Story Archives: A war story
|A war story|
Thursday is Veteran's Day, so hug a vet.
I'm a veteran and while you might not want to hug me, allow me to treat you to a little war story in honor of the day.
The year was 1991 and the ground war had ended in Operation Desert Storm.
I was a truck driver with the 1087th Transportation Company out of Vidalia.
At the time, I was working at a P.O.W. camp where my job was to drive Iraqi prisoners from southern Iraq to other camps in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
As the Iraqis were brought in, they would be processed for two are three weeks before we drove them out. In the groups of about 40 or so that I carried on each trip, we always made sure there was a least one of them that could speak English and work as a translater.
That's how I got to know Milak Ballah.
He was a haggard 28 year-old defector from the Iraqi Republican Guard that had made his way to the southern Iraqi boarder so he could be picked up by our troops.
He saw the war as a way out of a country he had grown to despise as he watched Saddam Hussein grow in power.
For Milak, it was a chanceómaybe the only one he would ever haveóto be free.