood, a helicopter pilot, arrived home last weekend. He tells me, "There's a lot of good going on in Iraq," adding that "negative stories" he's seen on the news "are discouraging." Wood says he's noticed a "big difference" since his first tour in 2003 in the way Iraqi soldiers and police operate. He says they are increasingly confident and able to operate independent of American forces. "Iraq will come around," Wood predicts. "Baghdad will take a little longer, but as people see change and acquire hope, we'll see a new Iraq."
The mayor of Tall Afar concludes his letter: "God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget. To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. This sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. ... Let America, their families and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life."
The U.S. Conference of the World Council of Churches recently condemned U.S policy in Iraq for "raining down terror" on helpless Iraqis. They should talk to the mayor of Tall Afar and tell him to his face they think al-Zarqawi's "reign of terror" should not have been ended.