Third I.D. Soldiers and Iraqi Citizens Work Together in Fight For Freedom

Under the cloak of darkness, Third I.D. soldiers pounced on a Baghdad neighborhood, capturing and arresting enemy fighters. The insurgents never knew their neighbors were the ones who turned them in. " All of the suspected insurgents we picked up were from the information we got from local citizens," said Major David Hardy, executive officer with Third Battalion, Seventh Infantry Division.

American troops have made great strides in the war on terror mainly with the help of the Iraqi people. Raids to capture insurgents wouldn't be possible without them, and neither will the new Iraq government. "My soldiers are out there every day, talking to the people, getting the word out that this is their new government. They have a huge responsibility and a huge part in establishing the new government," explained Captain Craig Gibson, company commander with the Third Battalion.

Even with the Iraq constitution still waiting to be ratified, the people are working with soldiers to become the free country they've waited so long for. " Iraqi's are tired of the situation they are dealing with over here. They know the government is the way forward," exclaimed Major Hardy.

Third I.D. soldiers are taking their missions very seriously, knowing there's a lot at stake. The troops are continually tracking and capturing enemy insurgents who threaten the very peace they are working hard for. " The insurgent activity is out there, it's going to be out there because they are determined to do everything they possibly can to ensure the new Iraqi government fails," said Captain Gibson.

The soldiers said there is still a lot of work to be done, but they are determined to finish their missions before they come home. An October referendum will allow Iraqi's to decide whether to accept or reject the new constitution. Third i-d soldiers will be on hand for that vote, and will hopefully be coming home after the first of the year.

Reported By:  Melanie Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com