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Posted on Oct 12, 2007 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Report From the Front

By Jeffrey J. Dill

Overall, the folks I have met are good people who want to raise their families, farm their land, and just have the ability to choose their own  future for one of the few times in their country’s history.  Their admiration and appreciation to us and to the American people for the opportunity we have offered them is genuine and heartfelt.

While there has been a great deal of progress, there is still much to do.  While most of the terrorists have been forced from the population centers, there are still secret cells.  We have found and been attacked by a number of IEDs already.  We have found a good number of buried caches along the river banks that were planted there for future use against us. Iraq is far from a peaceful land; there are many political issues above my level that must be worked out.  The rifts between the religious sects are as tough a problem to figure out as anything else ever has been…think Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.


U.S. Marine 2d Lt. Andrew D. Markoff, platoon commander for 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, patrols back to Expeditionary Patrol Base Dulab in Dulab, Iraq, on Sept. 25. Along with his U.S. Marines, they patrolled up onto a ridge with Iraqi police where they were able to observe the city. 1/7 is deployed with Multi National Forces-West in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.

But the bottom line is this…we are winning the counter-insurgency fight here in Al Anbar.  We are winning as a result of the past 5 years of work by thousands of Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers who worked tirelessly to get us where we are today. This didn’t happen overnight and we lost many good men and women to achieve it. We have put the enemyon the run and we are not letting the pressure off. We continue to hunt him down and provide him no rest.  My Marines, actually your Marines, are patrolling in the cities, in the desert, and on the river to find the enemy and destroy him. And the Marines do not patrol alone. Almost every operation we do has Iraqi Police, Army, or both with the Marines. They are brave, committed to winning, and they try as hard as they can to emulate the Marines they are serving with. At the same time we continue to build our relationships with the local leaders, Sheiks, and most importantly the Iraq people.

I am optimistic that if given the time and support of the American people, we can help create a country whose vast natural resources and potential will make it one of the strongest and most powerful nations in the region.  Iraq will be our Ally and they will not forget the sacrifices the American people have made on their behalf.  I realize and understand that many back home are tired of this conflict and want it to end. I will not provide any argument there but I will offer that "wishing" away this problem is not reality.  The Islamic extremists that wish to destroy us are not going away, they cannot be ‘talked’ to, and they will not negotiate. I have been here three years in a row now and I can see the progress. I can see the improvement in the capabilities and potential in the Iraqi Security Forces, I can see the willingness and desire of civic and local leaders to build a better future for their people, and I can see that most of the civilian population has turned  its back on AQI because of their empty promises.  I can see hope, a hopethat many Iraqis have never known before, and a hope they do not want to loose.

Your Marines are doing exceptionally well.  They are focused, they are disciplined, and they continue to attack each day with vigor and enthusiasm.  I am continually inspired by their courage, dedication, and willingness to sacrifice for others.  I am truly blessed for the privilege to lead them.

I would like to thank all of you for your continued prayers and support.  It means the world to us to know you are all still behind us and that you want us to successfully complete this mission. Please remember all the 1/7 families and all the families of those serving here in Iraq that have been left behind in your prayers as well.

Semper Fidelis and God Bless,

Lt. Col. J.J. Dill
Commanding Officer
TF 1/7
Hit, Iraq

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1 Comment

  1. Hello – I have been desperately trying to get in touch with Jeffrey J. Dill for months. I a doing a documentary on Colonel Edward Hand and his Military Screen on January 2nd 1776. This is the same topic Dill did his Maters thesis

    Doe anyone know how to contact
    Any idea how to contact him?