This is a letter from Ray Reynolds, a medic in the Iowa Army National Guard, serving in Iraq.

As I head off to Baghdad for the final weeks of my stay in Iraq, I wanted to say thanks to all of you who did not believe the media. They have done a very poor job of covering everything that has happened. I am sorry that I have not been able to visit all of you during my two week leave back home.

And just so you can rest at night knowing something is happening in Iraq that is noteworthy, I thought I would pass this on to you. This is the list of things that has happened in Iraq recently. Please share it with your friends and compare it to the version that your paper is producing.

* Over 400,000 kids have up to day immunization.
* School attendance is up 80% from levels before the war.
* Over 1,500 schools have been renovated and rid of the
weapons stored there so education can occur.
* The port of Uhm Qasar was renovated so grain can be off
loaded from ships faster.
* The country had its first 2 billion barrel export of oil in August.
* Over 4.5 million people have clean drinking water for the first
time ever in Iraq.
* The country now receives 2 times the electrical power it did
before the war.
* 100% of the hospitals are open and fully staffed, compared to
35% before the war.
* Elections are taking place in every major city, and city councils
are in place.
* Sewer and water lines are installed in every major city.
* Over 60,000 police are patrolling the streets.
* Over 100,000 Iraqi civil defense police are securing the country
* Over 80,000 Iraqi soldiers are patrolling the streets side by
side with US soldiers.
* Over 400,000 people have telephones for the first time ever.
* Students are taught field sanitation and hand washing
techniques to prevent the spread of germs.
* An interim constitution has been signed.
* Girls are allowed to attend school.
* Textbooks that don't mention Saddam are in the schools for
the first time in 30 years.

Don't believe for one second that these people do not want us there. I have met many, many people from Iraq that want us there, and in a bad way. They say they will never see the freedoms we talk about but they hope their children will. We are doing a good job in Iraq and I challenge anyone, anywhere to dispute me on these facts. This soldier will set him straight.

Ray Reynolds, SFC
Iowa Army National Guard
234th Signal Battalion

Editors Note:

One line was deleted from the text because of its political nature. As you all know, I am politically incorrect on most issues--so the political overtones were removed.