Friday, October 21, 2005

Peace Be With You

Mustang Nine is the blog name of a National Guard soldier from Minnesota, currently deployed near Baghdad, a veteran of twenty-two years of military service. He controls access to the gate of the camp, helped by Iraqi interpreters, as he explains in this post from his blog "Six More Months":

I met Neo the same day I met Fox and Junior, “my” interpreters. Neo, before he transferred to another job, worked the gate with about 12 other interpreters, and we considered him one of the best; intelligent, eloquent, and principled. He owned a jewelry business in Baghdad before the war and my predecessors introduced us quickly, advising me to talk to Neo before buying any jewelry, because he had the best quality at the most reasonable prices. After about a month, Neo left the gate to work at the base contracting office. This was the perfect match for him. His business experience and knowledge of the Baghdad economy allowed the contracting office to drive the hardest bargains and find the best suppliers. It also allowed him to get a little less face time in front of the other Iraqi workers, which he hoped would reduce the risk associated with working here, and the constant threats he received. Neo moved his family four times since I arrived here to protect them from those threats.

I found out this afternoon that two days ago, Neo was driving to work when his car was stopped by terrorists. They pulled him from his car and shot him in the back of the head. They left his body lying in the ditch alongside the road. Neo’s real name was Nabeel. Nabeel lived his life with more courage and honor than the cowards who murdered him will know in a thousand lifetimes.

Nabeel stayed here in spite of the danger because he believed that he was building a peaceful and free Iraq. I will miss you, my friend. May God grant you the peace you sought.


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