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Local Soldiers in Iraq

The soldiers of Alpha Company, 121st Infantry are driving in gun trucks, protecting supply convoys from insurgent attacks.

The soldiers of Alpha Company are out on the road of Iraq driving armored Humvees, shepherding supply trucks north to another Army base. Along the way, these soldiers are often shot at, roadside bombs sometimes go off, and the danger is constant.

SSGT William Taylor from Valdosta says, "We feel pretty safe in Humvees. There is stuff out there can penetrate armor, but as far as gunfire, we’re very safe."

CAPT Marc Belscamper from Bloomingdale, GA, says, "Any time someone tries to kill you, that is war. If it's up to media, politicians, whatever they say, for anyone here looks at it as war."

Most mornings soldiers get up and prepare their vehicles for the next mission, which is usually run at night. They link up with supply trucks and push out of the gate between sunset and around midnight. Operating at night can wear on the body, but has its good points too.

SSGT Gerald Coleman of Camilla, GA, says, "The trucks we're escorting have no armor or way to protect themselves, so basically the insurgents can see them less at night, and were hoping trucks can ease by easier."

Alpha Company spent seven months patrolling a sector west of Baghdad at a camp named Striker before changing to this new mission escorting convoys. Many soldiers say even though this job dodging roadside bombs less dangerous than their old job, they prefer the old one.

Taylor says, "We escort vehicles and we react, instead of being proactive like at Striker, and being reactive ain't no fun."

The soldiers of Alpha Company escort convoys all over the country. It took them nine hours to drive up to the base called Anaconda in central Iraq, and that isn't even the farthest they generally have to go.


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