Letters to my Granddaughter: No. 9

By | June 28, 2023

[June 28, 2023]  I arrived at The Boathouse in Baghdad, Camp Victory Base, eager to get into the war.  Mid-year 2006 was the beginning of the fourth year of the war, and things were going badly for the Coalition.  This tour would be when I lost 13 of my good friends on the battlefield, but I didn’t know it yet.  Unsurprisingly, their loss still haunts me today.

I was assigned to what is called a “fighting corps,” the highest military organization directly responsible for fighting the battle.  I would again be part of III Corps (based out of Fort Hood, Texas).  The fort’s name was recently changed to Fort Cavazos at the direction of “woke” bureaucrats in the Department of Defense. 

Arriving in Baghdad by a C-130 Air Force cargo plane that Monday afternoon was perfect timing.  Newly assigned to the Corps engineer staff, I got to work immediately.  Because I would be responsible for all construction throughout the country, I needed to establish my network with haste.  Good quality, reliable networks are how you get things done.  Ordering people around, particularly those of your same rank does not work. 

I met my new boss, a one-star General who gave me a big welcome, and we’d served together previously in Iraq as Army Engineers.  Right away, I went to see the Corps’ money man (C-8), the Country-wide contracting officer, KBR’s top man (contracted U.S. civilians), the JAG officer, the C-4 Logistics Officer, and the Chaplain; I was going to need some serious higher spiritual help for what I was about to get into.

Years after the war, I had a buddy who was having trouble with a strong case of PTSD ask me, “What the heck were you thinking, going back into combat so soon?”  Frankly, I’d not given much thought to it.  I was single, had no girlfriend, lived alone just off base, and had a few friends I liked, but something was still missing in my life.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was.  Yes, I was busy with work as a full bird colonel, working 60 hours a week, often much more, plus traveling across the nation for the Army.

Looking back, I think maybe I was emotionally numb.  I’d returned from Iraq in early 2005, which was unknowingly affecting me somehow.  I felt little emotion except for wanting to do more and be more.  And, now, with a year under my belt in combat, I had the experience to “get ‘er done.”  Furthermore, I had a complete lack of fear.  Now that was intellectually scary.  When the mortars, rockets, and bullets are flying, and there is no fear, these can be a risk-prone, dangerous, stupid, and deadly combination.

I knew I could do the job I’d been assigned; Facilities Chief of MNC-I.  Hands down, I knew more about military engineering planning, design, funding, the construction process, quality control, and how to get things done in combat than anyone I knew in Iraq, except for very few.  At the beginning of this tour, I was bored.  Initially, I worked a steady 80-hour workweek at a leisurely pace; no rushing things at this point.  This pace continued for about five months as I got to know everyone involved at the key decision-making level.  As I gained confidence in them, I was fortunate to call many a friend, and we worked together well, much like a well-oiled machine.

During this tour, I stayed in touch with my parents, siblings, and kids.  As well, I communicated with some friends back in the States.  I was getting the job done, feeling much better now that I was back in action.  I was particularly thrilled to be away from the dull military garrison life. 

In December of 2006, as suddenly as my life changed when I arrived in Iraq, we got hit upside the head with a Presidential Directive.  We would do a 180-degree turn and start getting ready for the most significant surge of troops of the war to regain control of the war and do it on our terms.

I was alive again.

—————

Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

23 thoughts on “Letters to my Granddaughter: No. 9

  1. Elizabeth Denato

    A wonderful and beautiful series of letters.

    Reply
  2. DocJeff

    Best letter yet. Thanks Gen. S., well done!!!!!
    🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

    Reply
  3. Manly Man

    Another amazing blog by this guy, General Satterfield. 🇺🇸

    Reply
    1. Julia

      YEP and exactly why I read his blog. One of the best.
      “In December of 2006, as suddenly as my life changed when I arrived in Iraq, we got hit upside the head with a Presidential Directive. We would do a 180-degree turn and start getting ready for the most significant surge of troops of the war to regain control of the war and do it on our terms.” I see a followup coming our way. What is it going to be? Suspense is here.

      Reply
  4. Janna Faulkner

    Gen. Satterfield, your website and esp. this series of letters to your granddaughter has given me the inspiration to do the same thing. I don’t have a website, but I will handwrite my letters (i have great penmanship) to my grandson in the hopes that someday he will read them and maybe gain a little understanding of who I was (yes, I will be gone by then) and so he can appreciate what I did ordidn’t do in my life. I think it important for young folks to know better their parents and grandparents and greats too. Gen. S, keep these letters to your granddaughter coming …. also I hope you compile them intoabook.

    Reply
        1. Jill Sunny

          And third. Hey, did cha hear Supreme Court crush legal discrimination in colleges. Now the college snowflake wimps heads are exploding. He he he he he

          Reply
    1. The Kid

      Janna, I agree that our children and children’s children should understand and know their relatives better. That gives them more and better choices in life. ✔✔✔✔

      Reply
    1. Mikka Solarno

      … spells his name SATTERFIELD. Typo, I’m sure but be careful.

      Reply
  5. Emma Archambeau

    Gen. Satterfield, I’m just really really loving this series of letters.

    Reply
  6. James Earl Samson

    Just a suggestion, but those reading these comments should also be reading the tab labelled “Daily Favorites.” Gen. Satterfield gives us two articles a day that help put the world into perspective. These are articles he thinks will be most helpful and he is usually right. I don’t always read them, yes I admit it, but I try and get a lot from them. Often they compliment his article of the day. Also, I agree with the others here who are big big fans of Gen. Satterfield. I hope he continues writing for-ever, for-ever. I love this website.
    ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤😜😜

    Reply
  7. Jerome Smith

    Stay strong everyone. And watch what is happening in Russia. Things are about to get very interesting.

    Reply
  8. Qassim

    Two runs at the top of the 9th inning. For a win. Thanks Gen. Satterfield. And I encourage everyone to get a copy of his latest book, “55 Rules for a Good Life.” I read it. Makes you have hope for us all.

    Reply
      1. Bernard

        Good to see you are back, Golly Woman from EHT (whatever EHT is).

        Reply
        1. Art Kelly III

          Yep. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 Gen. Satterfield is an American Patriot.

          Reply
      2. Willie Strumburger

        Thanks for the link to your favorite book, Golly. I like Gen. Satterfield’s “Our Longest Year in Iraq” best of all his two. Keep reading these articles, learn from them, and remember only you are responsible for your well being, no one else.

        Reply
      3. Eddie Gilliam

        Gen Douglas
        Excellent life experience story for your granddaughter. She can see her papa was a man of great courage.

        Reply

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