Soldiers in the Stryker Brigade are training members of a new Iraqi Civil Defense Corps battalion.
The men were once farmers, taxi drivers and some even served in the former Iraqi army. No matter what their past was, these men took a vow to serve their country, under new leadership, and wear a uniform that symbolizes the future of Iraq.
“I am proud to serve my country,” said Pvt. Amer Yahya. “I want to protect my people from enemies who want to harm my homeland.”
Yahya’s quest to become a soldier began in April when he and 7,000 other men applied to join a new ICDC battalion that is being formed in the Tigris River Valley area. After background checks and interviews, 900 recruits were selected for the battalion.
Until Iraqi forces take on the lion’s share of the load in the day-to-day security of Iraq, the insurgency will probably continue unabated. Hopefully, as more Iraqis see an investment in Iraq’s future and fewer Americans are visible to irritate the locals, things will calm down some.
I’m skeptical that we’re going to be out of Iraq within the next decade. But we cannot be the only sheriff in town.
The Coalition Soldiers aren’t new to training Iraqis, according to Capt. Matthew Lillibridge, ICDC liaison officer for 5-20. He said they played a critical role in training the 102nd Battalion, ICDC.
“We trained the 102nd Battalion similar to how we are preparing this new battalion,” he said. “And the 102nd has been a true ally for our security operations in the Tigris River Valley. Its soldiers have captured many people suspected of attacking Coalition forces and they have executed five major raids.”
Really? Iraqi soldiers have been doing something besides deserting? Why haven’t we been hearing about that? Hopefully, now that the month of
Abu Ghraib May is over, a little balance will return to Iraq coverage.
Hah hah! You thought I was serious!