E-mail from SF in Iraq


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Preacherman
July 16, 2003, 08:48 PM
This was forwarded to me by a friend in the SF community. No attribution, for obvious reasons, but I thought THR members might enjoy it.

It Ain't Necessarily So.
Date: Tue, 01 Jul 2003, 11:09:09 GMT

Hey Guys, sorry it's been so long since I've sent anything but a quick note to you individually. However things have been pretty hectic since the end of hostilities and the start of the real war. Despite what the ???????s in the press like to say over and over:

1) We did expect some armed resistance from the Ba'ath Party and Feydaheen;
2) It isn't any worse than expected;
3) Things are getting better each day, and
4) The morale of the troops is A-1, except for the normal bitching and griping.

My brief love affair with the press, especially the guys who had the cajones to be embedded with the troops during the fighting, is probably over, especially since we are back being criticized by the same Roland Headly types that used to hang around the Palestine Hotel drinking Baghdad Bob's whiskey and parroting his ridiculous B.S.

I'm in Baghdad now, since SpOpComm 5 relocated here from Qatar. It looks, sounds and smells about the same but at least you can get Maker's Mark at the local OC. We came up in mid-June to help set up operation Scorpion and Sidewinder. It represents a major (and long overdue) shift in tactics. Instead of being sitting ducks for the ragheads we now are going after the worthless pieces of fecal matter.

I'm no longer baby-sitting the pukes from CNN and the canned hams from the networks, but have a combat mission coordinating a bunch of A teams, seeking, finding and rooting out the mostly non-Iraqis that are well-armed, well-paid (in U.S. dollars) and always waiting to wail for the press and then shoot some GI in the back in the midst of a crowd.

The only reason the GIs are pissed (not demoralized) is that they cannot touch, must less waste, those taunting bags of gas that scream in their faces and riot on cue when they spot a camera man from ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN or NBC. If they did, then they know the next nightly news will be about how chaotic things are and how much the Iraqi people hate us.

Some do. But the vast majority don't and more and more see that the GIs don't start anything, are by-and-large friendly, and very compassionate, especially to kids and old people. I saw a bunch of 19 year-olds from the 82nd Airborne not return fire coming from a mosque until they got a group of elderly civilians out of harm's way. So did the Iraqis.

A bunch of bad guys used a group of women and children as human shields. The GIs surrounded them and negotiated their surrender fifteen hours later and when they discovered a three year-old girl had been injured by the big tough guys throwing her down a flight of stairs, the GIs called in a MedVac helicopter to take her and her mother to the nearest field hospital. The Iraqis watched it all, and there hasn't been a problem in that neighborhood since. How many such stories, and there are hundreds of them, ever get reported in the fair and balanced press? You know, nada.

The civilians who have figured it out faster than anyone are the local teenagers. They watch the GIs and try to talk to them and ask questions about America and Now wear wrap-around sunglasses, GAP T-shirts, Dockers (or even better Levis with the red tags) and Nikes (or Egyptian knock-offs, but with the "swoosh") and love to listen to AFN when the GIs play it on their radios.

They participate less and less in the demonstrations and help keep us informed when a wannabe bad-??? shows up in the neighborhood.

The younger kids are going back to school again, don't have to listen to some mullah rant about the Koran ten hours a day, and they get a hot meal.

They see the same GIs who man the corner checkpoint, helping clear the playground, install new swingsets and create soccer fields. I watched a bunch of kids playing baseball in one playground, under the supervision of a couple of GIs from Oklahoma. They weren't very good but were having fun, probably more than most Little Leaguers.

The place is still a mess but most of it has been for years. But the Hospitals are open and are in the process of being brought into the 21st Century. The MOs and visiting surgeons from home are teaching their docs new techniques and One American pharmaceutical company (you know, the kind that all the hippies like to scream about as greedy) donated enough medicine to stock 45 hospital pharmacies for a year.

Safe water is more available. Electricity has been restored to pre-war levels but saboteurs keep cutting the lines. And The old Ba'ath big shots are upset because they can't get fuel for their private generators. One actually complained to General McKeirnan, who told him it was a rough world.

The MPs are screening the 80,000 Iraqi police force and rehabbing the ones that weren't goons, shake-down artists or torturers like they did in East Berlin, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

There are dual patrols of Iraqi cops and U.S./U.K./Polish MPs now in most of the larger cities.
Basra has 3.5 million inhabitants.
Mosul is a city of 2 million.
Kirkuk has 1 million.
How many and hundreds of other small towns have not had riots or shootings? The vast majority.

