MUDIQ, Iraq (Oct. 13, 2006) – Marines of I Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment found out they are on the local Iraqis’ "A" list when they went house-to-house recently.
An Iraqi college student told Marines they were making the grade. He was at home with his family, spoke English well and said the locals were pleased with the troops’ regular presence and performance here.
"It’s good to know that you’re doing something right," said Lance Cpl. William C. Koprince, a team leader with I Company.
The 24-year-old rifleman from Knoxville , Tenn. , said some of the time cultural or language differences keep the locals and Marines in "different worlds."
Positive feedback like this helps "bridge the gap" between Americans and Iraqis, he said.
"It’s going to help us stabilize this place by helping us fight the insurgency by picking out the bad guys," said Lance Cpl. Sean L. Prindle, a 23-year-old team leader with I Company, from Pepperell, Mass. "Picking out the bad guys is half the fight right there."
The student wanted to do nothing but help Marines find a solution. He wished Marines and Iraqis could talk face-to-face all the time. Insurgents just get in the way, he said.
In the meantime, Marines are working toward the day when Iraqis have the freedom to speak to whomever they please. They conduct daily patrols in the streets just to keep Iraqis safe.
"Some people said that we’re down there so much that they feel like we’re citizens of Mudiq," Koprince said.