A Note from Todd in Iraq
May 2, 2007

Things here are still very busy. My whole team was transferred to the Ambassador's Protection Detail about 10 days ago. We are protecting the Deputy Chief of Mission, who is the number two guy in the country. It is more like executive protection than what we had been doing because we escort him everywhere he goes. On our last assignment, we would pick up our client for the run, take them out and back, and then drop them off. Now, we stay with him throughout the day. If he is in his office, we sit outside. When he goes to chow, we get to watch him eat. It is a higher profile job, but most of us were disappointed by the new assignment. The DCM stays mainly in the IZ, and it is not as exciting as going into the Red Zone. But, we all agreed that we want to stay together as a team, so we will do it until something else comes up.

It is starting to get fairly warm here. it has been in the 90's for the past week. I have heard that it peaks out in the 130's during the summer, which I'm not especially looking forward to. We haven't seen much rain since about early March, but we do get some pretty nasty dust storms. It is very fine gritty dust that just gets in to everything.

Our camp sustained a rocket attack 2 nights ago. One guy was mortally wounded and two others required evacuation for treatment. It really could have been much worse. It was my first time being rocketed, and it sounds just like on TV: a whine that decreases in pitch as it gets closer. Hopefully the additional troop deployments around the city will make this an infrequent occurrence. Everyone was pretty jumpy for the rest of that night and the next day.

I have also attached some pics that I have taken here. One is of my room, which is about 12x8. We live in boxes that bear a striking resemblance to shipping containers. There are 2 12x8 rooms per box, with a small bathroom between the rooms. Another pic is of me getting ready for work. And the third shows me firing one of our team's M-249 Squad Automatic Weapons. Also, in my spare time, I became a clothing model for Woolrich Tactical Elite clothing the link is: http://www.backyardoutfitter.com/EliteInAction/EIA_gallery15.htm

Hope everyone there is well. Mom said that she really enjoyed her visit there last month. Take care, and I hope to see you soon.