Fairbanks reporter embedded with 172nd Stryker Brigade

Reporting from Iraq by Margaret Friedenauer

Fairbanks (Alaska) News-Miner reporter Margaret Friedenauer has just arrived in Iraq to embed with the 172nd and will be blogging her experiences. In today’s entry, she notes that US forces are keeping a low profile in Baghdad’s Green Zone:

Walking between checkpoints and entering buildings I’m stopped and searched by a variety of security forces; Iraqi, Peruvian and Georgian. The Iraqis are quiet and polite. As a woman, I am patted down by a woman security officer, especially on duty to search women. As I pass the Peruvians, they try to encourage some Spanish responses and are thrilled with a timid ‘bueous nochas.” The Georgian guards look like they’ve done this before. Coming from a war-torn country of their own right, there’s not much joking or laughing. The olive skinned hulks wear their Kevlar with ease and handle their rifles like third arms. Their chiseled features have scary, serious looks, making me feel, actually, safer.

She’ll be linking up with the Stryker brigade on Tuesday. Murdoc Online will keep you posted, but don’t let that stop you from checking her blog out.

UPDATE: Noticed this in an earlier post about when she first arrived in Kuwait and met an Army officer working in media relations:

He was both thrilled and worried. Thrilled because he said he’s seen small papers do a better job at describing what is really going on with soldiers. They usually leave the politics of the war to the big media outlets and focus on the day to day war that affects the soldiers and their families. He was worried as well. He thought, and rightly so, I have seen little in the way of an active war zone. He told me not to lose sight of that, not to suddenly become a hotdog. Not to take risks for a good photo, stay with the soldiers with the guns. “And don’t let your guard down. You’re not going somewhere safe. Don’t ever think you’re safe.”