Just got done chatting with my old friend. Here are the juicy bits: 1. War is hell. He is the only one not injured or KIA from his original unit. 2. The 50,000 still stuck in Iraq are pissed, as Iraq has been downgraded to a non-combat zone. It means they will be bored, lose combat pay, have to pay taxes, and have to go through more checks before they can return fire. 3. If Iran decides to invade, the Iraqi Army will be unable to repel the invasion. The Iraqi and Iranian peoples are still bitter enemies. 4. 50,000 troops will not be able to contain the violence, and so remain primarily as a deterrent to Iran. 5. The Iraqi culture is both MacGuyver-ish and lazy. They' will jury-rig the oddest contraptions out of rubble to avoid doing repetitive tasks. 6. They use said cleverness to turn Pringles cans into parachute-bombs which can destroy an Abrams tank. Toss it off a building, watch it float down to kill Americans, and then run away. 7. The M249 SAW is heavy. 8. The AT4 Rocket Launcher sucks, because you cannot reload it. Unfortunately, it's all they have, because the AT4 costs $7000 per launch, while the reload-able launcher costs $60000 per launch. 9. Most soldiers in Iraq are bored out of their minds 90% of the time, with lots of waiting and nothing to do. He played all the war-games we used to play as kids for dozens and dozens of hours (and could probably beat me now). 10. He has seen enough combat for one lifetime, wanting to permanently return to civilian life. He has rejected their offer to start a tour in Afghanistan, and has great motivation to continue college. --- Barring a stop-loss, he should be home for good. Thank God.