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It is great to hear some good news from Iraq from the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.

Gary Kurpius recently took a two-day trip to the region that included accompanying U.S. and Iraqi soldiers on patrols in downtown Baghdad. He says the troops on the ground think their war is winnable.

“There are many success stories that are happening every day that are not being reported in the mainstream media,” said Mr. Kurpius, a Vietnam veteran from Anchorage, Alaska. “Chief among those unreported stories is the fact that the new strategy is producing measurable results.”

Mr. Kurpius witnessed significant signs of progress while accompanying three foot and vehicle patrols into bustling Iraqi marketplaces that just a few short months ago were deserted.

“Our troops are living with Iraqi forces in outposts scattered throughout Baghdad,” he said. “The nonstop security is making a positive impact on the safety and well-being of the civilian population, which in turn is giving them hope for better future — a future without sectarian violence or foreign extremists.”

Mr. Kurpius said challenges still remain, especially in the political arena, but he cited security as the overarching priority because without it, nothing can be achieved.

“I met with top leaders like Army General David Petraeus and an Iraqi general, and I met with squad leaders and privates who suit up and head outside the wire every day in 125-degree heat. Our troops are well aware of how long we’ve been in Iraq and of waning public support of their mission, but their morale is super-high because the new strategy is producing positive results,” he said.

“They told me that they just need a little more time and patience so that all the parts of the new strategy can come together. We owe them that much.”

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330; call 202/257-5446; or e-mail