Hello from Iraq and Happy Memorial Day.
My heart goes out to those of you who are survivors of loved ones that have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country so that we may be free. Let's also remember the families of our coalition partners who also lost loved ones.
We often hear the words "freedom does not come free" this time of year along with Independence Day and Veterans Day. Those words ring true here in Iraq and anywhere the fight for freedom continues.
Today - the 225th Engineer Brigade and our colleagues from other units held a ceremony here in Iraq to remember our fallen heroes. They are the reason that Americans back at home can enjoy the sweet taste of freedom. Whatever you may be doing today, whether it's a bar-b-cue with friends, catching a sporting event, or spending time out on a boat, I hope you take the time to remember those who gave their very last breath so that you can take your next one.
We lost three more Soldiers this week around our area in Baghdad, which means the enemy is still out there. Despite that, we continue to work toward achieving the goal of the Security Agreement deadline of June 30th to have our combat forces out of the major cities. For our part, the 225th Engineer Brigade is building more facilities in the outer areas of Baghdad for Soldiers that are leaving the inner city.
Here's one photo of combat outpost Carver taken by Scott Flenner, one of the members of my section. Scott and Sgt. Rebekah Malone do excellent work in telling stories of how our Soldiers are doing their part during this historic time in Iraq.
This past week, I had the opportunity to see members of the 225 Task Force Iron Claw training Iraqi Army engineer Soldiers - to improve their capabilities of gathering intelligence and carrying out their missions.
Here's a picture of Maj. Willus Hall, Dallas, Tx. and Sgt. Maj. Timothy Adam, Pineville, La. giving a certificate of achievement card to an Iraqi engineer Soldier. He is just one of many Soldiers that completed this training.
As I mentioned before, training opportunities like this are critical for the future of this country as Iraqi Soldiers take the lead in keeping their citizens safe and secure.
Time marches on and so does our work here.
Until next time ... God bless you and your loved ones. Have a safe Memorial Day.