Soldiers Describe Iraq Experience - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/18/03

Soldiers Describe Iraq Experience

Late last night, family and friends greeted more than 200 soldiers just back from Iraq. Everyone we spoke with had a different experience, but one thing almost all soldiers commented on is the sandy conditions in the Middle East and how happy they are to be back in the states.

They say they're shocked, excited and happy to be on familiar turf after living for months in the desert, with, as one soldier put it, "a lot of sand, not a lot of sleep."

"Your mind races a mile a minute, all the time for three and a half months, it was an adrenaline rush every day," said Spec. Shane Walker.

But it was hard, leaving families and friends behind with no guarantee you could make a call or send an email. PFC Shawn Nield said it was "scary, very, very scary alone," adding, "but we had a job to do and we did it."

And it was the shoulders of their comrades these soldiers were leaning on when they felt down.

"Stressful at times, fun at some times cause you have your battle buddies to get you through it," PFC Kevin Godfrey told us.

Now these soldiers are praying for the men and women still in the Middle East, hoping they too will be reunited with their families soon

"I just hope my fellow soldiers, my brothers, come home soon," said Nield.

Troops will continue to come in throughout the next few weeks.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com

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