RealNews

G.I.'s Double Life in Iraq: Win Friends, Fight Foes

In one 24-hour stretch, America’s successes and difficulties in this country showed themselves in the figure of Lt. Col. Nate Sassaman. On Friday, Colonel Sassaman stood before the newly elected Balad City Council, walking them through such democratic bedrocks as the secret ballot and the open meeting. On Saturday morning, after a couple of hour’s sleep, Colonel Sassaman led a company of 150 soldiers on a series of house-to-house searches for weapons and guerrillas on the outskirts of town. “It’s like Jekyll and Hyde out here,” said Colonel Sassaman, a 40-year-old battalion commander and former starting quarterback for Army’s football team. “By day, we’re putting on a happy face. By night, we are hunting down and killing our enemies.” That type of discrepancy is true across Iraq, but seldom is it lived with such intensity in the same place, by the same soldiers, as here to the north of Baghdad. Full Story

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