|For Hopkins County soldier in Iraq, Christmas just another day at the office|
|Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor|
Dec. 28, 2004 -- For Army Pvt. Kerry Yates of Dike, Christmas was just another day at the office. Yates is a fire direction specialist in Alpha Battery, Second Battalion, 8th Field Artillery, on active duty in Iraq.
Yates said the troops enjoyed Christmas packages from home for the holiday, but while the folks at home were enjoying the spirit and warmth of the season with family and friends, it was a cold holiday in Iraq.
"It's cold here, I'll tell you that much," Yates said Monday in a phone call from the battlefield. "Christmas was good. Families of other soldiers sent presents and whatnot to us over here."
Kerry Yates' parents, Yvonne and Dudley Good, are residents of Dike, and his grandfather, Donnie Yates, lives in Sulphur Springs.
Life in Iraq, Yates said, is somewhat different than what is shown on television. He said most Iraqi people are glad U.S. troops are in their country rebuilding schools, hospitals and the country's oil production infrastructure.
"Contrary to what people believe on TV, the Iraqi people over here actually appreciate us being over here and doing what we do," he said. "There is still the positive that goes on over here, the good things that happen."
The 2001 Sulphur Springs High School graduate has been "in country" in Iraq for more than four months and said he has no idea when his battalion might rotate back home.
"I have no clue myself. We don't even know that far," he said. "We don't even know that information."
Yates said letters and packages could be sent to him in Iraq. His address is: Pvt. Kerry Yates, A2-8 FA, FOB Endurance, APO AE 09345.