Chapter One Veterans in Uniform

LTC Mark Truhan in Iraq 2005

"We arrived in Iraq on 23 November, 2004 and finally wound up on a bare patch of ground called Forward Operating Base (FOB same-same fire base WarHorse). It’s essentially a mud fort, about a mile long by a half-mile wide, surrounded by a dirt berm, concertina wire, guard towers, and when it rains, a moat. Warhorse is located just outside of Baqubah, Iraq, about 40 miles north/northeast of Baghdad. The ground is owned by the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (3 BCT of the 3rd Infantry Division (3 ID) and we’re loosely attached to them. The 3 ID has just recently replaced the 1 ID. A lot of good friends from the 1 ID have gone home, and we’ll miss them. But they’re home, and for that we’re glad. We live in two person metal trailers called CHU’s (containerized housing units, 8’ x 20’) and currently with sandbagged walls, barbed wire and machine-guns within the confines of the larger base. Our mission is to train the staff officers of an Iraqi Army Brigade and it’s four battalions.

During the recent elections, there were very few terrorist incidents in this region because the Iraqi Army provided some very good security for the polling places, and we helped train some of these guys. Like to think that we may be making a difference. Recently, though, we’ve been given the task to develop a training regimen for would-be American advisors that are going to be embedded with these same Iraqi units.

When I was in Vietnam, 1971-1972, I was an advisor to Montagnard border ranger battalion in the highlands." - LTC Mark Truhan