Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Global Conflict...

I have seen soldiers and police from several countries here in Iraq. Then there are the non-US contractors who are from Eastern Europe, South and South East Asia, and Africa. Most of the staff have menial jobs and try to minimize their presence, and be as unobtrusive as possible. Then of course, our own US personnel are a diverse bunch of ethnicities and upbringing. Soldiers may be from anywhere from Rhode Island to Samoa.

This mix of people makes me think of this as a World War, and to a great extent it is being fought on a global scale.
I do feel a responsibility to represent the US positively to any foreign person I meet.

I was briefly stationed in Italy a couple of years ago. I made good vibes with the local host nation staff. I was just interested and respectful of the culture and language. I will never forget when I was jokingly asked by one of the Italian staff "Are you sure you are in the Army? You don't act like an American?" (Even though they saw me in my uniform each day.) Well, I guess I took that as a compliment! I hope what they meant was that I was very open and warm to the staff, and courteous and respectful, and always acted in a humble way. It was their country, no matter if we were on a US base.

If one of the foreign civilian contractors can go home and say to their families and friends , "The US military were respectful, enthusiastic and optimistic. They are good guys and girls." We win another little battle, and it is the right thing to do.

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