Workers Face Dangers in Iraq - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/12/04-East Texas

Workers Face Dangers in Iraq

The recent death of American Nick Berg brings to light the growing danger for civilian workers in Iraq.

It's estimated there are more than 20,000 U.S. citizens working in Iraq right now, doing anything from repairing water lines, to driving trucks and even building power plants. Athens resident Mike Gray is one of those that works overseas. As an electrical engineer working for a subsidiary of general electric, it's his job to work in some dangerous places. He was one of those working in doha, qatar, just days before the war in iraq began last year. Gray and his crew were able to get out before the war started, but the experience gave him a unique perspective. "what these guys are going through now in iraq, i know what they're going through, it's scary, it's scary." gray estimates, around the world, there are more than 80,000 americans are working in jobs like his. He's dissapointed when those workers are tied to violence. "what we all do is work on the infrastructure of these countries and we take great pride in knowing that whenever we got to a country, we help the people," he said "we're not concerned with government, we're concerned with the people." he said while most overseas workers live in a fairly secure environment, the danger is never far away. "yeah, we think about it every minute that we're over there and it's not just over there, it's anywhere in the world," he said "terrorism is worldwide and anytime you go out you have to bear that in mind, you could be a target." gray said while it would be unlikely his next job would be in iraq, he also said, despite the recent violence, he would be very willing to go there. He's not the only one. A recent report shows one of the largest contractors in the region, houston based halliburton, received more than 150,000 resumes from people hoping to get a job based in iraq.

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