Letters from soldiers

Editor's note: The following are notes written by soldiers deployed in Iraq, some of them from the Wadena area. Headquarters Platoon Happy Easter! We'd like to thank you for the many treats, although it will mean extra time in the gym to work off...

Editor's note: The following are notes written by soldiers deployed in Iraq, some of them from the Wadena area.

Headquarters Platoon

Happy Easter! We'd like to thank you for the many treats, although it will mean extra time in the gym to work off the chocolate. We held an Easter Egg hunt today with the few soldiers we have present. The highlight, I think, was seeing SPC Middendorf shimmy up a tree to fetch candy hidden in its limbs. Meanwhile, PFC Jungels, SPC Schrupp and SPC Carlson dashed around the courtyard doing their best to find every last egg and piece of candy. The mess hall was in the holiday spirit as well with a large bunny cake, sparkling cider, and many festive decorations. The 1SG, PSD, SFC Holisak, SSG Wensmann, SSG Stodola and others from headquarters are on the road again, and brought Easter Eggs with them in order to have Easter Egg hunts at the other Bulldog locations as well.

SSG Pagan worked this week with 3rd Platoon Bulldogs and Marines to send Iraqi police recruits to the Police Academy. Marshalling and moving more than 200 Iraqi recruits took a lot of work and having SPC Abusnaineh there to help communicate with them was a definite asset.

Doc Christenson has been working hard also to educate Bulldogs on means to keep ourselves healthy during the upcoming hot season. With temperatures inching up, dust storms blowing through regularly and critters stirring, we are happy to have his knowledge and experience to help us through. Staying hydrated, I feel, will be hardest on maintenance and supply who will have to cut down on the Mountain Dew intake.


MSG Quinn, SSG Stageberg and 2LT Sherbina have been working especially hard to keep the company operations and admin sections running with everyone else on other missions. Without their selfless hours, we'd really be in a bind.

Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

2LT Aaron Towner

Executive officer/headquarters platoon leader

Sign of progress:

All police present

Hello everyone! Things are going well out here in Ramadi. The time seems to be going by faster, but yet the temperature keeps getting higher each day that passes. 1st Squad was kept busy with an Iraqi Police guard exchange out to the Government Center. It is definitely a sign of progress when we first got here in December, just this week we reached 48 for one shift. It may not seem like much, but it is quite an accomplishment that they showed up on time, and all of those that reported were supposed to report for their shift. This is definitely a great sign of progress, and is a step in the direction of good progress. We also did maintenance on our vehicles, and Raven 12 (SSG Weber's truck) got a new engine. With the hard efforts of SSG Miller, SPC Marshik and Sgt. Honerman, the mechanics were able to make the truck purr like new. They got some added assistance from PFC Frogner (the driver of the truck), and SSG Otto, who is a natural at fixing trucks and cars as it is. SPC Roen should hopefully be home by the time this reaches you -- we sent him off yesterday to begin his journey home for leave. The Marines here invited us to meet their Commandant, something that "very few Army personnel get to do," according to some of our Marines friends here. It was definitely quite the honor, and PFC Brewer counted up the brass that was there:" ... a one, and a three and a four star General." Sounded like Lawrence Welk introducing a song.

Third Squad continues to work hard hours at the Government Center, alongside the Iraqi Police, conducting training when they can, but focusing mostly on the perimeter security. Some important news on the reenlistment side: 1SG and the PSD guys came out for a visit on the 7th, bringing hot chow and of course Sgt. Thompson's oath of extension for another six years in the Guard -- way to go Sgt. Thompson! SSG Wennsman also joined the 1SG at the Government Center to ensure Sgt. Thompson's extension was handled in the best way. The PSD guys were nice enough to take the squad's shifts that night and into the morning of the next day -- a very nice Easter present for all the guys. More and more 3rd squad are conducting patrols around the perimeter of the Government Center, in order to establish more of a sense of security, and also establish a better relationship with the civilians living near the Government Center. The squad was able to get some more valuable training in on some new equipment, the M1117 Armored Personnel Vehicle. PFC McKinley and SPC Palmitessa were the primary trainers that got the rest of the squad up to speed on the vehicle's capabilities and characteristics. Oh, Sgt. Thompson found out he was going to be a proud father soon. Congrats again Sgt. Thompson and wife! Third Squad continues to improve their living conditions and the area of the perimeter they watch guard over. Day in and day out, these young men continue to be at the forefront of defeating an insurgency, which is to live amongst the population and work with the local security forces. They continue to hold down a tough and grueling mission with hard work and dedication--everyone at home can be very proud of what these soldiers are accomplishing. Until next week, God bless you all and thank you so much for your care and your prayers.


Third Squad

Greetings from Anah

Greetings from the city of Anah. The guys have been able to get some down time between the frequent trips to Rawah for meetings and the planning process for the IP drive with the battalion commander. We received a new officer for the police station and nine of his men from the Al Qaim district. They jumped right into work here and have started taking more responsibility for their duties within the city. They have also helped in the planning of receiving new recruits and better security plans for the Entry Control Point.

Cpl. Parker is relieved that the pay is finally finished now the next step is to actually pay the Iraqi Police once the money arrives. He did a great job coordinating all the paperwork between the police chief and the interpreters in order to get it done. Now only if he can get us to stop playing Guitar Hero (PS2) which PFC White got me hooked on! We finally got Spc. Belcourt back with us and he is in good spirits. Things have been slow because of everything that has been happening but very shortly the operational tempo will pick up and keep the guys busy and help the time fly by that much faster. We look forward to sending out more updates next week but until then take care and we send our love to our families.

SSG Adam Honer

Anah District PTT Chief

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