Matt Sanchez, live from FOB Falcon:
Despite the media coverage back home, most of the fifty or so soldiers I spoke with had never heard of Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp, and shrugged their shoulders when I mentioned the “Baghdad Diarist”. Not following the news too closely is normal on bases throughout Iraq and FOB Falcon is no exception. The day begins long before the sun floats on the horizon and sears the unpaved roads causing the dust to drift in the air by noon and settle long after dusk. Soldiers will only rest when the mission is complete and that means little time for leisure and less time for the latest literary scandals. This is a demographic far much more likely to read anonymous Myspace.com profiles of far-away pretty girls than the pages of a 90 year old progressive bi-weekly magazine.*** Three Paragraphs Later ***
With Operation Law and Order, Lt. Colonel James Crider and his soldiers of the Quarter horse employed clear, control and retain tactics to make the protection of the Dora occupants their personal priority. It’s fair to say the men and women of the 1-4 Cav, like so many of their sister units, know their bit of Baghdad real estate just as well or even better than they know FOB Falcon. For these men and women, the success of their mission is never reduced to a talking point on a tele-prompter, real soldiers have died defending this ground. Which may be why the “Baghdad Diarist” saga is taken so personally.