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US Marines - Progress in the WERV, Iraq

Posted: May 16, 2009 - 18:05 CT

We recently received a letter from the commanding officer of the United States Marine Corps 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, stating that the current mission in Iraq was successfully completed about the middle of March.  At the time the letter was written, personnel was at Al Asad Airbase awaiting flights back to the continental United States.

Upon deployment in August 2008, the Battalion was unexpectedly tasked with the challenging mission of assuming responsibility for the Hit, Haditha, Anah, and Al Qaim municipal districts.  Less than a year before, the area had been under the responsibility of five battalion forces, but now Task Force 3/7 would handle it alone.

This area is comprised of four districts, commonly referred to as the Western Euphrates River Valley (WERV), and encompasses 12,000 square miles and approximately 600,000 Iraqi civilians.  The citizens are good people, both men and women working hard to provide for their families.  Skilled workers are performing their duties in the oil refineries and other production facilities.  Shop owners now stock fresh produce and other goods in their stores.  Construction is booming, and farmers and shepherds tend to their crops and flocks.  Families walk safely through their neighborhoods, more babies are being delivered, and the kids have gone back to school.

While the progress has been wonderful, there are still some evil men lurking within the populace who are hell-bent on continued violence and bloodshed.  The Marines and Sailors of the 3/7 braved the roadside bombs, rocket attacks and small arms fire, and conducted anti-terrorist operations  in order to make the WERV a safer and more secure place for its citizens.

One of the reasons that I'm posting this article is because we will never see it covered by the American media.  Once the news from Iraq got better, most of the reporters left, and even when they were there, good news rarely got past their filter.  It was ironic that we received the letter within a few days of the two year anniversary of Harry Reid's, "The War is Lost" speech.  Not surprisingly, there was no mention of this speech by the media, although they faithfully run and ridicule President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" remark every year on its anniversary.  This is the same news media who, while claiming to be unbiased, can ignore or make fun of several million people attending tea parties in protest of high taxes, yet with a straight face, can lead off a national news program (ABC World News Tonight) with a crowd of only a half-dozen people protesting the war.  I'm convinced that if Gilligan, the Skipper and the other SS Minnow passengers were marooned on an uncharted tropical island today, all they would have to do is write "Bush is Hitler" in the sand and a reporter would rescue them within hours.

Over the past seven months, in spite of the attitudes of many from back home, the brave Marines and Sailors of the 3/7 performed superbly, watching over and protecting not only the Iraqi citizens, but each other as well.  We can be very proud of their overwhelming success as we continue to pray for all our troops.

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