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The story of a local Army Reservist now stationed in Baghdad

Twenty-eight-year-old Eric Greene of Tyrone enlisted into the Army Reserves to serve his country.
A senior at Penn State University, majoring in economics, he first received the call of duty in November of last year. After some months of training, he traveled to Iraq and has been there since February. The earliest he will be able to come home is March, 2005.
Greene is now an Army Reservist with the 458th Combat Engineers attached to the 1st Cavalry Division in Baghdad.
Even though he is busy and constantly on the move, he called The Daily Herald office, all the way from Baghdad, for an exclusive interview. He was also able to e-mail the Daily Herald office twice from Baghdad.
Greene said he was doing this “out of patriotism to my country and doing the right thing.”
He wants to inform his friends and family back home as well as the rest of the community that even though the news media shows much of the negative of what is going on in Iraq, there are many positive things going on there as well.
“The main reason for this is to let people know and be proud of soldiers and be proud that there are hometown soldiers doing a good job over here,” Greene wrote in an e-mail to The Daily Herald. “There is also another soldier from Tyrone, Adam Detwiler, in my unit who is 19-years-old, and I would also like Tyrone residents to know about (him).”
Currently, the weather is hot in Baghdad, now reaching an average of 120 degrees during the day.
Greene is stationed at Camp Victory, which is two miles north of Baghdad International Airport.
“Even though there’s a lot of bad things going on, the media doesn’t show enough of the positive,” Greene said in a phone interview.
Greene was being honest when he explained that many of the Iraqi people do not like the United States Army, but he added a lot do as well. He explained the situation by saying that in one section of town, the Iraqis will honk and wave, and then 20 minutes down the road, it is the exact opposite.
He explained one of the positive programs the Army initiated is for the Iraqi citizens to turn in weapons and artillery rounds in exchange for money.
During a phase of the program, the citizens turned in over 3,000 AK 47s, which Greene explained the money from one AK 47 can feed a family for three months.
During this phase of the program, the Army distributed $1.2 million in exchange for the weapons.
He said another positive program is that work is contracted out to many Iraqi citizens, and this way it provides jobs for them through the Army. Certain jobs are on the Army base as well. He said the Army must protect the citizens in this program because they are targets from militants.
Greene explained that the busiest times for him are when he is on missions. His job is to act as infantry that can offer mobility support to the 1st Cavalry division. Other jobs Greene assists in are making roads better, setting up checkpoints and participating in patrols.
Greene also shared with The Daily Herald some thoughts of the hard times going on in Baghdad.
“A lot of violence is going on. It’s pretty scary,” said Greene. “Our unit has had its share of casualties and fire fights.”
He added that roadside bombings are a problem, and his unit has been attacked twice in the last two months.
“I’ve experienced things I’d never thought I’d go through,” he added.
Greene said he tries to keep a positive outlook and that he has also made friends with a few Iraqi citizens. He added that he misses his family.
His father Richard is in the Air Force Reserve and is scheduled to soon travel back overseas for another six months.
“The thing I look forward to the most is letters and e-mails from people,” said Greene.
He said the best time is when a package from home arrives.
If anyone would like to send Greene an e-mail of support, write to Eric.e.greene.@US.Army.mil.
He is the son of Richard and Linda Greene of Tyrone, and his brother, Mike, also lives in Tyrone. His grandparents are Donald and Alberta McCahan.