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Monday, June 6, 2011

Letter to a Soldier: Sick at Work


I have to say that I don’t recall all the events listed here. It’s been four long years and a lot of headaches since. These letters were written in an effort to keep up the spirits of a soldier station in Iraq working in military intelligence.

You all can tell me if I was being a good friend.

The man mentioned in this letter as “roommate” had told the soldier’s wife that he was intentionally being cruel to her so she would not become attracted to him. Why anyone would let a man like that live with his wife I have no idea.

1st June 2007

Dear (Soldier),

(Your wife) asked me to tell you that (her roommate) is moving out. Apparently, it had something to do with his girlfriend dumping his worthless ass. She said that from an economic stand point it’s no big deal, because he is useless and expensive, but I can’t imagine you think this is a good thing.

I told your mom and dad that you called, and they were all happy to hear it, and your mom said she would tell your grandmother. I know you really can’t say much about what’s going on down there so don’t go into it, but I still wonder if they got (the intelligence man with the discipline problem) to go.

There was a big hubbub at work when I got back from the three day weekend. The client reported one guard on duty, me, at 0410 in the morning on Wednesday. The time sheets indicated four guards on post including the supervisor. This all got back to me at 1912 Wednesday after noon when I got a call from the roving account manager, who asked what had happened. 

When I told him he flipped and said “that’s bullshit, that is bullshit,” and then told me that (the big man), a guard in the supporting position of my gate, had gone home because he had not been feeling well. He had gotten tattoos the day before and hurt his leg. My manager asked me to come to post as soon as possible.

I made it there by 2000 hours, and (the site supervisor) came around 2020. He gave reprimands to the two other guards who had left early. The client gate manager came at 0200 hours to check and see if they had given me adequate support for the night and my Officer in Command arrived at 0300.

The only big thing is that I had over exerted myself the day before and had an infection in my throat. My mouth kept filling with goo, and I had to excuse my self to spit the clear slime in the bushes. By 0800 I had a fever and that staid with me until burning itself out before I came to work the next day.

Well, that was my week or rather the few days from the date of my last letter. I hope you are doing well and can write me back soon.


Peace and long life,

Richard Leland Neal

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