NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

NCCA Christmas party highlights

Ellen and I attended the Contractor’s Association Christmas Party at the Holbrooke last night. The contractors throw a great party, the food and wine were superb, but the highlight of the evening was chatting with Cliff Wager, Rick Keene’s Chief of Staff, who was just back from a one year tour in Iraq as an Army Reservist.

Cliff was stationed in the central part of Iraq, about 60 miles south of Baghdad. He was part of a multinational unit run by Polish officers charged the movement of military vehicles throughout a large district in central Iraq He told some great stories about working with the officers from Poland, and other Eastern Bloc countries including Romania, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Latvia, Kazakhstan. He was also given responsibility for a Detachments remote from his central location which required frequent travel in his Humvee.

We were surprised to learn that Army Staff Sergeants were given responsibilities and decision making authority exceeding that held by most of the Eastern Block Captains and Majors. Many of the truck drivers and escorts were women. Cliff has the highest admiration for there skills and abilities to “get the job done.” Our volunteer military has proven to be highly effective when properly trained and given the freedom carry out their mission.

It was refreshing to get some first hand insight into war in Iraq, we hear so little about the other nations involved in our local press. Cliff mentioned that Korea was responsible for an adjoining district. I only learned about Mongola's participatioin when the President stopped by to thank them for their contributions.

Speaking of first hand knowledge of the war on terror, check out his from Major John Tammes, an Illinois National Guardsman recently returned from Afghanistan. He responds to Rep Murtha’s “broken army” comments at the Instapundit here. He is not happy.

In talking to Cliff, we never got the impression that the Army was broken, but we did not ask ta direct question. He told only positive stories about the skill and dedication of our troops. I wish the local press could do more of the same.

For a private comment to Russ or George, for public comment select comments below.

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