Congressman Mike Pence "Renewing The American Dream" in Iraq
"On our way to the mess hall and dinner with the 138th, I spotted the real evidence of the presence of Hoosiers in Ramadi, Iraq…a heavily worn basketball goal tacked to the outside wall of the headquarters building. If that military HQ had been a barn, it would’ve almost been like home.
In the mess hall, the young men and women of the 138th joined me for dinner. I don’t know what I expected to find among these troops but what I did find was good spirits, high morale, fitness and a matter-of –fact attitude about the work ahead. I asked about the war and many spoke of steady progress, even in Ramadi. One soldier who had already seen a year in theatre said, “its gotten way better here in Ramadi from a year ago”. They were confident Americans doing a hard job in a hard place but no complaints.
Mostly they wanted to ask about home. We talked about Indiana’s response to Hurricane Katrina. They were concerned about how the country was holding up after such a tragedy. In a war zone, working in 110 degree heat, sleeping behind sandbags and 8,000 miles from Mom, Dad, Wife and kids..and they were worried about us. Where do we get men and women like these?"