Hi Bill and Connie,
Well this is SSG Joseph Farley of the 127th MPCO stationed out of Hanau, Germany and currently deployed to Iraq Since Nov 2, 2006. You may also remember me as your neighbor and grandson of the Bernard and Louise Farley of Thompson Avenue, Gloucester City, New Jersey. I also am very good friends of your nephew Gary Walker, who I grew up playing ball and going to school with.
Photo: Sgt. Farley giving ice pops to a child at the Hamiya IP Station
I'd like to say thanks for the NEWS. I get to catch up online by reading ClearysNotebook about what is going on in Gloucester City and South Jersey. I think it's very excellent way of keeping up with the town even though I'm a couple thousand miles apart.
I am very lucky to have family and friends who send me the Gloucester City News every month. My Aunt Cass and POP POP Farley and Ron and Kathy Hall. My wonderful wife Renata also sends my GCN also since I get it sent to Germany. I don't know if any of my fellow soldiers (via Gloucester City) have ever mentioned keeping you guys informed of what's going on in our respective areas here in Iraq. I'm sure you see on TV or read in the newspapers all the negative events such as deaths and injuries.
There are also a lot of positive things going on here in Iraq like Iraqi Police Training, Concerned Citizen Programs, and school supply drives which I try to help personally with thanks to all the people who have been sending me stuff to help the local Iraqi kids.
We all know we have our own problems in our own back yard but just imagine your kids or grand kids growing up in this hell hole. Could you imagine worrying about IED's/ EFP's and VBIED's (Car Bombs) and mortar and rocket attacks, small arms fire on a daily basis throughout Iraq?
This is what the children and teenagers have to deal with each day. Violence has been slowing down but it's always a day away here.
PHOTO: Sgt. Farley
greets two children in Iskandaryick
I know with us working with the Iraqi Police it's helped them learn and develop but it's very hard for them in other perspectives. Could you take a job knowing it will put food in your children's mouths but also could wind up getting your whole entire family killed not just yourself. These are some of the moral dilemmas an IP must choose. Some IP's are good and want what's best for their country and some are shady and take bribes and allow insurgents to do their business in fear of what will happen to their families if they try to fight or resist.
Since my first deployment to Iraq from 2004-2005 the Iraqi Police have come a long way. Their better trained and more disciplined which helps us transition out of as much HANDS on training and more less supervising them on a daily schedule. So, if there's anything I can do far as giving you and whoever some feedback from down range Id be more then glad to send you some POSITIVE information and stories and of course photos of what's going on in my area of operations.
I've been meaning to write you for a while now and I apologize for such a delay.
PHOTO: Sgt. Farley and Sgt. West with children at Al Haswah
I wish everyone in Gloucester the best and I hope our town continues to strive to improve. From what I see in the paper (GCN) were slowly changing things in a positive direction day by day. That's all you can hope and ask for. This town has too much PRIDE to let it fall to the way side and I know since I left in 1995 and joined the US Army Military Police Corps, Gloucester City has changed a lot. The town needs to pull together and weed out the trouble and drugs which I see the Gloucester City Police are doing a great job. Maybe I was blind to the fact when I was in school but damn I didn't see all the drug problems then which I've been reading about for years thru the GCN.
Its time Gloucester City cleans up and kicks out the dirt bags. We know we have Camden next to us and I'm not saying anything BAD but it's a nasty neighboring city. Enough said. Sorry for rambling on about Gloucester City, I'm just sad and disappointed in some of the stuff I read about that's going on.
Well I must get to bed its 0240am here and I have an afternoon mission.
So, I hope to hear from you sometime soon.
Go LIONS and GO EAGLES
SSG Joseph Farley
127th MPCO / 2nd PLT
APO AE 09312
Photo below Joe with his Pop Pop Farley taken when he was on leave.