Hello Family - 2nd Lieutenant Carter here reporting from Iraq. It saddens me to say it but it seems that my good roommate 1st Lieutenant Nall will be going home for back surgery. He has tried to stick it out and come home with the rest of us but he really got to the point where there was no choice. It will be a change not having him here all the time but He really needs to get this done and get on the road to recovery.
Things in the ER are fine. As the Iraqi army becomes more proficient and independent they are seen more here – and US GI’s are seen less and less. We are careful to provide the Iraqi soldiers with the same care as our soldiers get. They understand this and appreciate it. A few days ago one of the Iraqi generals visited our ER and presented the ER staff with a plaque of appreciation. It is encouraging to see the progress the Iraqi army is making in becoming autonomous. They are brave men – our soldiers run patrols relatively secure inside a 22 ton Stryker with a mounted automatic 50 caliber – They run the same patrols with only hand held weapons, sitting in the open beds of Toyota pick-up trucks.
Julie and the children are managing without me. Julie is adjusting to the change of being a semi-single mother of 5. She is doing an outstanding job. Here is a clip from an e-mail I receives from her on July 24th – I apologize to those who have already received it.
I know the kids really miss you and enjoy being with you. The kids little chicken, Darlin, died today. Apparently, the chicken was attacked by a neighbor's cat in the backyard while Mollie (Julie’s Sister) was cleaning their cages. It appeared somewhat hurt but not severely yet must have sustained internal injuries because it died. Sam (Julie’s Brother) arranged a little funeral for it and had our children come. We buried it in my dad's garden in the backyard. We sang Old’ McDonald had a Farm, Vanessa and Brigham said the opening and closing prayers and we had thoughts about the short life of the chicken. Vanessa had taken it the hardest and it’s been an emotional day for her. She was so sad that you were only able to see the chicken one time. But later she asked if we could eat the chicken but we can't because it was way too small. I helped Brigham and Vanessa make rice crispy treats and we had them at the funeral luncheon they were saying - it's rice crispy casserole.
I have shared this little story with a few of my friends here – it has been universally appreciated. I love you all very much - Jared
*Image from here. The "Chicken Whisperer" who keeps a regular column about living in Milton, Georgia.