Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

How I spent my summer vacation.

When NeXt, the Buffalo News' youth paper, asked readers to respond and let them know what they did on their summer vacation, they didn't expect a letter from a soldier in Iraq...


My name is Deanna Nagel. I read the article in NeXt that said to take NeXt on vacation. I know that I am past the due date and I am not 18 years old or under. I am 21 and also that I am not exactly on what you would call vacation, but it is pretty interesting.

I am in the Army National Guard out of Buffalo. I am a military police officer. In February my unit, the 105th MPs, got activated for up to 365 days. We are presently stationed in Iraq just south of Baghdad. The camp in the background is a camp that we singlehandedly made ourselves. We put up tents, built our own showers and bathrooms. We do our laundry by hand and if we are hungry for lunch we get MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). For breakfast and dinner the food isn't much better. Thanks to my mom, she sends ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese that I can make. Army food just isn't good. My unit has come under attack over 80 times in a six-month span. Once they actually hit our base camp.

I know some of this information children shouldn't know but this is the life we are living right now. We have some 18-year-olds with us experiencing this stuff at that age and even my age. Heck even some 50-year-olds here can't handle it.

If you don't want to publish my "vacation," I completely understand. I just want people to understand what we are going through. I am still here, it will be 179 days on Oct. 14. That was the day we were supposed to go home. But now it looks like it won't be for some time. Well I must be going. Thank you for your support.
- Sincerely, Deanna Nagel

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