Tuesday, September 16, 2008

They Look Just Like You

Towards the beginning of my time here, I briefly mentioned the diversity of the contractors and their prevalence on Liberty. Yet, I feel more compelled to elaborate on just how odd I find their presence at times.
For instance, when I go into the DFAC, I am likely to find just as many, if not more, contractors than military personnel. Imagine walking into a store, like a supermarket, or simply going to a movie. You are likely to see a plethora of different types of individuals, ranging in age, race, and even personal appearance (i.e. dress). Now, take the image and supplant it onto the descriptions I've provided of FOB Liberty and that's what I see everyday!
I've seen, young and old, male and female, red and yellow, black and white (Jesus loves the little children of the world!) on this installation. I've seen middle-aged women who look like they would work at my mother's school, and college aged guys and girls like the ones I used to see walking around the UT campus. They dress just like they would in these environments too, with some wearing a t-shirt and jeans, or a collared shirt and khaki pants. It's strikingly odd how the diversity in the corps of contractors mirrors that of your normal, run of the mill setting back home, save the uniformed personnel intermixed amongst them. You are bound to see some of the eccentric people as well. I've seen guys with long hair and piercings all over them, as well as women with brightly dyed hair (red to be exact).
Many have come for the money (almost all), while some just want a taste of adventure or to get out of their mundane schedule back home; however, not all are American. As previously stated, some are from underdeveloped countries, while others are from the advanced countries like the UK, Germany, France, Australia, and Brazil. I've heard Russian spoken at my table a few times, from individuals who look and dress just like some of my friends back home.
So, if you think that the combat zone in Iraq is nothing but a bunch of Americans sitting in tents, waiting for the next attack to take place, thing again. Those days are long gone, replaced with a atmosphere of reconstruction and business by individuals from all walks of life. More to follow on the contractors....but, it's not very good.
Take care.

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