Monday, August 08, 2005 5:15 AM


Hello from Al-Hillah, Iraq.

While trying to think of some way to show my Iraqi friends what my hometown of Lee, Massachusetts might be like, I found your website. Before it had been only in their imagination, as they often ask me about my home. But now, thanks to your website, they have now seen how beautiful it is for themselves. A rare opportunity to use a computer became available, and I was able to give them an idea of life in a New England town.

Thank you for your hard work in putting together a website about Lee. My friends enjoyed very much viewing the scenes of my home town. I was proud to show them.

I was here last year and will probably be in Iraq next year, too. I sure do miss Lee.

It is 135 degrees here presently. It would be nice to take a swim today in Laurel Lake!

Best wishes to Keep up the good work.

James Pow
Fairview St., South Lee, Mass.


Subsequently, James wrote:

... I have not met any men from Lee or even Berkshire county since I have been here in Iraq. One of the reasons is that for the past year I have seldom served alongside large numbers of Americans.

Most of my time here I have served with Iraqis, providing security for small Iraqi army bases and running local security patrols in the surrounding countryside. Some days I seldom saw an American at all. Much of my conversation was in Kurdish or Arabic, and I ate mostly Iraqi food.

I like the Iraqi people. They are kind and generous. Every day someone thanked me for our country's effort in giving Iraq hope for the future.

I have had a chance to see much of Iraq, working in the north near Tal Afar and Mosul, and later in south central Iraq near the city of Al Kut. I have also served for a time in the Baghdad area.

My present work is providing security for American diplomats and aid workers. I work in a small team. We take these diplomats and aid workers wherever they need to go. The terrorist threat against these people is very real, as one can read in the news every day. I am glad to do my small part. It helps our country and the Iraqi people.