The six U.K. cops were killed in a small Shiite town by the ex-cops they were re-habbing. According to a Royal Marine colonel I talked to, the town now has about twenty permanent vacancies in its police force. Mick, he's a big potato eater from Belfast named Huggins and knows how to handle terrorists after twenty years fighting with the IRA. He sends his regards and says he'd love to have you here. Thinks you'd make a great police chief, even though the cops would be more frightened of you than the local hoods (then he laughed).

I heard one doofus on MSNBC the other night talk about how "nearly 60" GIs have been killed since 01 May. The truth is that 21 GIs have been killed in combat, mostly from ambush, from 01 May through 30 June. Another 29 have been killed by accidents or other causes (two drowned while swimming in the Tigris).

The MSNBC idiot is the same jerk who reported on the air that "dozens of GIs" were badly burned when two RPGs hit a truck belonging to an Engineer Battalion that was parked by a construction site. The truck was hit and burned, three GIs received minor injuries (including the driver who burnt his hand) and three warriors of Allah were promptly sent to enjoy their 72 slave girls in Paradise. Hell of a way to get laid.

A mosque in that ????hole Fallujah blew up this morning while the local imam, a creep named Fahlil (who was one of the biggest local loudmouths that frequently appeared on CNN) was helping a Syrian Hamas member teach eight teenagers how to make belt bombs. Right away the local Feyhadeen propaganda group started wailing that the Americans hit it with a TOW missile (If they had there wouldn't have been any mosque left!) and the usual suspects took to the streets for CNN and BBC. One fool was dragging around a piece of tin with blood on it, claiming it was part of the missile.

The cameras rolled and the idiot started repeating his story, then one of my guys asked him in Arabic where he had left the rag he usually wore around his face that made him look like a girl. He was a local leader of the Feyhadeen. We took the clown in custody and were asked rather indignantly by the twit from BBC if we were trying to shut up "the poor man who had seen his mosque and friends blown up." I told the airy-fairy who the raghead was and if he knew Arabic (which he obviously didn't) he'd know he was a Palestinian. I suggested we take him down to the local jail and we'd lock him and his cameraman in a cell with the "poor man" and they could interview him until we took him to headquarters. They declined the invitation. Guess what played on the Bull???? Broadcasting System that evening? Did the Americans blow up a mosque? See the poor man who is still in a state of shock over losing his mosque and relatives? Yep. Our friend the Palestinian.

Our search and destroy missions are largely at night, free of reporters and generally terrifying to those brave warriors of Allah.

The only thing that frightens them more is hearing the word "Gitmo". The word is out that a trip to Guantanimo Bay is not a Caribbean vacation and they usually start squealing like the little mice they are, when an interrogator mentions "Gitmo".

No wonder the International Red Cross, the National Council of Churches and the French keep protesting about the place. They know it has proven to be very effective in keeping several hundred real fanatical psychopaths in check and very frankly would rather see them cut loose to go kill some more GIs or innocent Americans, just to make W. look bad.

We have about 200 really bad guys in custody now and probably will park them in the desert behind a triple roll of razor wire, backed up by a couple of Bradleys pointed their way, if they decide to riot. Maybe a few will get to Gitmo but most are human garbage that wouldn't take on your five-year old grandson face-to-face. The more we go after them and not vice-versa I think we will see the sniper attacks go down. Yeah, they'll get lucky now and then, but it's showtime, fellows.

Our first objective is to get the die-hards off the street (or make them too scared to come out in them) and destroy their caches of weapons (we have collected more than 227,000 A-47s and that is only the tip of the iceburg; Curly bought nearly a million of them from our pal Vladimir), then cut off their money supply, mostly from Syria and Lebanon. We must continue to get public services up and running, so the local families can get water, sewage and garbage service; electricity, public transportation; oil fields and refineries working and a dinar that won't halve in value every month.

It's going to be a long haul (remember it took 10-15 years in Japan and West Germany) but if we don't stick with it, nobody else will, and we'll have some other looney running the place again.

This place has greater potential than Saudi Arabia (bunch of goat-herders who struck black gold) or Iran (weird dudes who can't run a rug bazaar much less a major country).

I keep telling myself even the Democrats can't be that self-destructive. But then I look at the current line-up. The cream of the crap. If that lying bitch ever gets elected we're really in trouble. By we, I mean the whole world. She'll slide just plain Bill in as the Secretary-General of the U.N. and then the whole world will be trying to take our great country ... the greatest ever ... down and civilization with it.

