Rath has been in Iraq almost two months and has worked with many nationalities and organizations comprising many
diverse cultures and backgrounds. According to Rath, he has discovered that pride in one's country and freedom is a universal language.
"It’s clear to me that people have basically the same needs worldwide, a desire for meaningful work, providing a decent standard of living for their families, respect, dignity, living life to the fullest, and enjoying laughter," he said. "My Iraqi counterparts come to work motivated with those goals. I admire their courage and conviction to make Baghdad a better place for their children and grandchildren. They each voice pride in their country and believe we’re making a difference."
In addition to learning new and more efficient processes in construction, contracting, and material accountability, Rath is discovering other inner qualities and traits, like patience and persistence, which help get things accomplished.
After a four-year tour in the U.S. Navy, Rath went to work for the Army at Fort George G. Meade, Md., in 1987 as an electrician. He started at NAVFAC in 1989. He primarily plans and performs electrical projects for various shops on the 800-acre Mechanicsburg base, which includes roughly 8 million square feet of warehousing and administrative space.
"I’m glad I came," Rath said. "Of my 23 years in government service, this is definitely one of the more interesting and challenging assignments I’ve ever had. I’m confident our efforts are making the world a safer place to live."