Jenks man who was a civilian worker in Iraq, hopes to go back soon

Thursday, February 3rd 2005, 12:06 pm
By: News On 6

Soldiers aren't the only ones in danger in Iraq. A 60-year old Connecticut woman was also killed there last weekend. The civilian contract worker was killed Saturday in Baghdad when a mortar round hit the building where she worked.

As a Jenks man, just back from Iraq knows firsthand, insurgents don’t just target the military, many civilian workers face just as much danger. The News on 6's Heather Lewin has his story.

"Once you go out through the gate, once you're in that danger zone you're all just one big family, we're all pretty much the same." For 6 months as a civilian convoy driver in Iraq Doug Cozine faced nearly as much danger as the troops. "Mortar attacks hitting the bases all the time, convoys going out and getting attacked all the time, you really a sense of... a bond or a camaraderie between the people."

He says the difference between civilian and military, is the troops are issued weapons. "It gets pretty frightening out there. A lot of the insurgents have taken to throwing specifically at the civilian vehicles."

So why put yourself in a hot zone? Civilian contractors in Iraq are very well paid. Cozine works for a government division of Halliburton, under contract with the Department of Defense. He admits he went for the money, but says he stayed for something else. To see the Iraqi people welcoming freedom. "Just smiles that you couldn't believe and for people that have it so hard in life, it breaks your heart just to not be able to give them what we have."

Driving supplies from base to base, Cozine says civilian contractors are also serving their country, giving servicemen and women what they need. He says whether or not people believe in our actions in Iraq, after seeing the situation firsthand, he wishes everyone would show support for the troops. "They're just there doing a job and hopefully will make it back home, but the job they're doing there is really important."

Cozine didn't get a chance to see the election. He was injured on the job and sent home just before. He hopes to go back to Iraq in a few months.