Dorothy Ivey is not your typical grandmother. In fact, there is nothing typical about this wonderful woman. She is a construction representative at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Central’s remote Al Asad office, west of Baghdad. She was eligible for retirement in October, but opted to stay in because she wanted to serve in Iraq.
“I’m just not the retiree-type person right now,” the grandmother of three says. “My husband is retired and he’s great at it. I’m sure it’s nice, but I really don’t intend to do it anytime soon.”Back in Alabama, Dorothy's husband, grown children, and grandchildren are concerned about where she is serving yet they support her choice to stay in the Army and serve in a war zone. She misses her family, but she believes in the mission in Iraq. She knows that her job of keeping track of construction progress on schools, medical clinics, and a hospital is very important for the future of the Iraqi people.
“I think these people wanted freedom and what we’re doing is helping provide that,” she added. “Some never had a say in the direction their country was taking. Considering the recent vote on the constitution, now they do. Can you imagine living without having these rights? I definitely wanted to get involved and do my share.”Dorothy's been in the Middle East before. She served a year in Iran from 1974-75. She also served in Honduras from 2000-01, but this is the first place she's worked that she's had to fear mortar rounds. She stays cautious and trys to stay close to base. When she is driving around she always trys to stay in another vehicles tracks because of the possibility of IEDs. She is also concerned about the soldiers serving with her but she is also very proud of them as she watches them leave the base everyday.
“I’m so proud seeing our troops and (I) admire every one of them for what they’re doing and the courage they show every day as they head out the gate,” she said. “They’ve got a great attitude.”When asked what she will do when her six-month tour is up she said that she "wouldn't hesitate" to stay for another tour!
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