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Monday, November 13, 2006

Sioux City Journal: Catching Up with Returning Troops

From theSioux City Journal:

Many troops undergo an emotional letdown when they return from combat, Ward said. 'A lot of our service members have experienced something so much bigger than themselves. It's huge to be over there and serve,' he said.

'Whether the war is popular or not, you felt like you made a difference at the individual level you were at. You were doing it for your brothers next to you -- your fellow soldiers -- or by interacting with the Iraqi people. (The soldiers) knew they were making a difference, to be part of something so big.'

The best way for soldiers to adjust may be to share with others the accomplishments in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, Schild said. 'We have a story tell, and we need to tell that story,' he said.

Schild said the unit's successes included: helping Iraqi police forces take over security; finding weapons during house checks; helping catch a top Al Qaeda leader; and providing security so the first Iraqi police station was finished without being blown up by insurgents.

Charlie Battery left its mark, as Iraq continues toward democracy, he said. 'An Iraqi sheik told us it would take three big elections, or 12 years, before this (new government) starts to work,' Schild said.

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