Kevin Sites on a guy trying to do good work in the midst of the rotten situation our leaders have placed him in:
“I get just about everything I ask for,” Walton says. “But, yes, I’d like to have a whole battalion of civil affairs Marines out there backing me up. I wish there were more of us so we could be the main face of the Marine Corps that people see here.”
Walton says he wants to check out a college of business administration and a school of law, which he thinks have been abandoned. But when we arrive we find both staff and students still using the building.
The dean of the college, Dr. Sami Hamid, says it had 400 students before last November’s battle, but now only about 200 attend. He says one of the biggest problems is an Iraqi army checkpoint on the road leading into the school.
“Many of the students are afraid to pass,” he says. “Also sometimes the soldiers will make remarks to the female students, which makes them uncomfortable.”
Walton tells�Hamid he’ll look into it, but also asks him what else he needs to run the school more efficiently.
Hamid�says the school’s electricity is very sporadic and its generator was stolen after the battle. He also says the school relies on well water, which is so high in mineral content that it is undrinkable.
Walton talks about treating the water, but�Hamid and the other staff insist they need fresh water. Filling a glass from a water hose outside, they tell Walton to taste it. He tips the glass back, tastes the water and spits it out.
“Yeah, I see what you’re saying,” Walton agrees.