What 'last incident?'
Lt. Col. Pete Schneider has been with the Louisiana National Guard for 22 years. He's sent guard members to Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"The only resentment that I've heard so far was after the last incident, which really brought reality of what's happening," Schneider said. "And even after last week, there's still a great concern ... if we leave, what will happen? Because even the chief said he's not ready for us to leave."
"Any time you come in confrontation with somebody you never know what they've got on 'em, or what they're doing, so your nerves is what you've got," he said. "It's what keeps you runnin'. It's not so much fear as it is just being concerned for your safety. Every time you come in contact with somebody, you've got to have that concern for your safety."
Pvt. Joseph Foucade, of Shreveport, La., is now on his second deploymentYou're not in Kansas, anymore, and it's not Iraq either..
"Most of the people that want us here, like us being here," Foucade said. "The people that don't want us here, that's the ones causing the problems."
Concerns about crime have nearly everyone on edge, and some of those on the front lines are members of the Louisiana National Guard.
"Somebody used the term we're occupying New Orleans," Schneider said. "You know, we're not occupying New Orleans."
This portion from an NPR piece reminded me of comments by Pamela Hess, a reporter for United Press International. Hess mused about what Los Angeles would be like without proper security. She was making the case for the need for a strong American troop presence in Iraq.
As I've noted before, the peaceful Iraqi's, the Kurds and now even the Sunni Sheiks of al-Anbar province don't want the U.S. to leave... "Most of the people that want us here, like us being here," Foucade said. "The people that don't want us here, that's the ones causing the problems."