On September 11th 2001, Americans and the world watched in horror as terrorists flew planes into the world trade center towers in New York City. It was at that moment that I new war would be inevitable, America would fight back against those who did this to our nation. But, I also knew my families lives would change forever.
Col. David W. Fitzgerald said, "Once you're a solider, you sign on the dotted line that you're going to protect our way of life, you just continue to march."
On March 19th 2003, President Bush declared war and colonel David Fitzgerald got his orders to deploy to the desert. He was told he would be, in civilian terms, the mayor of the largest military base in Iraq, Camp Anaconda.
Fitzgerald said, "I was the Garrison Commander in a place called Balal, Iraq and our main responsibility was to run this base and it was the largest logistics base. We had about 25 thousand people, 15 thousand airman and 10 thousand civilians and contractors, I was responsible for their safety, making sure we ship logistics getting them out."
That means he was responsible for keeping our soldiers alive on the battle field by making sure they had things like enough bullets, all the weapons they need, food, vehicles, gas, anything that keeps the solider ready to fight, camp anaconda was responsible for providing. But, there was always the constant reminder that you're in a war zone and your life is always on the line.
Fitzgerald said, "We're in the middle of the semi triangle so you got enemy that's out there shooting at you because they don't want you to get the logistics out, if you moved outside because our vehicles had to take our supplies off our base so now your faced with an unknown IEDs."
That's an improvised explosive device. A bomb that will go off at any time and our soldiers would never see it coming. But, delivering logistics wasn't the only mission at camp anaconda.
President George W. Bush said, "We have no ambition in iraq except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people."
So, our soldiers worked to fulfill the Presidents request. In January of 2005 that democratic process in Iraq was evident.
Fitzgerald said, "The most rewarding thing is they were able to vote."
Thousands of miles away form home, like many soldiers, my dad was away from his family for over a year. He was serving his country and working to fight terrorism. Even though he was the commander for more than 25 thousand soldiers, he says when you're at war fighting for your country, every American solider is one.
Fitzgerald said, "You take those soldiers to Iraq and they turn into the best solider you can ever ask for and I'd serve with these young soldiers anytime anywhere, they were that good on the battlefield."