Remembering what it's like all over

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hello All,

Everything is well here. The following are more pics from Baghdad. One is of my LT. and myself in front of Uday Hussein’s Palace after the U.S. bombed it to smithereens. This country used to be very beautiful, but today is VERY dangerous. Please have a Merry Christmas and know that our Forces are working hard to defend freedom.

Sgt. Jon Morris

That’s just one of many e-mails I’ve gotten from my brother, Jon, currently serving in Iraq. We’re not sure exactly where, of course, but it’s obviously rough over there.

For Jon and his guys, though, they are making it a little more like home — and are pleasantly surprised with the reception they get in Iraq.

He starts each message “Hello all,” and ends each message with “Sgt. Jon Morris.” Each update is like a little mirror into the world that my brother is living in now.

Hello all,

The first picture, we were driving along in downtown Baghdad and I see this guy that looks exactly like Joseph Stalin. We whip over and get out, he thinks he’s in trouble then finds out I just want a photo with him. The second pic is of a Sheik and his assistant that I met in one of the police stations in a seedy part of Baghdad. The Sheik thought it was great that someone in America would be interested in seeing his face. He liked me a lot. The third pic is a local who works at our FOB who reminded me so much of my deceased father. His job is to sit and watch people throw trash away. I affectionately call him POPS, but he just smiles and nods. He also couldn’t understand why anybody in America would want to see his face.

Sgt. Jon Morris

It’s so interesting to read about the little things that make his day different from all the days before and what will follow. Often, these short e-mails remind me of what I’m thankful for, what I need to continue to pray about and why we are sending our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, friends and neighbors into a country so far away.

They also make me think about when my big brother first went into the Army all those years ago, when I was just “knee-high to a grasshopper” as he likes to say. I can remember writing him letters to Fort Benning, asking my father how to spell Army because I couldn’t wrap my 4-year-old mind around the spelling. I remember being happy when he came home, and yet understanding why he went away.

It’s like that now. The exact same thing — except I know how to spell Army.

Joanie Morris is editor of the Kannapolis Citizen. She can be reached at 704-932-3336 or