Update from Iraq: Fueling Up, The Hard Way

Jul 16, 2008

In our previous column, Neelyville’s MSG Jeffrey Pennington did not mention the exact drill involved in gassing up vehicles at Patrol Base Kaufman, Iraq, but if his operation’s entire electrical system is powered by fuel regularly hauled in along roadways where sniper-fire and explosives are an ongoing threat…

Well, that kind of revelation could lead to a serious homefront reality check, couldn’t it?

Here’s another glimpse into what others are experiencing as we go through our own difficult paces; in Iraq’s capital city ofA view of Samarra, Iraq. A spiral minaret--a unique, freestanding minaret, or tower, from which the Muslim faithful are called to worship--can be seen in the distance The road to Patrol Base KaufmanBaghdad, roughly an hour south of MSG Pennington’s PB Kaufman, we witness yet one more reason to gather our wits about us. One more reason to do everything in our power to transform the thinking and actions that might harm our ability to go forward in crisis.

Apparently the Iraqi infrastructure itself, in great part, is impeding delivery of gasoline to everyday consumers in that oil-rich nation, a nation whose fortunes now seem so central to our own lives.

The plight of others is a keen reminder that, though it may not feel this way, we do have more than a sliver of breathing Checking out a disabled vehicle outside of PB Kaufmanroom here. This space will permit us to use our freedom, ingenuity and drive to take up better habits, and to push for smarter, more competitive, and more far-sighted handling of resources for this great nation in the coming era.

As long as there are U.S. soldiers taking their lives into their hands just setting out for fuel to keepCloser view of a spiral minaret, from Wikipedia their lights on and their systems online, I know I will have an important job to do stateside as well.

May I be imbued with the strength to manage that responsibility with growing resourcefulness, and with a level of dignity that will render servicemembers ever more secure in their choice to risk all for the land they call home.

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