Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Letters from Iraq: What it's like over there

For two months, The Brazil Times has been printing letters from Iraq by Monte Porter, a Brazil native, who is serving in the National Guard in Iraq.
Monte’s father, Randy Porter, of Brazil, told The Brazil Times Monte is having difficulty sending e-mail from Iraq due to the war, but Monte is all right and has nine months left on his tour of duty before he is scheduled to return to the United States.
Randy has not received any e-mails from Monte for more than 30 days because, “his service has been blown up or cut almost as fast as it is repaired,” Randy said.
Monte has been in touch with his brother who works for the Department of Defense in Kansas City through secure lines or satellite phone.
“All seems OK,” Randy said. Monte reports he is, “working 18-hour days and temperature is extreme — 144 to 150 degrees during the day down to 110-120 degrees at night.”
In his last letter, published in The Brazil Times, Monte told the story of a young man killed in the line of duty and how that death impacted him and his fellow soldiers. He has seen at least two more soldiers killed since he arrived in Iraq.
Monte’s unit “has restrictions on returning or engaging the enemy,” Randy said. “Then, again, they don’t know who the enemy is since one day they are friendly and the next day they are hostile.”
Monte tells his family they are losing two or three vehicles a day due to hostile fire.
Randy also relays Monte’s appreciation for the support and e-mails Monte is getting from home.
The Brazil Times will publish more of Monte’s letters from Iraq as soon as they are available.
For Monte’s e-mail address or more information, call Randy Porter, 448-8758.