At the Joint Command Center in Mosul, potential election workers were lined up and ready to work -- dangerous work that could cost them their lives if the Iraq insurgency discovers their identities.
Insurgents have declared open war on the Iraqi election process. This week, they captured three men who worked for the Iraqi Electoral Commission in Mosul.
So why would anyone put their lives at stake?
"This is my country," said one Iraqi election worker. "I must do my duty," said another.
The money is a factor as well. Election workers will make $500 for a few days' work in a city where more than half the men are unemployed.
Under the gaze of U.S. soldiers, the Iraqis were given a short lesson on how to vote. On Sunday, they will be at the polling places teaching others.
The Iraqi election workers weren't the only brave men we encountered. A U.S. Army Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based in Fort Lewis, Wash., arrived in Mosul after the U.S.-trained Iraqi police and soldiers failed to fight insurgent attacks.
Battalion commander Capt. Blake Lackey, 34, led a convoy as we headed out for a forward base in a not-too-distant neighborhood. The vehicle was equipped with slatted sides, designed to defend against rocket-propelled grenades. The ride, however, was largely uneventful.
In what used to be a government office, we met the Iraqi soldiers with whom the U.S. forces try to control the neighborhood. But they were all Kurdish fighters -- non-Arabs -- brought in from farther north. Many Iraqi Arabs think the Kurds are becoming an American militia, and relations between Kurds and Arabs in Mosul are very poor.
We went up to the roof to look out on the sprawling neighborhood. Reminded very quickly that insurgents are everywhere, U.S. soldiers killed a man who was shooting from a nearby roof.
"The election is going to make a huge difference to the people of Iraq," said Lackey. "It's going to make a huge difference to the people in my area of operations. It's been indicated to me -- just on the street -- people want the election to come and people are ready to get on with their lives and have the insurgency stop."
Another day in Mosul means another struggle.
Peter Jennings filed this report for "World News Tonight."