April 9, 2007

Serving without hesitation

Tim Jarl, 2005 DC graduate, returns to Iraq after a two-week leave

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Tim Jarl, 20, of Cokato, knows he has to keep a clear head and not fear the unknown when it comes to serving in Iraq.

Jarl is the son of Steve and Cheryl Jarl. He is an Army specialist stationed in Baghdad and was recently home on a two-week leave.

Yes, he misses being home, where he can fish, hunt, and work on his truck, but Jarl also knows he is needed.

“I couldn’t be more proud of him,” said his father. “I fully support the troops and firmly believe that if they weren’t fighting the terrorists over there, [the terrorists] would be here,” he added.

Jarl’s mother, Cheryl, is also very proud of her son, and is proud of others who are still volunteering for the job.

Jarl drives a gun truck and provides security while leading a pack of six to eight other vehicles transporting ammunition and food daily to a joint security site in Baghdad. Baghdad is the capital city of Iraq, with approximately 5.9 million people.

At the joint security sites, American troops are working alongside the Iraqi National Police to train the Iraqi force. Currently, there are approximately 15,000 Iraqi National Police in training.

“They are helping them become more involved with capturing terrorists and gathering intelligence,” Jarl said.

The American troops train the Iraqi police by performing joint raids throughout the city, according to Jarl. The Army quarters off an entire city block and searches every house for terrorists.

“The kids like us being there,” he said. Any time of the day, Jarl said, the Iraqi kids can be seen waving at the American troops as they pass by.

Jarl has been in charge of leading the other vehicles because he is able to see things others can’t, especially at night, he said.

For example, Jarl can sight wires crossing roads which could be trip wires for bombs, he explained.

Because he is one of the platoon’s best drivers, he is on standby for late-night missions.

Jarl was awarded a combat action badge Jan. 10 for meritorious service during a combat situation. He was the second in his platoon to receive this award.

There are 43 soldiers in his platoon and there have been no losses.

Jarl tries to keep a clear head when he is on the job and finds it easier by not fearing what’s out there, he said.

“The important thing is to not hesitate,” he said.

“So far, I’ve been lucky,” he said.

Jarl left for Iraq April 7. When he has completed his four years, he wants to go to college for architectural drafting.

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