Hayden's back in Iraq after short visit home

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

By Rose Post

Salisbury Post

Major Mark Hayden is back in Iraq.

He was home for a week beginning on Nov. 12. He went back Nov. 19.

But now he’s in Iraq again, based in Mosul, and he has more news for the folks back home.

In his latest letter, which has just arrived, he sent a picture of a crowd talking to a relatively large group of people.

“Thought the attached photo might give some idea on the lack of basic services such as fuel to heat homes and cooking,” he wrote. “We came across a propane distribution point in a nearby neighborhood. Fuel is rationed because of high demand and little supply. We quelled a civil riot and restored order, one of many diverse missions we encounter daily.”

His unit, he told the Post when he was here on leave, is called the Iraqi Advisory Group and advises the Iraqi Army, “and we can’t leave, unless someone’s there to take over. They’re not quite capable yet of handling their own security. It’s a real mess.”

The battalion he advises is being trained to take over the fight during the course of the next eight months. And he added that he thinks they’re getting some insurgencies from neighboring countries.

But he ended his brief letter with two question marks, obviously indicating that he doesn’t know what’s coming next.

But he’s also added a suggestion if you’d like to see some pictures.

“For those who would like the link to my digital album, I’ve added a new album with recent photos. Try this: http://community.webshots.com/user/mehayden.”

Contact Rose Post at 704-797-4251 or rpost@salisburypost.com.