I have to admit to you, I am not the best choice for a Public Affairs representative. I don't like the media. I really don't like the media.
It amazes and saddens me that some journalists might spin things against us and in favor of our nation's enemies or to push a political agenda.
As a soldier, I will never forget. I'm not interested in reconciliation and my strongest desire is to rid the earth of these ruthless killers. I believe the men and women that leapt to their deaths rather than burn alive in the towers deserve that, as well as the families they left behind. I have never could have conceived in my mind an enemy as evil as our current foe.
I have not forgotten New York City, although I never knew anyone from NYC until I joined the Army (being stationed in New York state, we have several soldiers from NYC). We are here for those from New York, and for the rest of America, who had to cope with 9/11.
I have had Iraqis beg me not to let the U.S. pull out and abandon them (as if it's up to me). Most are thankful for Saddam being removed and for the new opportunity of freedom that is rare in this part of the world. These people, especially the kids, deserve to have this thing followed through to the finish.
Our Army, with all its might, can remove a crazy dictator in a few weeks, but it takes much more time to change a society. These people are used to either being unable to take initiative for themselves (no freedom) or having all they need provided for them (socialism), so sometimes it is almost like trying to raise a child.
Beside patrolling and arresting bad people, which are good, we also do lots of community project stuff.
We worked with the Iraqi Police (IPs) to do a Safety Day at a local elementary school to build trust between the community and the IPs. The school was very receptive and things went wonderfully.
It just takes time ... but change IS happening in Iraq. You can see it from the pictures, from the building of the police station, to this new initiative with Safety Day.
Randall Cornelison has been in the Army for three years, which he joined due to 9/11, his love for America and an appreciation of the military.