February 04, 2005


I heard a touching story from my favorite reservist, a blog reader I've followed for his whole tour in Iraq. A husband and wife couple ran the alterations shop on his camp in Baghdad, and a few months ago the husband was killed by insurgents. No one knew what had happened to the wife until the other day when she reopened the alterations shop. My reservist says:

When we walked into the shop, it was packed with soldiers and the shelves were rapidly becoming bare. The wife was dressed completely in black but still had a smile on her face as she greeted us. I literally could find nothing to buy and she refused to accept money for nothing. Even her entire stock of fake Rolex watches were gone. One soldier even bought a bootleg Barbara Steisand movie just to give her business and money. No one laughed and one soldier thanked him for helping out as he walked out.

The generosity of the American (soldier) is beyond belief at times. I hope she restocks and stays open.

Something about that story just touches my heart.

Posted by Sarah at February 4, 2005 08:40 AM

She reminds me of the folk I knew back home in North Minnesota. They would not take charity, but prefered to live by the sweat of their brow. The Iraqi people, for the most part, are just like many of us. We want what we work for and not a penny more.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at February 4, 2005 03:33 PM

Probably the nicest soldiers ever marched. Sure, you do get some rough characters, but never the type of wholesale nastiness that became a calling card for their actions, i.e."..reminiscent of Genghis Khan..." Kids runnign after GI vehicle gets candy and leftover MRE items, not raked by gunfire. American GI's go out of their ways to do nice things during wars. Not many wartime soldiers do nice things for the population at large by their own initiative. Just contrast that with the behavior of some other armed forces during, and since, WWII. You'll find GI's on the "nice" side of the list more often than not. Yes, I was on the receiving of that kindness. Thanks, GI, you numbah one!

P.S. As a descendant of the Mongol Horde, it's "Jenjis" Khan if you're a pretentious East Coast pseudo-intellectual leftist weenie.

Posted by: icepick at February 4, 2005 07:31 PM