Armageddon, here we come. Remember, it's located on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Enough of that cheery speculation. The good news is that General Schoonmaker is going to appointed ChiefArmy ... (deleted for reasons of privacy). As the movie quoted old General Patton, "God help me, I love it." I do. Nothing more satisfying than working with the BEST damn soldiers in the world, flushing real human poop down the drain and giving some folks a chance at trying freedom for a change.

They may learn to like it and then my great-great-grandson won't have to worry about some maniac trying to destroy the planet.

My tour is over at the end of August, and I plan to return to (deleted), brief the old man, then head to (deleted) and see my two sweethearts. I'd like to visit my parents in (deleted) and my brother in (deleted), before taking on a trip across the country. Just like any other family. It will charge my batteries before I end up back in some other interesting and challenging location. I hope to see most of you and ask for some advice, not support. I know I've had that all along. Thanks.

Now about that Maker's Mark.

God Bless America

Mark.

P.S. A couple of you asked me about Curly and his two sons, Dumb and Dumber. I still think we got him and one son, but the slugs may have gotten away. If they are alive, I can't believe they are hanging around here. Even Curly isn't that stupid ... then again. He might be in Syria or Lebanon. If he is, he's too moronic to keep quiet, then we'll get him. I promise.

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444
July 16, 2003, 09:20 PM
Interesting. I got the link from the API list.
Nothing really surprises me. This is about how I figured things were going. I discount 90% of what I hear on the "news" and always have.

SkunkApe
July 16, 2003, 10:06 PM
Anyone who thinks this a real email from a real soldier, raise your paw.

fallingblock
July 16, 2003, 10:30 PM
But then I don't spend a lot of time in the "loathe us Americans" camp:D

BowStreetRunner
July 16, 2003, 10:36 PM
I guess we either have to take Preach at his word OR assume that it is false
BSR

seeker_two
July 16, 2003, 10:46 PM
I guess we either have to take Preach at his word OR assume that it is false

I'll go w/ Preacherman on this one...:cool:

Schuey2002
July 16, 2003, 10:51 PM
^^^ Same here!! ^^^

;)

grampster
July 16, 2003, 11:23 PM
Well, I can add this little tidbit. I have an old friend (he and I served on a large metro police dept together) who has written several books on the Revolutionary War, is a very active "reinactor" and as such hob nobs with a lot of military men, retired and active, many who have attained higher ranks. Several of these men are now in Iraq and Kuwait and have been sending e mails to my pal who have forwarded them to me. The info mirrors the post by Preacherman. I also have a client who has 3 sons in Iraq and have been reporting back. They say the same things.

Some of you, my respected High Roaders, will never come to grips with the fact that one does not defeat evil by running from it or attemting to reason with it. Evil knows no reason, only defeat. Certainly a great power such as the US needs to restrain itself from time to time. At other times the blessing of that great power needs to be excercised. This is one of those times.

respectfully,
gramspter

444
July 17, 2003, 12:05 AM
Yeah, I believe it. With no reservation. Why shouldn't I ?

grampster
July 17, 2003, 12:17 AM
444
A few of our fellows here don't seem to believe anything except that which appears to call into question the motives of our country when dealing with evil folks. Not directed at you, just a general comment.

grampster

rock jock
July 17, 2003, 12:25 AM
Wonderful email, Preacherman. Can I send this out on my email list? There are a lot of Americans who need to read this.

mercedesrules
July 17, 2003, 12:36 AM
(SkunkApe) Anyone who thinks this a real email from a real soldier, raise your paw.

Haha!

My sister-in-law is a kindergarten teacher and was shown an "email from a soldier" at school. In it, he said that he encouraged the kids to send "care packages". I asked, "You mean to Iraqi children?". She said, "No, to our troops; they don't have a lot of food or other necessities." :rolleyes:

MR

Preacherman
July 17, 2003, 12:47 AM
Rock Jock, sure, send away! I don't know who the originator was - I was sent a copy - and I deleted any information that might specifically identify him, so it shouldn't do any harm.

