Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dan The Man and The Crosses of Lafayette

I worked in the city today. While I waited for my train, I looked long and hard at The Crosses of Lafayette, which have increasingly covered the hillside next to the train station since 2006. The crosses memorialize the American soldiers who have died in the ongoing Iraqi war. A cross has been put up for each of the 4000+ troops who have died. During the last three years the memorial has rallied awareness of the cost of the Iraqi war and garnered wide media coverage. However, it has also evoked anger, controversy, legal threats, at least two acts of vandalism and more recently, counter protests.

It’s ironic that I contemplated the crosses today because I read an email from Dan The Man just before I left the house. Our forty-something friend Dan has been in Bagdad for a week now, having decided to serve our country in active duty again. He emailed us these pictures, which made me feel a little better.

Although Dan works 16 hours a day, six days a week, he did manage to find an underground cyclocrossers club and buy a Motobecane from someone who was heading back to the states. He lives in one of Saddam's palace complexes, so there's plenty of interesting things to see on a ride. It is a compound, though, so they had to make a complicated loop to get in a long ride, which was flat but made more challenging by headwinds and dust.

This first picture was taken near the "Flintstone Village" Saddam built for his grandchildren and Dan commented that it’s amazing to see all the excesses of his regime - built while his countrymen suffered. The second picture was taken in front of Al Faw Palace, where Dan works for the commanding general.

Here’s Dan’s address for the rest of the year, in case you or your children want to write or send cards:

MAJ Dan Streetman

HSC, MNC-I (Command Group)

I Corps

APO AE 09342

1 comment:

Polka Dot Moon said...

Thanks for sharing his story Leslie and his address! I know of a few little boys that would love to write to him!!

Will keep him in my thoughts and pray for a safe return home in 16 months.