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  1. #1
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    May 2002
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    A Maggot Fighting in Iraq

    Just got a mail from AK Pogue, full-on maggot and an owner of PM Gear. He was stationed in Fairbanks at Fort Wainwright, served his time, patrolled at Alyeska, then shipped out to Iraq. He is an awesome guy, nicest dude in the world, and now he's serving on a tour in the war zone. Here's what he wrote. I'll put some pics behind his letter.

    Hello all,
    Well I wish I could write to all of you to tell that everything has been
    going well, but unfortunately that hasn't been the case. On our first
    official mission we had our first death. I still can't believe it and
    probably never will.

    I can only give you the basics of what we do and what happened out there.
    During our mission planning we were told that there were 2 roads to the
    north and south of us that were heavily tank mined because tanks had
    previously operated in that area. We were going to patrol in between those
    roads and that would mitigate the chance of hitting a mine since it is wide
    open desert. My Platoon Commander said that we would have a better chance
    of getting struck by lightning than hitting a land mine. Well we got
    struck. The first vehicle hit the land mine and there was not much left.
    It left 1 dead and 3 others severly wounded. The buddy who died is Lcpl
    Jeremiah Kinchen and he was a great guy. If you would like to know a little
    more about him there is a good story on the www.newsminer.com website.

    What we are doing here isn't really any different than what the police are
    doing in your hometown. We go out and look for bad guys which basically is
    what they are. My area of operation I figure I can tell you since in the
    release about Kinchen's death has told everybody where we are at. I am in
    the Al Anbar province which basically includes the Sunni triangle which is
    west of Baghdad. We are out of Camp Fallujah and are operating in the area
    around it.

    The guys we are after are basically a few types. We don't have any foreign
    fighters in the area. The locals quickly tell us where they are at and they
    are not welcome around here. The types are former Saddam loyalist or ex
    military commanders who aren't at all happy about losing there privileged
    positions, local criminals, and out of work Iraqi's. The enemy is smart but
    incredibly lazy. The out of work Iraq's are usually given a few bucks to do
    the easy but usually dangerous jobs because the leaders don't want to die.

    I have been quite surprised at the local reactions around here. For the
    most part they have been really pleasant and seem to still appreciate that
    we are here. I have seen and heard some negative reactions but they are
    generally in the areas that we haven't patrolled enough in so the insurgents
    have more control in the area and they don't really want to upset the local
    insurgents so as to get on there hit list.

    We have been doing some work with the Iraq National Guard. The guys I have
    been exposed to are generally trained but they have some big cojones. I
    will send a pic of them. They patrol around in Nissan pickup trucks with
    hardly any gear. They just seem so out of place compared to us with all our
    gear and armor. If the Iraqis had been leading the patrol when we hit that
    land mine there the whole truck would have disappeared.

    As far as our gear is concerned we have pretty much everything we need which
    I have been pleasantly surprised. The only SNAFU is that our communication
    gear and night vision gear is the same gear that has been here since the
    beginning so it is getting beat up. We couldn't bring our own stuff here
    because we are only allowed so much gear here. If we would have brought it,
    they would have taken it and used it somewhere else. So we have got gear in
    much better condition sitting back in the states not getting used and I have
    no idea why.

    Our living conditions here in Camp are great. We have a great chow hall
    with some of the best chow hall food I have ever eaten. We are living 3 to
    a trailer that has airconditoning which has already been used.

    I have been asked as to what I need here. Just send food and socks. Some
    of the marines don't know what a good pair of socks are. As far as food
    goes send anything that doesn't melt. We use vehicles mostly so I would
    greatly appreciate food so I don't have to eat MRE's. Socks send either
    Brigdedale or Smartwool socks in Medium or large. Light hiker socks and
    light colors because of the heat. I have been offered gameboys and the
    like. Send them and I will distribute anything to either the marines or
    anything leftover to the Iraqi's.

    I have been amazed at all the support I have gotten from you all and the
    rest of the country. Here is some pics that I have taken. If you don't
    want any more emails feel free to tell me and if you have any comments or
    questions feel free and I will try to get back to you. I will be outta
    touch from time to time because of extended missions so I will try and stay
    in touch as much as possible.

    Love
    David

  2. #2
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    May 2002
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    I pray for his safe return.

  3. #3
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    May 2002
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    A work commute I wouldn't want to make.

  4. #4
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    May 2002
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    Lance Cpl. Kinchen

    The combat death of a young U.S. Marine from Salcha brought to life an occurrence that many, whether to slight or great degree, likely suspected would happen at some point during the war in Iraq. Until Lance. Cpl. Jeremiah Kinchen died in an explosion during combat activities on Monday, no Alaska resident had died in battle in Iraq.Alaska was about the last state to incur a combat death of one of its residents during the Iraq war, remarkable given the military nature of this state. And none of the military personnel sent into the conflict from bases in Alaska has been killed in combat, either. Again, remarkable.

    And because of that, the death of the young Salcha lance corporal, a 2001 graduate of Eielson High School and whose family has lived in Salcha for several years, might stir a wider number of people. Alaska really is a small state, and the loss of one of its own won't pass without causing a broad ripple.

    This casualty might lead some people to view the war in a different way. It might cause others to realize that the fighting and exploding is not just a nightly television show from a distant land and with no real meaning for them. It might lead still others--especially friends and family of those about to be deployed to Iraq from Fort Wainwright and those living here but with family or friends serving in Iraq from other states--to pray.

    Lance Cpl. Kinchen, by the accounts that have arrived so far, felt at home in the Marines and was skilled in the dangerous task of reconnaissance. He had been in Iraq less than a month when the explosion in Anbar province, the volatile desert region west of Baghdad, claimed him.

    Alaskans will mourn his passing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    33,425
    Hey, thank you , all you people who want to help Dave and his crew out with some necessities and comforts. It'll be a while before I hear back from him, but I'll get a mailing address and let each of you send off your good tidings yourself, if that works for everyone. Some ski mags would probably be cool, too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    33,425
    Dave got back. Here's his addy:

    You guys rock!

    HM2
    4th Recon BN E Co 3rd Plt
    Unit 43665
    FPO AP 96426-3665

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    33,425
    Quote Originally Posted by SkiingBear
    I'm not looking to turn this into any kind of pro/anti-war statement. Just hoping to help out a fellow Maggot.
    Thanks, SkiingBear, for taking point on the monetary contributions. My intent in posting his words was to let everyone know that one of our own is over there and in harm's way. That you all stepped up to help Dave and his mates is beyond awesome. I have tons of ski mags and other goodies I'll be shipping out.

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