Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Belated Christmas From The Sandbox

NOTE: Trying to get pic to load and failing- will try again soon, I hope.

It's amazing what the money of an oppressed people can buy- but in the end the guy wound up in a ditch, and hung like a criminal.

I'm sure "it's good to be the king," but it's amazing how fast the king can fall. His brainwashed and power-hungry followers are still lobbing mortars in our direction... scrambling in vain to take back control.


Christmas was a long day, and so was the next. I really need to try to get more sleep, but I wanted to write now that I'm finally up and running again. Out of concern for OPSEC (Operations Security for you non-military types), I can't discuss any details or specifics about what I do, where I am... or even info about attacks I've made it through other than to say, yes, I do hear fire from time to time, and in the past couple weeks I've felt a few shakes (there's a lot of sand here, and I don't want to let the enemy know if he's close or not to my patch of it!)... I'm sure you understand, but I will try to post pics of some sites from time to time, and keep you posted on morale and some feel-good stories like the following:

I wasn't able to get my address to my family in time to get anything from them for Christmas, but a group of ladies working somewhere in Florida made stockings and sent them over filled with toiletries and goodies- and a hand knitted watch cap! I got handed the stocking by a general. :-)

The best present though was a random letter from a girl in high school, who told of how her father recently died of cancer and how she wanted to be strong for her family... she then went on to thank us for our service, for our bravery and strength, and said how she didn't think she would be mentally strong enough to do something like this. I wrote her back saying she already was. She called us heros, but anyone who can face what she faced, and have the courage to face the situation, and make the decision to be strong for the family is a hero in my book.

She said we gave her hope for the future, but she was an inspiration. Reading her letter reminded me of why I'm here- to help out in some small way, to be a part of something in hopes of making a difference for people.

Before I was here, I was in Washington DC where thousands of people marched chanting hateful things about the troops and those serving- and it seemed like every time I watched the news there would be more discouragement. Just hearing her thanks made everything I've been through and everything I will go through worthwhile because it is a reminder that people back home really do care, and they pay enough attention to know that we really are trying to do good things- and succeeding!

I want to send a special thanks to Souljourner for sending me a copy of their cd to enjoy. I got it today and have really enjoyed it- and know I will continue to! They're on myspace, so go look them up and sample some awesome music!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Moon Over Iraq

Machine gun fire sounds in the distance...
A couple incoming flew overhead today;
Nothing significant to report.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Stuck in Limbo

It's a cold and dreary day in Iraq.  I'm still on hold waiting for a paper to clear so I can get a badge.  The good thing is, it's some down-time...  The bad thing is, there's not much to do.  I managed to get my laundry dropped off today.  That's something I guess!  Oh, and I'm still alive after a couple booms.  ;-)  No worries.

I'm not looking forward to moving into a crowded tent or anything, but at least it would get me out of the transient room, depending on someone for a ride to and from chow.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Perfume Palace, Iraq

Here's some pics of where I was supposed to work.  The Perfume Palace, so called because it's where Saddam kept his women.  Evidently they want me working in the bigger palace- Al Faw.  I'll post some pics of that when I get a chance.  Yep, that's a man-made lake.  There's a lot of them.  Saddam sure knew how to blow his money, but you know what?  He still wound up hiding in a hole, then being buried in one anyway.

Bad news is, I'll be staying in a big tent for at least a month, maybe as many as 2-3. :-( 
I'm asking for a non-snoring tent this time though! BWAHAHAHAHA. I need sleep!  Sleeping with earplugs sucks, so I'm hoping I can hit the PX and pick up some muffs or something.  I could always order some online via Amazon and get them in a few days- of course by then I might just go crazy for lack of sleep.

Not sure how much I'll be able to get online after the next day or so, since I've got to move down in the world before I can move up- though I hear there might be an internet cafe I can visit... I do know I'll appreciate sharing a small trailer with "just one other person" a lot more after sharing a tent (again). 

First Day in Iraq

Sunset over my temp "camp."

Hoping to move on tonight and get to my trailer... Being stuck in a small room with 6or 7 other guys (2 loudly snoring), without a blanket, sucks. At least there's running water (a drizzle), and I can get on the net from here. :-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Safe in Iraq

Trying to take a nap on a C-130 in armor sucks. No, scratch that, it really sucks. Oh well, I'm here- in a temp lodging spot doing in-processing, and I found an ethernet cable. Now I just need food and sleep to be good to go!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Now In Kuwait- Iraq soon!

The computer here in Kuwait sucks and I've only got a few minutes left on my time limit- just wanted to drop a line. I've seen so much bureaucratic nonsense (too much to write about now) the last week plus that I just want to get into Iraq and get settled into a routine...

Since I only get a half-hour on the comp I'm going to try to upload a pic of me at Ft Benning getting ready to head out, and see if that blows the rest of my time on this slow connection! If not, maybe tomorrow... or soon. :-)

Got to run- now! Just loaded in time!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thanks to all!

Thanks to all who dropped by to wish me luck, and a special thanks for those who went to Family Christian and bought things (I found a new link for 99 cents shipping for Christmas)! 

Tomorrow is my last full day in Fl with family, then I'm off for out-processing.  It all feels surreal, but seeing my mostly packed duffel is a reminder that in a very short time I'll be living a totally different life... a good thing too, cause I've packed on a ton of weight the last few weeks between everyone wanting to take me out to eat!  Oh well, I hear I'll have plenty of time to work out, and not much else...

I heard they charge for internet in the rooms- a rate of about $75 a month for what I hear is "worse than dial up," so something tells me I'll be trying to post from a net cafe instead, but we'll see!

Well, that's all the time I can spare for now- just wanted to drop in.  :-)