Eddie Jeffers was killed in Iraq on September 19, 2007. He was 23.
At the behest of my
father, I wrote down some notes to be included in a little situation
report (SITREP) on Iraq. I decided to address this letter to everyone
because by now, you all have probably heard every news station popping
off about this and that. So here's to give you an update and clear up
First off, in the last six
months, 1-9 Infantry has pushed itself into limelight and set the example
for victory in Iraq. When we got here six months ago, lesser units that came
before us held very little ground in East Ramadi. We pushed in and slowly
began taking ground in the northern districts, which were definitely safer.
We made nice with some sheiks up there, got them on our team and pushed them
into near autonomy in their regions. All this was done for the task of
securing those areas and pushing the insurgents there into the fortified and
deadly southern district of our sector. Going back was deja vu, as this same
area is where I cut my teeth as a private.
So off we went; raid after
raid. Plenty of bombs, rockets, IEDs, machine guns and everything else you
hear about in Iraq, all within an area roughly the size of six to eight
football fields. It was hard, and a good bit of American blood had to get
spilled in order to accomplish our mission. My company footed a good bit of
that bill and our numbers reflect our actions. The enemy got it worse
Within three to four days
we racked up 69 confirmed (key word is confirmed) enemy killed-in-action.
Countless more severely injured and even more detained. Some serious whackin’
and stackin’ by some pissed off infantry boys. We broke the infrastructure
of their insurgency by seizing roughly fifteen to twenty caches, each one
containing enough guns, mines and explosives to equip a small army. We
called in airstrike after airstrike, catching them in their homes and
safehouses. Through the magic of the Air Force and Guided Multiple Launch
Rocket Systems (GMLRS), we brought down destruction worthy of the Old
Testament. Over the course of the deployment so far, we have had sixteen
KIAs across the task force and over 100 seriously wounded. No small price,
but a lot better than the enemy.
So now, the war has changed
on us. Transitioning into a new role, we strapped on the guise of military
advisors, security guards and bringers of goodies to the Iraqi people. After
the push we established a Joint Security Station and reintroduced the Iraqi
Army and the Iraqi Police back into the area. They've been doing patrols and
keeping the peace and doing a damn fine job of it. We go out with them here
and there but we leave it mostly to them.
We've been recruiting more
police and outfitting them with better vehicles and equipment. We've been
going around, getting the citizens to take a little charge and fix their
city up. We've tossed around a little money and hired day laborers so to
speak. The people have grown to trust us. They make citizen's arrests of
insurgents and turn them over to us. We received little to no contact since
the push and we have implemented a system that is working now.
All across Iraq, units are
taking note. Everyone from the media to General Petraeus himself has come
out here to see what we've done. We're winning the war and setting a good
example of how to do it. Although my boys are bored because there aren't any
doors to kick in or insurgents to shoot, they realize that this is the
ticket out of this country in the right way. Overall, things are going good.
Now on to some bad news...
Anyone who has watched the
news in the past few days has probably seen it, so I will clear up any
rumors now. Due to a leak in the Pentagon, the secretary of Defense had to
make a very abrupt announcement or risk the New York Times or someone else
spilling the story.
The Army is going to
fifteen month deployments to assist the surge in Iraq. Does that affect me?
Yes it does. What does this mean? Expect me home around January. Every
active Army unit will serve 15 months, including the ones over here now. It
may change, as is the Army's way, but we will have to see. In the meantime,
expect January 2008 to be my return time.
So, three more months
than originally planned…Nothing that can be done about it except what we're
doing now; continuing the mission and insuring America's success in this