SkunkApe
July 17, 2003, 10:44 AM
I changed my mind. The letter is real. So is this one:

Letter from a young soldier in Iraq "President Bush has lost the respect of every soldier"

07/04/03: From a soldier's father:

"My son is in the U.S.Army and currently stationed in Baghdad. I hear from him every three or four days. He is like most of the young men and women who went to fight over there inasmuch as he was proud to go and achieve what President Bush said was necessary. I have seen his attitude take a U-turn during the last month. At first he was saying: "I wonder why we are not doing this or that to help make life better for our soldiers?" Then he started to wonder why we were not doing more to help the Iraqi people who are suffering under terrible conditions. Not enough water or food, no electricity most of the time, a terrible shortage of medical supplies and medical staff, basically they are living like animals. Then he started to worry about the safety of our troops in the area. He says they are sitting ducks and easy targets for Iraqi people bent upon gaining revenge for slain family members and by those who hold the U.S. responsible for the terrible conditions they find themselves in. Ye sterday he had a different message altogether."

"Get us out of here now! There is nothing we can do to pacify the Iraqi people except get out of their country and allow them to restore order in whatever way THEY wish."

And, allow me to give you his remarks when he was informed of President Bush's brash remarks saying "Bring them on." He said:

"Myself and every last man in my unit are deeply offended that our President would make such a statement inviting us to be attacked. President Bush has lost the respect of every soldier I have spoken to because of his speaking those irresponsible words. Those words spread like wild-fire amoung the troops.

We are here because he ordered us to be here and now for him to make such a ridiculous statement inviting violence towards us causes us to lose respect for him and his judgement. We are learning that we never should have come here in the first place. Believe me Dad, there is a completely different attitude now. The fact that the President gave rich people a tax cut and didn't do anything for military families is hurtful. Where there was once pride and satisfaction in defeating an enemy there is now regret and shame. God Bless America.

Your loving Son, Donny


http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/946924/posts

George Dickel
July 17, 2003, 11:29 AM
SkunkApe, it's obvious you have never been in the military. Soldiers complain all the time about everything. This guy could be on the beach in a tropical paradise surounded by dark haired island beauties and he would whine that there were no blonde girls and that the sand was too hot to walk on. He only speaks for himself and a small group of complainers just like him, not every soldier. There is no way he could know all the soldiers in Iraq so how can he speak for them or know their attitude?

This is the guy who is probably a marginal soldier. He does just enough to stay out of major trouble but doesn't do enough to get promoted. All his problems are because his Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Platoon Leader, First Sergeant, Commander, God (take your pick) all have it in for him and do everyting they can to cause him grief.

I supervised too many sniveling little mommas boys and girls during my 20 + years in the Army to believe anything this jerk has to say. I'm more inclinded to believe your letter example is the bogus one.

Sean Smith
July 17, 2003, 11:30 AM
SkunkApe,

Gee, that doesn't sound too much like some neo-hippie fabrication, now does it?

:rolleyes:

It will be interesting to see which letter hits Snopes first as a "urban legend." ;)

HBK
July 17, 2003, 11:32 AM
:rolleyes:

Preacherman
July 17, 2003, 12:47 PM
SkunkApe, that letter didn't come from the FreeRepublic Web site: the person who posted it there was citing it (including source URL) from its original site, which is the so-called Information Clearing House, a far-Left-wing site with well-publicized and frequently-expressed views opposed to the present Administration. For as many examples of this as you could wish, see here (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/index.html) for their index page, and look at the titles of the articles...

I respectfully suggest that no soldier wrote that letter! I've been a soldier (well, sailor, actually, but serving as a soldier :D ), and have seen combat. So have many on this board. Guess what? In a combat zone, you don't think or write like that! If anyone on this board with prior combat service disagrees, I'd welcome their views: but I'm guessing most of them are calling BS on that letter, just as I am. So, by the way, are virtually all of the respondents on FreeRepublic.com... It really is so blatantly wrong in intonation, manner of expression, and language, that it's actually funny!

Please understand that I respect your views, and your right to have them: but on this one, I think you've been misled by some pretty blatant propaganda. YMMV.

RKCheung
July 17, 2003, 02:35 PM
I am going to have to go with it being a fabricated letter. Any of that information could have been pulled off news broadcasts. Any specific references are pretty vague and general and easily made up. I think it is probably an anti-media, pro-war apologist writing it. It is *entirely* too feel good and too perfectly aligned with the neo-con position. Nothing is ever that clear cut.

The biggest giveaway is the morale being low ONLY because of the media. The morale is low because the return dates are non-existant or are being continually pushed back.

Looks like a hoax to me. Either that or a soldier with an agenda.

Two cents from someone who was there

________________

In case I am being unclear, I am talking about the first letter.

Leatherneck
July 17, 2003, 04:31 PM
If anyone on this board with prior combat service disagrees, I'd welcome their views: but I'm guessing most of them are calling BS on that letter, just as I am. I'm with you, Preacherman. That second letter from the "Dad" left the same taste in my mouth that a visit to DU leaves. The SF letter, OTOH, has an authentic ring to it.

