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> From An American In Iraq
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reddrake79 
  Posted: 08-Jun-2004, 07:51 PM
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My uncle is serving in Iraq, not in the military but as a civilian contractor. He is an explosive ordinance disposal expert. He served previously in the military and when his company was contracted for this job he volunteered to go. He is dislexic (sp?). The only way he overcame this disability was when he decided he wanted to read his Bible by himself. He can now read as well as anybody. recently he sent an email to us here in the states. I am going to paste it below. It is kinda long, but worth the read.

A week ago today a terrorist act took place. An improvised explosive
device was remotely detonated, destroying a truck, killing one man,
injuring two others, who later died of the wounds. The fourth
individual in the vehicle received minor injuries. This was our chase vehicle for
convoys, the only vehicle that had any armor protection. Our security
detail do not wear helmets because they believe it blocks their vision.
All three of these men received massive head trauma. It is believed
that the helmets would not have helped, too close to the explosion, too much
energy and velocity in the shrapnel and, from what I understand, some
rather large pieces. This vehicle was part of an escort team bringing a
convoy of trucks full of captured enemy ammunition, which the company I
am employed with (USA Environmental) has a contract to dispose of. This
escort team is actually the one that escorts us on our daily commute to
work and back.

The first gentleman to die, Tommy Carter, was the convoy commander and
gave us our daily briefings, always warning of the dangers of
improvised explosive devices (IEDs). I do not personally know the man's spiritual
bearing, but his manner, his language, and his actions would indicate
that he did not have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus
Christ, nor would he have sought one out anytime soon. Having said all this, he
lived life as he chose and employment as he desired. I believe him to
be a good security officer, knew his job, was very proficient in it, and
understood that his job was our safety at all times. He died with his
boots on, a gun in his hand, and with the thought in his mind and heart
that he was going to protect us with his life. The men who work for the
security outfit that support us live with this in their hearts and
minds.

The question is: Did Tommy ever see Christ in my life? Does my life
project something that his was missing, and that something he wanted he
saw out of my life? These questions always go through my mind when I
see someone die by any means. How am I going to answer to God if the people
around me can't even tell if I'm a Christian? Do I walk the walk? It's
easy to say the words. It seems I can fool those in the world and even
myself, but I can never fool God. It's times like this that makes me
take stock of what I am in a man and in a Christian, husband, and
father. Am I doing the right thing, here or anywhere?

Even since I've started this letter, the attacks have continued on our
convoys, and by the grace of God, no one has been hurt or killed. We
have received some armored Excursions. These vehicles cost $155,000,
and if they save one life, they would be worth their weight in gold. (Note:
These vehicles weigh 5-1/2 tons).

Although I am here to make money, the money I am making is not off the
Iraqi people. It's off my own government, who is getting absolutely
nothing from the Iraqi resources. Yes, this has been kind of a
Pandora's box, but we're here now. Let's not make a bigger mess of this place
than before we got here. We do need to leave a stabilized government here,
and these people need some kind of hope. If we pull out anytime soon,
they will lose all hope. Of the 27 million Iraqis, 20 million would
love to migrate to the United States and live peaceful lives, raise their
families, have a business, go to school. They just want a life. The
other 7 million are upset because they've lost their position, power,
and money, and they are willing to kill anybody and everyone else to
try and gain that back.

Please pray for those in our government that God would grant them
wisdom and understanding in dealing with this problem. Always pray for the
safety of the soldiers and civilians that are here. Pray for peace in
Jerusalem, for the Bible commands us to, and pray that none of this
kind of stuff ever reaches our own shores. Of course, there are places that
you don't want to be caught after dark in the United States, some
neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., most of New Jersey, and East LA, of
course. So are we ever really truly safe? No, but I trust in the Lord
Jesus to keep me safe, and I've learned to look out for dangers that
might be lurking down the road or around the corner.

I will end this letter here and, as of this day, May 7, 2004, RuthAnne
and I are safe, still in love with the Lord, and still very much in
love with each other. We have forsaken certain freedoms to be here. We are
not free to drive around. We are not even free to be armed and protect
our own lives.

In closing, again, I encourage you to pray for all the above things I
mentioned and be thankful that we do have a government we can change -
without violence. God is in control. Sometimes we have to step back and
realize that.

Take care and God bless,

Corey


--------------------
Friendship, Love, and Loyalty
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Elspeth 
Posted: 08-Jun-2004, 08:40 PM
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Thank you for posting this. smile.gif

What a wonderful question, do the people we come in contact with see Christ in us. Wonderful and frightening. Such a responsibility. I pray he survives his time in Iraq and that peace can come to that entire region. A prayer so huge only God could answer it.


--------------------
Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.
- Frederick Buechner



If society prospers at the expense of the intangibles,
how can it be called progress?

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gtrplr 
Posted: 09-Jun-2004, 10:44 AM
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reddrake79,

I'd like your permission to read this in church this Sunday. Please let me know. You can PM me, or answer in this forum, if you like.

I think our members would receive a blessing from hearing this.


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Randal Smith alias Smitty the Kid
Wielder of the Six-String Claymore!

"We have enough Youth, how about a Fountain of Smart?"
"When the going gets tough, the smart go fishing!"


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reddrake79 
Posted: 09-Jun-2004, 01:51 PM
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gtrplr-

Go ahead and use it. thumbs_up.gif Anybody else who wants to can use it also. I put it up to give encouragement and to make people think.
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gtrplr 
Posted: 09-Jun-2004, 02:01 PM
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QUOTE
gtrplr-

Go ahead and use it. Anybody else who wants to can use it also. I put it up to give encouragement and to make people think.


Thank you.
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