These excerpted letters are from Staff Sgt. Wook Mc Broom to his mom, Kathy. Wook
grew up on the North Fork and attended Sawyers Bar School. He’s
stationed north of Baghdad with the 177th Armor, at a large air base near Balotte, Iran. His
tour of duty in Iraq is supposed to end in February 2005. Hope to see him
home next summer.
... Hard to tell how long the Army is going to keep me. I fear the
but really, they can only keep (me) for another three years or so, unless
kind of catastrophe happens.
Right now there is a building surge of anger, both in the military and
civilian sector. I think the next couple of years is really
going to be
absolutely horrible for the Army and the government. If they keep
way they are, they are going to have almost no military left. All
guys have had like two and three combat tours and are just slogging along
not saying much. The generals don’t hear or won’t hear what they are
but I listen and there is a mass exodus in the works. If I talk to an
in my pay grade or one lower, regardless of MOS, I am very likely to find
that he will be getting out after his tour is up. I would say 70-80
are going to leave. The Army is expecting like 40 percent. I
bites them in the ass. They deserve it for doing this to soldiers and
families. Their only hope is that they can get out of Iraq as quickly
possible. If they don’t, they will eventually have to reinstitute the
draft. There will be no way that they can get around it. As it
are planning on enlarging the Army by at least 30,000, an “interim” fix they
are calling it. I just hope I can get out before they lock us all down
indefinitely. Going to be interesting to sit back and watch.
I am really starting to get bored. I understand now some of the
that the guys we replaced were telling me. We have lots more stuff
they did and I can only imagine what it was like for them.
All my best to Pop and the boys.
Figured that it was time that I write again. Things have definitely
down some for me now that I have night shift in my new job. My title
Assistant Operations NCO. No big deal, as I get to suck up AC all the
watch from on high as everybody else goes about their jobs throughout
The view from up top is a little depressing. I get the feeling that
in charge of this thing, at all levels, really have no idea how to proceed.
I find it funny really. All these officers that run things are
a system that is now defunct or dying. They were raised to fight
their thousands. The generation of officers that last participated in
Vietnam have retired and so no experience remains for a counter-insurgency.
Sick how history repeats itself. They really don't seem to understand
moves this country and it's people. Iraqi's are impatient and their
says that when you promise something, you deliver in a hurry or your
credibility goes right down the crapper. That is the situation we are
right now, as thousands of promises to rebuild stuff go unfulfilled every
month. That is partly our fault and partly the fault of the
That is, of course, their aim. They degrade public sentiment by making
seem incompetent or uncaring. We oblige them by acting heavy-handed
anger and frustration. Junior leaders everywhere know the answer but
senior leadership is either unwilling or incapable of listening. The
themselves are the answer to our problems. In one of the towns that I
to patrol, the local mayor, a Mr. Shaukat, felt that we could win much
support for ourselves by continuing the local improvement projects that the
previous unit has been working on. These were allowed to fall apart or
simply stopped. Public support and hatred are at their worst right
Gasp, I wonder why. This type of frustration is why I want out of
They are driving me crazy with this. Their antiquated, Cold War
is not going to change until it is way too late.
I am tired of trying to change them.
I look forward to working with people who are not the castoffs of society.
Beyond my frustrations, I am doing well. I like my new job and
fact that I no longer have much contact with the locals. My greatest
now is how soon we will have to come back.
In my heart I fear that we will be back within ten months of our arrival at
There will be an entirely new chain of command by the time we come back,
so anything is possible. I am spending most of my time at work writing
letters, studying my German, writing in my journal or reading.
It was 113 degrees the other day. It is supposed to be somewhere in
of 145-150 at it's hottest, somewhere in August. Blah, I can hardly
wait. Glad I
work at night and inside.
Well, I guess that I am about wrote out. Amazing how many
people are writing to me.
Good to know that people back home care. Well, all my best to you and
Wish I could be home now but guess
this is the down side of being a responsible adult.
Love you all. Take care.
... Well, just as a pleasant closing
note, remind everyone
at home that summers are not as hot and dry as they seem. It is all a
matter of location. Temperature today hovered around 130 at mid-day. At
least you all have the River to cool off in. The Tigris is slightly less
hospitable, with various forms of bacteria yet undiscovered and weapons
smugglers infesting it's shores. What a great vacation spot. All my best
to those in the River community. My thoughts are with everyone there and I
wish that I was among you. Take care, man. And yes, I keep my helmet low
to the ground.
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