TIKRIT, Iraq – One of the most impressive elections-related events occurred the day before voting began for the rest of the Iraqis carving a piece of their own history.
The soldiers of Tikrit’s 201st Iraqi Army Battalion, Iraqi National Police and the Emergency Services Unit lined up at polling sites throughout the day to cast their vote in Iraqis first free election in decades, many for the first time in their lives.
The Iraqi Security Forces have spent the last few months preparing for the elections, rehearsing possible situations, training on their assigned weapons and conducting individual and collective training with their Task Force Danger counterparts from Task Force 1-18 Infantry.
They set the example for the rest of the area so that the polls were safe for elections and that the people of Tikrit would not yield to the empty threats of the insurgent to stay away from the polls.
The example the Tikrit ISF set for the people of Tikrit and their vigilance throughout the elections allowed for successful elections to be conducted without any incidents of attacks on polling sites, voters or election officials.
The elections are the culmination of Task Force 1-18 Infantry’s efforts to train, equip and inspire confidence in their Iraqi Security Forces counterparts. The message from the elections in Tikrit is clear; the people of Tikrit understand that freedom is too important to be left in the hands of terrorists.
One Tikrit resident expressed the importance of this event by saying “being able to give my opinion on how my country should be governed is an opportunity that no one in my family has ever had, this is a great day.” (Story by Capt. Michael Prudhomme, Task Force 1-18 Infantry)