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A Letter From Iraq
Want an exciting new job? Look no
by Name Withheld (April 17, 2006)
(Note: A friend of CLN was sending correspondence
regarding a job to two friends. He clicked the wrong button in his
address book and accidentally emailed the information to another
friend who is a U.S. Air Force Captain stationed in Iraq. What
follows is the captain's tongue-in-cheek response.)
Dear Job Hunters,
I have decided to take advantage of the opportunity to offer both
of you the opportunity to explore new and exciting career
opportunities. Before you even ask what these might be, stop and ask
1. Do I get the opportunity for travel in my current
position? If I do, is it always rush in, furious round of meetings,
and rush out without any opportunity to soak up the ambiance of the
local culture? Do I get the travel and per-diem and clothing and
meals and foot wear all provided up-front by my current employer
(not to mention comprehensive health care). Have I had the chance to
really go to those exotic destinations most only hear about on TV?
2. Does my current job and career keep me fit and trim?
3. Does my job have excitement? I mean the heart-thumping,
adrenaline-pumping testosterone-oozing kind of excitement I've
always dreamed about but never actually sought myself?
4. Am I more worried about the bottom line than the Front
5. Has my current career field really prepared me to survive
the current world of head-chopping, terror-bombing, plane-hijacking,
intolerant religious extremists?
Have I piqued your interest yet?
Let me get right to the heart of the opportunity. Your Federal
Government is currently looking for high-energy, creative-thinking,
dynamic, and patriotic folks such as yourselves to share some
unbelievable opportunities with. Logistical Support Anaconda and
nearby FOB Grizzly and FOB Speicher will be looking for prospective
personnel to carry out a variety of tasks in this unique and
Located adjacent to the historic and ancient Tigris River in the
"Cradle of Civilization." LSA Anaconda is a bustling
community in the heart of Iraq's Sunni Triangle (a high-energy,
high-impact environment demanding enough to energize even the most
ardent adventure junkies).
Office space is available with sand-bagged windows and concrete
blast shields provided. Being a "hub" of transportation in
Iraq, you can be guaranteed the opportunity to meet 1-, 2- and even
3- star generals as well as more colonels than you can imagine. You
can't swing a dead insurgent without hitting a Lt Col. The
networking opportunities are endless. Transportation isn't a problem
as there are regular armed convoys and over flights to all the major
attractions and business opportunities in the region – for free!
While there are near daily mortar and rocket attacks, the
occasional suicide bomber and periodic firefights at the wire, the
sun shines here almost every day. In the nearby sleepy little town
of Balad – a moderate-sized city with ancient roots and a charming
feel – some of the people don't want to kill you. And if that
doesn't entice you, LSA Anaconda is centrally located near the
geographical center of most of the larger and least progressive,
religiously intolerant countries in the Middle East. It just doesn't
get any better than that.
Now I can see from your earlier conversations that base pay is an
issue to be addressed up front. Let me say this: do the words
"Tax Free Income" mean anything to you? Working in an
Active War Zone, though occasionally messy and inconvenient, places
you in a tax-free environment. Not only that, additional non-taxable
income to be added to your base salary includes hostile fire pay,
off-base housing allowance, BAQ, and a $250,000 death benefit to
your surviving loved ones in the highly unlikely event of your
I know you must be asking yourself, "where's the
catch?" I won't lie to you – there are some limits.
Employment with the Government (and their subsidiaries and off-shore
affiliates – the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy) limits
you to only a year in this paradise at a time. While this may not
seem like enough time, you can return as often as you like and the
mandatory stateside employment – while taxable – allows you to
maintain your contacts and networking on the mainland.
I know you may be wanting to respond immediately. However, I
encourage you to take some time to consider these opportunities
before rushing in. Based on our friend's recommendations, I am
giving you guys first shot and will hold the plumb positions for up
to a month.
I look forward to negotiating in earnest with both of you.