Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I'M NOW AT CAMP FALLUJAH, IRAQ... After a long journey, I reached my final destination, Camp Fallujah in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq, on 13 November. I am still in the process of getting settled in, but wanted to briefly update all those who have been following my progress.

After less than 36 hours, a number of observations are already jumping out at me... The first note is the incredible dedication with which the Marines and other service people here pursue their various missions. Fourteen to sixteen hour days seem to be about the norm, and 18-20 hours are not uncommon. The second note is the complexity of the mission. People in Washington (and elsewhere) talk a lot about "turning over" to the Iraqis more quickly. I'm sure there is no group of people in the world more supportive of that concept than the American men and women here in Iraq. However, they are the ones tasked to deal with the very messy and complex reality of what "turning over" means. On the ground, it's far more complex than simply recruiting soldiers and giving them a gun. Training, equipment, maintenance, pay, and a thousand other details all have to be painstakingly coordinated. But have faith - a lot of very capable folks are working hard every day to make all those things happen.

Thanks to everyone back home for their support of the troops here. Throughout my journey, I've seen the signed banners, cards, drawings from school kids, care packages and supplies that have been sent by caring folks back home. They are making it here and are appreciated on two levels; not only for the materials themselves, but because they are a symbol of the fact that people remember they are here and are concerned about them.


At 10:32 PM, Blogger Samantha West said...

Will you be visiting the Transition Teams in their remote locations? I write to quite a few of them and am very interested in their work. I know they labor hard every day putting their soul and best effort into their work.


At 12:17 AM, Blogger Jim said...

Glad you made it safely; please keep us up to date. Things at home are interesting - there's an annexation hearing tonight, the state showed its plans for the new park last night, and there's lots more.

Be safe!

At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Wheeler. You rock man. Its so awsome you are over in Iraq fighting for our country. Things are deffidently intresting here in caz like jim said...development plans up the wall...SO glad to see this sight and see your postings. Your doing a great thing over there and we are all thinking about you back home and cannot wait to see you back in the spring..Julia Heread..(sp) is doing a great job so dont worry about us!

best of luck,
robby glass

At 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lieutenant Colonel Wheeler:

I'm a student from the Colgate group you came to speak to a little while back (Carrie Keating's kids)...I wanted to let you know that we're all still thinking of you and hope you have a safe return!!!



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