Lt. Col. Dan Reid summed up his recent stay Baghdad in a few words: "Progress is being made."
Reid, a battalion commander in the U.S. Army Reserve at Asheville, N.C., shared his experience with several members of the Kiwanis Club on Thursday at the City Club of Rock Hill.
The Rock Hill husband and father of five returned from Iraq last month. It was the 47-year-old's first time stationed in the country. He has been in the military for 24 years. Reid's 15-month stay is one he'll never forget.
"I believe in what we are doing more so now," Reid said. "I have a better purpose of what we are doing over there now because I have worked with the Iraqis. They are just like us. They want peace and prosperity."
Reid, who works in Wachovia's corporate real estate department in Charlotte, was sent to Fort Riley, Kan., for training to prepare him and fellow soldiers to speak and read the Arabic language, repair machinery and computers, as well as how to perform medical procedures.
He was first sent to Kuwait and then to Iraq in November 2006. Reid's job in Iraq involved directing and managing fuel, such as gas and kerosene, as well as making sure food reached the people who lived in the country.
Reid said it took two months for some of the Iraqi soldiers to trust him. It was time well spent and he would go back if asked, he said.
"I have made friends with some of them and now I am not a friend," Reid said. "They consider me as their brother."