Iraq RoundupSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Iraq Roundup

20 July 2005 at 3:02:00 PM

Most Soldiers in Iraq Report Low Unit Morale

"Fifty-four percent of OIF-II soldiers reported their unit moral as low or very low," it said. Only nine percent reported high or very high unit morale.

The report said 36 percent reported low or very low personal morale, an improvement over 2003, when 52 percent reported low personal morale.

Key sources of combat stress were incoming rocket and mortar fire and improvised explosive devices, which soldiers were encountering at a higher rate in 2004 than in 2003, the report said.

The main source of non-combat stress reported by soldiers was the long combat tour of duty in Iraq, with 52 percent expressing high or very high concern about the issue, 16 percent moderate concern, and 32 percent low or very low concern.

In Iowa town, uncertainty grows over Iraq war

On the flag-lined streets of Boone, where nearly everyone has a friend or relative who served in the National Guard in  Iraq, a sense of pride in the military now mingles with growing doubt and uncertainty about the war

Residents of this central Iowa town of 13,000, home to four Iowa National Guard units and hundreds of soldiers who have deployed to Iraq and  Afghanistan, say they feel a deepening pessimism about the prospects for peace, the timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops and the success of the broader campaign against terrorism.

While many are quick to pledge their support for the war, and few want a fast military pullout from Iraq, a series of interviews found plenty of questions about the U.S. mission there and little hope U.S. troops -- including Guard units based in Boone -- would get a break from war any time soon.

"The war just keeps dragging on, it's a no-win situation," said Bob Owens, a  Department of Agriculture worker from neighboring Luther. "What have we proved? Maybe nothing. What makes us safer? Who knows?"

Craig Heineman, a local farmer, said he voted for  President Bush in the last two elections but was no longer sure the president made the right move in invading Iraq.

"I don't think we can just leave now, but the trouble is I think we're going to be there a long time," he said. "I supported the war on terrorism, but I'm not sure Iraq was the place to go."


Ruby Butler, 15, a student at Youth Empowerment School in Oakland, Calif., joins an anti-war protest Monday, July 11, 2005, in front of San Francisco City Hall. Anti-war activists delivered 15,000 signatures to the city's Department of Elections to get a local initiative on the November ballot putting the city on record as opposing the presence of military recruiters in public high schools and colleges. (AP Photo/John M. Harris)

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