A Very Special Gift
In April of 2003, I received a letter from then SSgt Adrian Walker, one of my former students. I didn’t comprehend the true significance of that letter at the time, but in it he described his unit’s (3/7) move into Baghdad. He explained how the AAV he was riding in crossed the Tigris River and then ran into a minefield. The blast damaged the left track, but the AAV continued to advance for about 1/4 mile before the track came completely off. His Marines provided security for the vehicle until it could be towed back to the Maintainence Collection Point (MCP). They fired on a couple of suspicious vehicles during the night and engaged in some firefights, but finally were towed back to MCP. There, they transfered to another vehicle and made their way back into Baghdad. Eventually, they moved into the Iraqi Olympic Training facility where they set up camp. That is where they were when they were informed that Hussein’s regime had collapsed.
Upon his return from Iraq, I talked with SSgt Walker. He informed me that he had a gift for me that was very special. He refused to mail it to me, insisting that he present it to me in person. Then, he got deployed once again to Iraq.
Upon his second return, now GySgt Walker got to come home to Oklahoma on leave. We arranged for him to visit his old high school last week, and it was there that he presented me with the flag. That Iraqi flag had been flown over the Olympic facility that the 3/7 occupied when they entered Baghdad. He gave it to me as a token of his appreciation for having taught him history and for having inspired him to join the United States Marine Corps. And this jesture has completely floored this civilian! Thank you, GySgt Walker, for remembering me in this manner. God Bless you and keep you all the days of your life!
David Bounds, Little Ax High School, Little Ax, Oklahoma
The rest of the story, the translation:
Allahu Akbar – God is great.
It’s the first line of the call to prayer played 5 times a day from loudspeakers of every mosque,
and it’s in Saddam’s handwriting.