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April 01, 2004

A note from SGT Hook, in the 'Stan!

SGT Hook checks in!

Hello All, I'm in the Stan now and have been for a few days. I find the morale here to be both high and low. We, the incoming units, are over the top on morale and espirit which is expected. The outgoing guys, though excited to be heading home after 9 months, for the most part seem to be tired. A little negative or disgruntled (they were originally expecting a 6-month rotation) but mostly just burned out.

What effect has the negative campaigning have? Little I think. I can't
speak for the joes in Iraq, but here the op-tempo is high and little
time is spent follwing news and politics. We get the Stars and Stripes and
Armed Forces Network which typically don't inundate us with political
news anyway. Interestingly enough, those of us just arriving have been
exposed to all the campaigning hoopla just prior to departing and it has had no
effect on our morale. So, I'm not sure that such negative press plays
as much on our Soldiers as it does our families back home. My two cents.