TC
TFL Survivor

444
July 17, 2003, 05:42 PM
One other thing is that these letters are from two very different people. I believe the first letter was written by an officer and the second letter was written by a "young soldier", let's assume maybe a PFC. The officer has the opportunity to see the big picture. He sees progress being made. He is old enough to know everything can't be the way we would like it to be. He probably also has an appreciation of what it takes to accomplish this stuff and knows that it doesn't happen just because you want it to. He sounds like he has been around the block once or twice. On the other hand, a young private usually just left home when he enlisted. He probably has never had to make a living or put food on the table. He doesn't understand how hard it is to make things happen or just how big of an operation something like this is. He sees the whole operation and it's accomplishments only by what is right in front of him. He had probably never had to endure any real hardship in his life. He is probably used to his soccer mom jumping to the rescue everytime he complains that things don't go his way. This is probably his first deployment. ETC.

Preacherman
July 17, 2003, 05:47 PM
Good points, 444.

bjengs
July 17, 2003, 07:32 PM
I received an email from a friend currently stationed in Baghdad. (he's enlisted, 444, but I think his point of view still counts). His opinion falls somewhere in the middle of the "we're miserable" and the letter at the top of this thread.

I don't know how anyone can claim that either point of view somehow "speaks for the troops." Most people here seem to want to believe something and are using one person's testimony, either way, to "prove" their case.

The basic conclusion my soldier friend and I have drawn is that the officers and enlisted lifers are more than willing to put a good face on things because their long-term livelihood depends on them having a good outlook. Whereas the shorter-term guys have a variety of opinions based simply on what they've experienced.

If you're convinced that "most" of the soldiers feel one way or the other, and you haven't interviewed them yourself (or at least a representative sample, which would number in the thousands), you might want to come to terms with the fact that there is something you want to believe.

RKCheung
July 17, 2003, 08:18 PM
you might want to come to terms with the fact that there is something you want to believe.

I think this speaks volumes. People are going to be more inclined to believe something that is more in line with their own worldview.

Malone LaVeigh
July 18, 2003, 03:46 AM
Y'all can argue about those phantoms, but this (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0716-04.htm) article names names.

Published on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 by Reuters
U.S. Soldiers Complain of Low Morale in Iraq
by Sue Pleming

WASHINGTON - Fed up with being in Iraq and demoralized by their role as peacekeepers in a risky place, a group of U.S. soldiers aired their plight on U.S. television on Wednesday and said they had lost faith in the Army.
Told several times they would be going home only to have their hopes dashed this week, a small group of soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq, spoke of poor morale and disillusionment with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

"If Donald Rumsfeld were here, I'd ask him for his resignation," one disgruntled soldier told ABC's "Good Morning America" show.

Asked by a reporter what his message would be for Rumsfeld, one said: "I would ask him why we are still here. I don't have any clue as to why we are still in Iraq."

About 146,000 U.S. troops are serving amid mounting security threats in postwar Iraq. The death toll has now equaled the number killed in the 1991 Gulf War.

Sgt. Filipe Vega, said they had expected to return home soon after the fall of Baghdad on April 9. "We were told the fastest way back home is through Baghdad and that's what we did. Now we are still here," he complained.

The 3rd Infantry Division was the first U.S. unit to enter Baghdad after driving through southern Iraq through Kuwait.

Sgt. Terry Gilmore described a phone call with his wife Stacey when he told her he would not be coming home soon.

"When I told her she started crying and I almost started crying. I just felt like my heart was broken. I could not figure out...how they could keep us here after they told us we were coming home."

In Washington, a Pentagon spokeswoman said she understood the frustration, but said morale was still high. "It's obviously a frustrating situation for some of them, but it does not represent the entire 3rd Division."

She added: "When you get down to the individual soldier level, you can clearly see the dedication."

The wives of two of the soldiers appeared on the same show. "Just send my husband home -- send all the soldiers home. They have done the job they were supposed to do," said Rhonda Vega from Hinesville, Georgia.

Stacey Gilmore said U.S. troops were ill-prepared for the post-war phase. "They were told after the fighting ended they were coming home. All I know is that morale is low and they are just hanging in there, sticking through it."

fallingblock
July 18, 2003, 06:26 AM
and it wouldn't be difficult at all for any news reporter to have pointed out to them the "champion-griper" in any unit.
Some guys just make a hobby out of complaining:)...

especially about having to be where folks are shooting at them:eek: .

