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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
August 7, 2003     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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August 7, 2003

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20 SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE - Thursday, August 7, 2003 BG Lloyd Relates Iraq Experience ;\fler we artuved at the parking lot, we dismounted, and >ou could see two busts of Saddam made to look like a former warrior above ~ he inter- vening trees on top of the paluces corner arches, As we walked to the palace we saw Kq'ass which is not ver) preva- lent in this part of tile world, where daytime temperatures have soared to over 106 de- grees every day tbr the 80 days we have been deployed here. One (lay it hit 120 degrees and my sunglasses burned my temples. The average is around 112 degrees. We passed a dry fimntain and could now see tile entrance to the palace. The doors were huge and had gold inlaid in their makeup. As we entered there was a marble floor with a vauhed ceiling and a beautifhl chandelier overhead in a par- quet ceiling, There were long hallways with more chande- liers and many soldiers scurry- ing about. There is no evident damage to the palace since it was spared the ravages of war. I had passed Uday's palace on the ~ay in; however, after the pictures and intelligence I had received, I knew he was not go- ing to need it any longer. It did not fare as well as Saddam's palace, As I re-entered the palace I was told to go into the "chapel" or fiwmer Throne Room, There was a golden throne on the side with a mural of missiles going skyward. I went over and sat on tile throne and my feet barely touched the floor. Pic- ture time. Saddam sat here, but never again! Now it was my turn and many others were doing the same thing. When would I ever do this again. I used the room as a chapel and said a prayer of thanks out loud that the Iraqi people were free of a terrible tyrant and thanks fbr the part that all of us had been allowed to play. It is hard to describe the opulence of the place and yet see the utter desolation of the rest of the country. I have While in the Baghdad palace, BG Lloyd had the opportunity former dictator sat, been to Kirkuk, Balad, Tallil. and Basrah. Nothing compared to this place. How could some- one with so much wealth care so little for his people and their suffering? I then had a meeting with the Ambassador to discuss the CFACC's position on opening commercial aircraft operations, As I sat in the meeting room with over 60 in attendance, the thought struck me that Saddam had also held meet- ings here. I wonder what: ter- rible decisions had been made here. Am Army general, the Am- bassador, and I were the focus of the meeting and discussed our positions openly. Hard for me to believe that a Charles Town native was sitting in the middle of Baghdad, making de- cisions, with" a war still going on outside. At the end of the meeting, we went to the main dining room and had the best meal that I have had since leaving home. There was a huge con- tinuous circular table that seated over 200 people. I sat next to an Army Lieutenant once home to Saddam Hussein, to try out the throne where the Colonel who was involved in civil affairs, Three of her fellow soldiers had been killed several days ago. She was having a bad day; however, I managed to get her mind offthe terrible loss of her friends and made her laugh. She was from Texas and a fel- low Reservist. She had several grown children back home who were also in the service. She was the only one deployed from her family and she told me how proud her son was of her. I told her I was proud of her too. I would be leaving in several weeks. She probably has a ),ear to go, As we left the palace, I passed several soldiers guard- ing the entrance and I stopped to talk with them, They were a father-son team. and I had my picture taken with them. I gave the father one of my command coins for excellence and he said he was going to give it to his son. I told him he didn't have to because I also had one for him. We then drove onto "Free- dora Bridge." and took a picture of the Tigris River as it snaked CHARLES TOWN, W1/ 304.725.3448 1.800.401.5459 This was the site of the promotion ceremony for LTC Eric Vollmecke, who is sewing as chief of staff for Brigadier General V. Wayne "Speedy" Lloyd during deployment to the Middle East. Vollmecke was promoted to full colonel in front of members of the 167th Airlift Wing, West Vir- ginia Air National Guard in Martinsburg. Bottom row, from left, are LTC Andy Wolkstein, Capt. Chris Taylor, and Major Keith Fletcher. Standing, from left, are MSgt Mike Cook, Major Sam Sap#o, TSgt Dujuan Green, SRA Amy McLaughlin, Capt. Pete Buonocore, COL Eric Vollmecke, BG Lloyd, SRA Will Stuller, Major Mookie Walker, SRA John Stuart, and MSgt Bob Phillips. All are members of the 167th Aeromedical Airlift Squadron except for BG Lloyd, who is com- mander of the West Virginia Air National Guard; COL Vollmecke, the Operations Officer at HQ, West Virginia Air National Guard; and Major Walker, who is commander of the 167th OSF. TOYOTA 4RUNNER Continued from ge One its way through the city. "lbu could see the A1 Rash#de Hotel in the distance, it being the place where many reporters had stayed. I was wondering if "Baghdad Bob" was telling ev- eryone I was not here? Back down "Ambush Mley" to our flight home. I took a nap on the return flight since I had only gotten three and one-half hours' sleep the night before. As I look back and show the many pictures we took, I won- der if I am dreaming. I am ending a 36-year ca- reer, working as the Director of Mobility Forces CDIRMOBFOR, in the Combined Air Opera- tions Center. The CAOC is a certified weapons system that you have to be specially trained to be part of. There are the equivalent of 100 T-1 lines that come into the building. I par- ticipate in video teteconfer- ences with other soldiers all over the world. I have spoken directly to General Abizad and asked him to give me a verbal command to make something happen. I control all the mobil- ity assets in the Area of Re- spc, .4~ .4C, PS 77~. ihl i;L CC >/t, Loaded. :747 ,.4 PO,%TblC 1997 IRANS SPORT SE RED, 81K Mi .4~ AC, 6 cgl, I'5, P;~: PL, PB. Lc, odeJ, =7674.4 2000 ICE BLLK tK .4~ CC 4Dr. Outer, AURORA LT. BRONZE M1Sr, 4-Dr, AT. Loaded, O:~LY 2OK Miles, l- Outer, Local, #7723B OLDSMOBILE 1997 REGENCY CREKV, 5(K 31i 4TOD 16. 4 Dr, 4C. PS. /'B, PH M.. Loaded, =7St6t3 1996 ACHIP,'A St CHCVPA CA'E, 69K 3li, 4 c',jl, 4 Dgor, .4~ .4C. PS, PB, #75&~4 1997 REGAL 1 CHAVPAC.VE, Dr, AT, AC, PS, BUICK BUICK 1999 CENTURY LTD 1998 PARK AVENUE 1998 CENTURY CUST CRAY5IKMi, ATu:/OD, U6, 4 CHAV/~-!G.YE. I'