Soldiers talk about their Iraq experience - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Soldiers talk about their Iraq experience

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August 17, 2005

Thomasville--  Two tours in Iraq, two years combined, and two soldiers happy to be home in South Georgia.

"I served in Camp Ramadi, out of Al Ramadi, Iraq," says Staff Sergeant, Henry Holt.  "I'm with the First Cavalry Division," says Specialist Rhonda Torres.

Holt served with a supply company, a dangerous job, as U.S. convoys are prime targets for insurgent forces. That's proven by some of Holt's cargo.  "We also picked up insurgents' ammunition once they were found. We'll go in, extract it, we'll bring it back to our camp and dispose of it," he says.

Specialist Torres' job was equally dangerous. She was a guard at the front gate of Camp Cook in Taji.  "There was one vehicle explosive, where it was basically a suicide mission," she says.   Fortunately, the only person killed was the bomber, but several Americans were hurt.  "You never know what somebody is going to do. That person had it in their mind they just wanted to hurt people that day," says Torres.

Despite the ongoing violence, both troops agree coaliton forces are making headway Iraqis appreciate.  "We did a lot of construction, roads, bridges, even upgrading the river system," says Holt.  "Schools are constantly being built. If one's broken down, build it up again. Employment's at an all time high. Wages are going up," adds Torres.

That's the bright side of being away from friends and family. It's also the reason both would soldiers do another tour.  "I want to go back.  I love the kids. And people need to understand they have a future too," says Torres.   "I learned more about myself, one year in Iraq, than I did in my whole lifetime," adds Holt.  

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