Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving In Iraq

Here is a Thanksgiving email along with pictures from a friend and co-worker at AFA/AFR, Rick Ochoa, who is serving our country in Iraq. Thanks Rick for your vigilance. Your email has given me a new appreciation of our American freedoms on this Thanksgiving 2006.

Email From Rick Ochoa in Iraq - November 25, 2006
We had an interesting day today! I got up early and had the opportunity to pray and have some quiet time! Then at 6:30 we assembled for PT... yes even in a war zone we try to schedule PT 3 times a week!

Well we had been working out in the gym for about 15 minutes and we got the call to respond to an attack in the area... Run back to the barracks change and get on the gun trucks! about 20 minutes later we were ready to roll, but then we were ordered to stand by... so we did ... and we waited and waited and finally it was time to go eat lunch. I was just about halfway thru it when the word came to roll out immediately! So out we went and on the trucks. We rallied with our Iraqi army counterparts and then it was time to wait and wait.

Many times this will turn into a false alarm and we will have to stand down! But after an hour or so we got the word to move out and we went to downtown Baqubah... It was deserted and there had definitely been some fighting going on... it was quiet but not for long! Suddenly small arms fire started crackling all around us... then we moved out to where we thought it was coming from... the Iraqis were in the lead... then sniper fire began zinging all around us. We couldn't tell exactly where it was coming from until two bullets hit our bumper, then we began to engage with the .50 cal machinegun and that took care of that! After that we began working with the Iraqi soldiers to clear a sector of the town of the attackers... they were bold but foolish and there are several that won't bother us any more. One was trying to shoot us with an RPG and our gunner took him out. I don't like seeing anyone get shot but better them than us!

Anyway it was a long day and we got back after dark tired and stressed, but when I went into our command post there were two big beautiful packages from you great folks at AFA!!! Thanks so much! It was great to hear from everyone that wrote! I miss you guys and am so glad y'all are praying for us! It means the world!

Well I just wanted to get this off before I turn in for the night...
Thanks and God Bless

Rick Ochoa

SSG Rick Ochoa
2/2/5 MiTT FOB Gabe,
Baqubah, Iraq
APO AE 09336