Saturday, July 30, 2005

Back in Basic

We have a new Sgt. Major here. He seems to be running the place like it is basic training. The rules he makes remind me of basic and some contradict each other. For example, we have a bathroom trailer about 15 feet from our building and the gym is about 150 meters from our building. We are supposed to have our weapon with us if we go to the bathroom but are not allowed to take it to the gym. Try and figure that one out! There is another rule that makes me laugh, no smoking within 50 meters of the buildings. Now I don’t have a yard stick to measure how far these building are from each other but I guarantee that there is no area on this FOB (base) that you can be 50 meters away from. I see people who are much higher ranking than me breaking this rule all the time. I don’t smoke so it doesn’t bother me any but what kind of message are we sending to the soldiers. The message to me is, break the rules that you don’t agree with and follow the one’s that don’t affect you.
Another thing that bothers me is the fact that they keep getting more and more strict here. When we first got here we could go to the chow hall wearing our pt’s (physical training uniform) and sit down and eat. That lasted a little while until they decided we could not eat in the chow hall with pt’s but we can get “to go meals”. Now we can not go to the chow hall at all with pt’s. When we are not on mission (which is rare) that day it is nice to relax and not have to wear boots, pants, long selves in the 120 degree weather here. Are they trying to make us more uncomfortable here? The thing that makes me even angrier is that U.S. civilian contractors making 3 times the pay can go in there wearing anything they want. And they wonder why the Army #’s are dwindling! They are trying to get people to join by increasing the signing is an idea, stop treating us like jerks and you won’t have to flash money in our faces to join because we will stay!!!!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Here is all the guys in my squad. Try and control yourselves ladies! Ha-ha. We have taken better pictures. I am counting down the days until I come home. I should be home in almost a month. Even if it is for only 2 weeks I am ready for a break. There is a lot of travel time and I hear that it is a big pain in the butt. It will be worth it though so I don�t mind.
There isn�t much new going on here lately. I hurt my shoulder and need to give it a rest for a week or so. I think my dodge ball career is over with. It started hurting from throwing the dodge balls and I never gave it a rest in the weight room. Now I am paying for it! I think it will be fine, I just need to take it easy.  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


There are a lot of stray cats here, and dogs for that matter. The other day a few of us was in the gym. We were doing shoulder press and little kitten sprinted by us. Ballard started laughing so hard that he almost dropped the weights on himself. Don’t really know why it was so funny, I guess you just don’t usually see kittens hauling ass though the gym very often. Only in Iraq!
For some reason we no longer have fuel inside the FOB. They have decided (who I don’t know) to keep the fuel on the outside. The other day we were in a hurry to go out on our mission and were not allowed to leave because there was a car bomb that was sitting next to the fuel point. They had found it sitting there and did a controlled detonation. The fuel is surrounded by concrete walls so everything was okay but I just thought it would be a better idea to keep the fuel on the inside.

Monday, July 18, 2005

This is the squad leaders and a guy with a uni-brow. In the background is the worlds largest chandelier or so our tour guide says. (It was freeking big though) Posted by Picasa

Another Smelly Day

I don’t know if I have ever mentioned how bad it smells here. There are certain places, times of the day and bad wind gusts here that could make a maggot gag! Of course, one of the places where this happens every days is the exit door of the chow hall. Still hungry? I am not really sure what the smell is all the time. I am guessing it is sewage.
Today was a pretty uneventful day. Which is just the way I like it. I like the laid back days most of the time. It does get methodical sometimes though. It is funny, you get so board on missions when you have to wait for long periods of time. You get so board that you wish that something would happen. Weather it be getting shot at or something get blown up. Just anything! Mainly we deal with traffic and that comes with some action, mostly bad drivers and people not paying attention. We rarely have to use force to do our job, mainly we just show force and that is good enough. I don’t know why we wish for some action to happen. I guess part of us wants to say that we did something over here and have a good story to tell.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

This is me and Nate(left) on top of a building near where we live. I guarantee you won't see too many pictures here. We were lucky enough to get a tour here. Posted by Picasa

Catching Up

Hello again! I am trying to think of where I left off last. I think it was with the entertainment around here. It isn’t bad for a war zone I guess. We could move on to the stupid rules portion of this but I don’t think there is enough time for that. I will mention that the air force gives out speeding tickets to army in the International Zone (which is where we live). I would rather not go on because you never know who will be reading this. Enough said on that subject.
Time goes by fast here at least. I don’t know what I would do if the days drug on here. I tend to sleep more here than I did back home. I like to call it "time travel". Also, video games help pass the time. For the most part everyone here is handling this deployment good. Their has been a few problems with family at home but to my knowledge they have been solved. I am lucky to have a family that supports me. It is nice to know people haven’t forgotten about you.
The weather here is insane. The best way to describe how it feels here was said by Sgt. Ballard, when he said "It feels like when you open the oven door and that rush of hot air blows by you". I think we are averaging around 110 - 120. Dry heat or not that is hot and we haven’t hit the hottest month yet! The sand storms here can get pretty bad too. I reminds me of fog, but the sky is yellow not grey. Some of the sand storms can get pretty bad. We have a huge building that is about 50 meters away from our building and you can’t see it at times. I have had more nose bleeds here than I have in my entire life. I guess it is from the hot air?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

It's been a while

Hello all,
It’s been a long time since I wrote last and I don’t really have an excuse. I have plenty of internet access here and time. I think once our command said they want to read our blogs that the idea of writing lessened. O well, I decided to try to catch you up with what is going on with me here. We are still doing the same mission that we started with and I am happy for that. I really don’t feel like moving! Living conditions here seem to keep improving. We have new shower trailers but that was quite a while ago. We live in a building and have pretty good room size. Honestly other than being away from everyone back home it isn’t bad here. For entertainment, we have people here that set up tournaments for us to compete in. So far there has been a volleyball, horse shoe, basketball, dodge ball, frisbee football, and ping pong tournaments. They have a lifting competition coming up and I plan on winning that one! They show movies at a little theater here. For the most part they are older movies but occasionally they show an new one (one that is still in the theater). Many of the times they sell pirated copies of movies that are still in the theater and they are really bad. Their will some guy in the theater with a camera recording the movie and you can here people in the crowed and people getting up. It is actually kinda funny. The chow hall food has leveled off. That is definitely not getting any better! It is actually hard to find something that isn’t covered with grease sometimes. I am hoping to get leave here in August. I can’t tell you how excited I am to see everyone! There is no exact date for me yet but I know it will be soon. I don’t want to say everything all in one shot. I will continue in the next entry.