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A Letter From Iraq

Want an exciting new job? Look no further.

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 yourselves:

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 Lines?

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 stimulating environment.

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 death.

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.



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