Ummmm... We Were Here First
Lynch said this week:
The lack of Iraqi security forces remains a pressing issue for Maj Gen Lynch. There is "a significant shortage of Iraqi security forces," particularly police, he said. The Arab Jabour region has essentially been ignored by the Iraqi government and Coalition forces for the past three years, and the local police collapsed. The rebuilding of the local security forces and the movement of federal security forces into the region will take time.
[T]here is one concern that I've got that is REALLY bothering my guys. I would never ask this as a personal favor, but for the sake of every member of [my] Troop, 1/40th Cavalry I really wish someone would set the record straight about these 2nd BDE, 3ID... who have shown up in our area as a part of the overly publicized Marne Torch operation. It's no secret that we... have been [here] the last 9 months and we've got over 30 purple hearts and 2 KIA to show for it as well as -- and this is just my platoon -- having covered 731 kilometers completely dismounted. Now, if these 3ID guys showed up in an area their Commanding General claims has had "zero American presence" since the beginning of the war, how did we accumulate those hard statistics? Never mind the multiple dozens of detainees we've brought in and caches destroyed. Never mind the absolutely priceless intel we've gathered only to hand over to the big bad 3ID...
All I'm saying is that with all these NYTimes and Washington Post headlines about The Marne Thunder rolling into town, it's a disgrace to my men and the other men in this unit who have been here fighting, sometimes for our lives, in this area for almost a year already. Unsupported by vehicles. Unsupported by 120mm SABOT and HEAT rounds. Unsupported by aircraft unless we're in contact. Unsupported by anyone but ourselves.
Sorry to dump all that on you like this, but, as you can tell, it's a rather bitter point of contention between us and them as well as the press for ignoring us.
for the 1/40 CAV... for gittin' 'er done before the New Guys In Town... and for taking the fight to the enemy.... for putting it on the line every day and in every way.
A BIG THANKS to this unit (and you know who you are) for the work you do.