City leader returns from tour of duty in Iraq - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Sikeston, MO

City leader returns from tour of duty in Iraq

City leader returns from tour of duty in Iraq
By: Tiffany Sisson

Sikeston, MO - Michael Harris is a city council member, a teacher, a pastor, husband and father. For the past year, Harris left those hats behind, and put on another one as Master Sergeant in Iraq.

Harris walked back into some changes and some new faces at the city hall. But, he's eager to pick up where he left off. "The first meeting that I was at, we were talking about the monkey business, "explained Harris.

Harris served a tour of duty in I with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Anaconda office. That's about an hour and a half north of Baghdad. "We were building the schools, streets, bridges, all the infrastructure buildings, water treatment facilities," said Harris.

Anaconda is also close to Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit. Harris even made a stop at the same place Iraq insurgent leader Abu Musab Aal Zarqawi was killed. "In any given day, you may have a mortar attack," said Harris.

Harris' base was often nick-named Mortaritaville because of that. "When you venture outside of the wire, there's always an increased chance of something happening," explained Harris.

While there, Harris and troops worked to make the best of their situation, forming bonds with members of his college fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha, .and spending time with Iraqi children. "The Iraqi people I encountered, they were glad we were there," said Harris.

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