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Location: Ewa Beach, HI, United States

I got out of the Army in October 2007, and went back to being a Paramedic. I am now working as an RN in Case Management.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Interpreters, What Are They Good For?

Before I begin this edition of "What the Hell's Wrong With Iraq?" which is what my blog is seeming to turn out to be, I need to give you some background info. It pretty much has gotten to the point recently that I am able to pick my missions, and choose who I am going to ride with. I suppose killing yourself making every single patrol while it was really dangerous must pay off once it gets a little calmer in da hood. In any case, I'm not going to complain. I'm sure my services will be in great demand soon anyway. So, I normally ride with a crew whose translator is 19 years old, and thinks he is like a super trooper or something. He is always trying to get involved in decision making and tactical maneuvering which I see as dangerous, unnecessary, a reflection of his immaturity, and most importantly, ignorance of his position, or station if you please. Today, we were searching a factory, and found a few things, nothing much really. I think the list went something like: molotov cocktails, a couple of AKs and pistols, an old SKS, and a sniper rifle with binos and ear muffs on the second floor. We didn't take it to seriously because the sniper position was terrible, and the guys at the factory probably hadn't put a rifle to their shoulders in their life. So we were just going to let them go and let them keep their weapons. We did take some of their ammo, leaving them with only 120 rounds. The interpreter flipped, telling us we had to take the sniper rifle, and spreading amongst the Iraqi soldiers that there was a sniper in the building. I swear I could have shot that idiot right then and there. So we had a talk with him, reminding him that he is not a soldier, not an interrogator, but a translator, and that is all. He should have no agenda whatsoever other than making our English Arabic, and their Arabic English. I decided to start listening to him interpret, I can understand enough Arabic to get the jist of what's being said, so we will see. It is such a difficult language. I figured I would have it down in three months, but it's going on seven, and I still and horrible. A few pics to follow for your voyeuristic pleasures. Toodleoo.

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