Saturday, March 12, 2005
"Mahir Ibrahimov came to the United States in 1993 from his homeland of Azerbaijan, a republic of the former Soviet Union, with his wife, daughter and a dream of opportunity.Meet also Estonian soldiers in Iraq:
"Eleven years after moving to America, he volunteered to help defend his country, the United States, the best way he knew how: by becoming a contracted linguist for the Army.
" 'After 9/11, I felt it was very important to be helpful any way I could,' Ibrahimov said. 'I feel that this is a very important mission at this time. Nothing is more important than the events here in Iraq and around Iraq'...
"Along with his master's degree, Ibrahimov is also a qualified Arabic and English linguist. He is fluent in Russian, Azerbaijani and Turkish and can communicate in another five languages from the Turkic linguistic family...
"His proficiency in languages has earned him the nickname 'Genius' by the civil affairs unit he is contracted to, while enabling him to actively participate in experiencing the regional cultures of Iraq."
"One small European country is playing a major role in keeping supply convoys safe while moving through Iraq. Each day, hundreds of trucks travel the streets of Iraq carrying cargo bound for military installations and forward operating posts.(hat tip: Dan Foty). The Willing do come in all shapes and sizes.
"One of the ways the Army is minimizing the risk involved in delivering supplies to Soldiers in Iraq is through a joint operation that includes Soldiers from 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y., and a platoon of Estonian infantrymen.
" 'It's not too easy to cordon and search with a bunch of tanks,' said Capt. Jade Hinman, Company C commander. 'To have a group of Estonians who are good at what they do is like having a plate of brownies to myself'... Hinman said he is sometimes the butt of jokes because many American Soldiers have never heard of Estonia and say it is a mythical country, but the Estonian Soldiers are some of the best he's seen...
"Estonian Army Capt. Neeme Brus, a media relations officer with Multi-National Corps - Iraq, said Estonia knows the value of freedom and the need to fight terrorism here, before the fight ends up in their own back yard."