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Back to Iraq Journal Entry # 1 - Ben Hayden

In the aftermath of the Anbar Awakening, 2008 has proved to be a big year for Iraq, specifically in the Anbar Province.  While Iraq has been seeing unimaginable economic growth, the Anbar province is feeling the same.  In areas once considered highly dangerous, we now see business centers and outdoor market  places.  The question on this Marine veteran’s mind is, “Is this all real?”  Can this actually be the truth?  That’s why I have come here.  I want to see if the areas that I once patrolled, the areas that just 4 years ago were torn by war and rampant with insurgency, can actually by safe.  Moreover, to see whether or not these areas and these people can experience such enormous economic growth and turnaround in such a short time period. 

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