Solution?

Don't sign the paper, recite the oath, or take the pay;)...
these are all volunteers :D

bjengs
July 18, 2003, 02:20 PM
Don't sign the paper, recite the oath, or take the pay...
these are all volunteers Amen! Would someone tell these Army wives to cram it, too? Just shut up, say thanks for the housing, training, and tax-free income, and remember that your hubby agreed to be a soldier, not a welfare queen.

Sean Smith
July 18, 2003, 03:06 PM
From my time in the military, I'd break it down like this:

1/3 of the spouses bend over backwards to do the right thing.
1/3 of the spouses are self-absorbed whiners.
1/3 of the spouses are fooling around with whatever sad sacks weren't deployed.

Expect a spate of murders when the troops come back.

Destructo6
July 18, 2003, 03:43 PM
and tax-free income
Which tax-free income is that? My salary was taxed just like any other American's.

Gotta keep in mind that there's always about 5% in any unit that are problem childeren and constantly under hack. And dependant wives rarely understand that their husbands must fulfill their duty: I know mine couldn't understand it for the entire time I was on Okinawa.

444
July 18, 2003, 04:44 PM
Let's assume that any of these letters are gunuine, and I have no reason to believe that they arn't.
Take any organization, I don't care if it is the NRA, the democratic party, the military, or where you work. There are people who love it there and believe in everything that is being done. There are people that whine constantly, nothing about that organization can satisfy them. There are people that do what they are told most of the time and take it all in stride. If you wanted to interview people from any organization, it would be very easy to make the interview come out any way you want it to depending on who you interview and what parts of the interview you choose to include in the final product.
This subject is no different. If you could see all the letters sent home from Iraq, you would find all types of people writing all types of letters. You would get the guy that hates being in the military, who doesn't think he is getting enough to eat, doesn't think that anyone knows what they are doing, doesn't think the US is doing everything they can for the people of Iraq. You will get guys that are at the peak of their life, they have trained for years to serve in combat and are thrilled to death to see the elephant; food, overall mission goals, and general comfort don't even enter their mind. And you will get the guys that miss their families and don't say a whole lot about what is going on with them.
Trying to draw any conclusions about the general situation from the perspective of a few people is a waste of time. Everyone has their own viewpoint, everyone has their own perspective.

RKCheung
July 18, 2003, 05:43 PM
Which tax-free income is that? My salary was taxed just like any other American's.

Servicemembers serving in certain designated areas are exempt from paying federal taxes as long as they serve at least one day of the month in that area.

There are many officers and senior enlisted who are pulling in a LOT of money from this stint due to this.

Byron Quick
July 18, 2003, 05:52 PM
Which IRS regulations discuss this?

Sean Smith
July 18, 2003, 06:00 PM
Paying no taxes for 6+ months is indeed real money. I thought it was great! Of course, back then I was making $24,253.20 a year as an O-1, so it's not like I was soaking Uncle Sucker for that much money. :rolleyes:

RKCheung
July 18, 2003, 06:00 PM
Which IRS regulations discuss this?

Check out this section of the IRS website:

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=97273,00.html

The tax laws provide some special benefits for active members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those serving in combat zones.

For federal tax purposes, the U.S. Armed Forces includes officers and enlisted personnel in all regular and reserve units controlled by the Secretaries of Defense, the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Sean Smith
July 18, 2003, 06:03 PM
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=101262,00.html

Yes, if you serve in a combat zone as an enlisted person or as a warrant officer (including commissioned warrant officers) for any part of a month, all your military pay received for military service that month is excluded from gross income. For commissioned officers, the monthly exclusion is capped at the highest enlisted pay, plus any hostile fire or imminent danger pay received. For 2002, the most an officer could earn tax-free each month was $5,532.90 ($5,382.90, the highest monthly enlisted pay, plus $150 hostile fire or imminent danger pay). The Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-11) raised the imminent danger pay to $225 per month through September 2003. Therefore, the 2003 combat pay exclusion for officers is $5,957.70 per month through September, and $5,882.70 per month for the remainder of the year. Amounts excluded from gross income are not subject to federal income tax.

Dave Bean
July 18, 2003, 10:29 PM
About the tax break....Good !!!!

Hey, these guys are busting their humps and getting shot at while away from their loved ones. They deserve the tax break, it's the least we can do for them.

As for the letters, I'm also inclined to believe that people are homesick...that's perfectly natural. The media is just picking up on the mood and blowing it out of proportion, that's what they do best.

Dave Bean

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