In the thick of things in Iraq are our 48th Brigade and Third Infantry Division. The Rock of the Marne is about halfway through this deployment. We spoke with the rear detachment commander, Lt. Col. Noel Nicolle, about his recent trip to Iraq. He says his latest trip was a good one and that he had lots of good things to tell families back home.
With all the fighting going on in Iraq over the past three years, it's almost hard to imagine anything good coming out of that war-torn country.
"They're on the ground, they know the good things that are being done, and it's not being talked about," said Lt. Col. Nicolle.
What's not being talked about is all the progress soldiers of the Third Infantry Division are making. "Over the last two to three years, they've spent more than $2 billion in Baghdad improving the infrastructure, electricity and water," Lt. Col. Nicolle told us. "There's sewer in Sauder City, which they've never had before, and running water. This is incredible progress and that's going on across the city."
Back from his latest trip to Baghdad, Nicolle has returned to tell families the soldiers' side of the story. "The most important thing to tell the families is that the soldiers in Iraq are doing incredible things," he said. "The progress that's been made in that nation."
He not only says morale is high, but he also says reenlistment for soldiers in Iraq is also at an all-time high. It's information that sheds a positive light on all the negative news often depicted.
"They're not hearing negativity constantly," he told us. "They're hearing about the good things that are being done as well and that certainly helps morale of both the families and the soldiers up forward."
Lt. Col. Nicolle also says one of the main reasons morale is so high for the soldiers is the love and support they get from right here at home.