In an Ephblog exclusive, we bring you the thoughts of SPC Felipe Perez on the evening after Iraqi elections. As you can imagine, Felipe has been very busy preparing for the elections in Iraq. Thankfully, he thinks the hard work of everyone working in Iraq has paid off.

Date: Sunday, 30 January 2005
Subject: Democracy, Public Affairs, and Bad Haircuts

Mixed with shock, relief, and humility, I am mostly happy to say that elections here in Mosul are going well. With a few hours left before the polls close, turnout has been solid, the city feels more or less safe, and voters seem to feel genuinely priviledged to be participating in the democratic process. Had you asked me a week ago I wouldn’t have expected it, but I feel blessed to be able to bear witness here, and honored to have played a small part.

I hope I’m not jumping the gun- that day ain’t over yet, and the fat lady won’t sing until the votes are counted, but I gotta say I’m feeling pretty good right now. That’s my honest, initial reaction, which wanted to share while it was still warm.

Also, I finally got a few spare minutes to write, as I’m stranded for the night at a small base south of Mosul. Had to jump on a last minute mission to fly some time-sensitive, Iraqi official documents down here (read between the lines), and it turns my ride wasn’t heading back to Mosul after dropping the stuff off. I got no toothbrush, no razor, no sleeping bag, and no clean clothes, but at least it’s quiet down here.

Now I need to go and write a press release (was recently promoted to head Public Affairs, thereby doing the work of an officer for the pay of a private), where I walk the fine line between touting the Coalition’s (specifically, my battalion’s) role in making this happen and applauding the Iraqi government and people’s courage in pulling this off.

Anyway, I’ve been working lots lately, been pretty tired, been sometimes scared, been occasionally cranky, and often frustrated. But, all in all, the worst I can say that’s happened to me all year is the bad haircut I’m currently wearing (picture an anal Army buzzcut, minus the neatness). Can’t complain, really.

Much love-

Congratulations, Felipe. Keep up the good work and get back to us safely. We’re rooting for you and the success of your mission.

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