|Saturday, 3-Dec-2005 00:00
1 December 2005
Warlord Family and Friends,
Success continues throughout our area of operations, particularly in preparation for the upcoming government elections on 15 December 2005. Our Marines continue to do great work and are achieving the priorities I established when we first arrived to Iraq. Daily they conduct counterinsurgency operations, train and work with the Iraqi Army, and conduct Civil Affairs Operations. All of these move towards the goal of preparing Iraq to determine the future of their country and our eventual departure. I am confident that we are on the right path and I continually see results and evidence of our success in all areas.
Locating enemy weapons caches has been a major part of our success lately. Platoons have located thousands of enemy munitions and weapons of varying types. Most importantly, we have stripped from the battlefield the required ingredients to build Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s). This is critical and removes a source of supply from the enemy hands. In doing so, we continue to disrupt their ability to attack coalition forces and effect the upcoming elections.
Another considerable change for us has been the weather. As innocuous as this sounds, after the 120+ degree Fahrenheit days of summer, the current daytime temperatures of 60’s and 70’s and nighttime temperatures in the 40’s is welcome. Of course, as was expected, the Marines already have started complaining about the cold and the wish for the warmer weather. In that regard, I suspect I will never keep them happy. Nearly every day we have clouds, but so far no rain. December is supposed to be the wettest month in Iraq but in looking at the historical statistics, “wet” is a relative term in comparison to Camp Lejeune and other areas in the United States.
Thanksgiving brought us a great good spread of traditional food at the chow hall, for those that were able to eat there. Despite the holiday, operations continued unabated so we trucked out food to every company firm base for those available to enjoy. The chow hall provided a decent feast with turkey, stuffing, all associated side dishes and tables of different types of deserts. Though not at home, we were able to enjoy time with fellow Marines during the holiday.
Care packages have been flowing in regularly and I suspect that will increase during the Christmas holiday. For all that send them, we thank you very much. These actions mean a lot to each Marine and provide him a moment of relaxation and time to reflect on home and those he loves. We may not be with you during Christmas but will think of you and be with you in spirit.
The reality of the ever-present danger in this fight was felt again this month. We suffered two casualties. LCpl Shiavoni on November 15th and LCpl Troyer on November 19th were taken from us on the field of battle. They were great men and Marines. The Task Force misses them deeply and we all pray for their families as we all struggle with this tragic loss. The Men will fight on in respect of their memory, for that is exactly what they would wish and deserve.
To help counter our heartache, I’m pleased to announce more additions to the Warlord family. The dedication of our Task Force and their families is unsurpassed. The following households are enduring a deployment without the luxury of being together during this momentous time. I’m unable to describe my appreciation for your continued sacrifice.
The following Warlords had recent additions:
Capt Corry and Whitney Murphy Nathan H&S
LCpl Jason and Amanda Flagale Rio Wpns
LCpl Salome and Danielle Garcia Reehna
During the upcoming holiday, we wish we could be with you and will turn our thoughts to you regularly. Nonetheless, we will continue to push hard to ensure the elections are safe and eventless for the Iraqi people as they exercise their right to vote and take ownership in their future. This is my 10th of 13 newsletters. I hope they help to keep you updated on the successes of our Task Force. They amaze and impress me daily. Thank you for your continued loyal support.
I remain Semper Fidelis,
James J. Minick