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Local soldier taking it easy

After being home from Iraq for two weeks leave, Kyle Rollins just wanted to spend his last night in Craig relaxing.

The 2003 Moffat County High School graduate said Monday that he didn’t have any big plans for his last night of leave, he just wanted to take it easy before flying back to Iraq this morning.

The quiet in Craig has been a pleasant break from the noise of Sadr City, Baghdad, where the 20-year-old Army specialist has spent the past nine months.



“It’s pretty high paced,” Rollins said about the Baghdad slum he patrols. “It gets real stressful, you just deal with it.”

Although his Humvee is regularly pelted with rocks as he drives through Iraq’s capital city, Rollins said there are other places, such as downtown Baghdad, that are much worse.



“It’s not that bad where we’re at,” he said.

Rollins said one of the worst parts about Baghdad is the smell.

“You never get used to the smell,” he said.

But the weather is cooling down from highs of about 125 degrees during the summer to about 100 degrees now.

“It wasn’t as bad as I thought,” Rollins said about the weather in the desert.

Rollins joined the Army just a few months after graduating from high school.

He hopes to be leaving Iraq within about three months, when his one-year tour is over.

After that, he’ll head back to his base in Georgia to finish his Army career.

Rollins said he is glad he joined the Army and if he could do it all over, he would make the same decision, but he also is ready to return to civilian life.

He said the best part of being home was going elk hunting, when he shot two cows.

He has also spent time with his three brothers and some friends from high school.

The response from people at home has been positive, he said, especially from Randy and Sandy Baird, who let Rollins hunt on their property.

Rollins said he isn’t nervous to go back to Baghdad, but his parents are nervous about him heading back.

“I just hope he gets back home safely,” Lloyd Rollins said of his son.

Julie Rollins said she was more sad Monday than she was when Kyle left for the first time nine months ago because she knows what life in Iraq will be like.

Lloyd said he takes comfort in the closeness between soldiers.

“He has a family over there, too,” he said. “That gives you some comfort.”

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.


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