Blount Speaks from Iraq - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/03/03

Blount Speaks from Iraq

As families in Hinesville wait for the first Third Infantry Division soldiers to return tonight, we remember there are still thousands overseas in Iraq and Kuwait. There have been rumors of bad living conditions, but today, division commander Maj. Gen. Buford Blount tried to quell those rumors and assure families everything is okay.

Col. Jack Sterling just got back last night. While he is glad to be home, he is already working hard, trying to get correct information to families about the morale of their loved ones now that they have a new mission.

"Last week, as they found out they weren't going home and we had got our new mission, it dipped," said Gen. Blount via a video conference from Iraq. But Blount says that has changed. "We've seen a little upsurge in morale now that they've got a new mission to go do, and they're going to do that."

He says despite rumors, soldiers have plenty of water and food and conditions are improving.

"We got in some refrigerated vans that we can use to put fresh food and vegetables in," said Col. Sterling. "We're going to start getting what we call A rations, regular fresh food at least every three days or so."

The soldiers will also be getting one hot meal a day and even air conditioning in some places. And Gen. Blount says communication will be improving, mentioning 30 new satellite phones that should arrive in Iraq in the next day or two to be distributed for calls from soldiers. He added that soldiers need letters to start coming again; the Army had for a while asked families not to send mail, but due to the new assignment, he says the letters can continue.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com

Powered by Frankly