Operation Iraqi Freedom

My Time

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Long time no post. Let me catch you up really quick...

About 3 months after I got back, I got into a fight with a weight bench. Not one of those puny "I'm just sitting here with an uninhabited press bar" benches, but a "You know you can do up to 40 different exercises and I'm currently holding about a ton of unused potential man-ness" kind of benches. Doesn't matter if it was a Hulk Hogan starter set bench, I got beat, and beat hard. I broke my patella in half. 2 surgeries later, I now realized I haven't dreamt that I had a good knee in over a year. Weird how you dream you're disabled.

Now don't let me confuse anyone, I'm not completely disabled. I can run a little bit, I can walk without a limp, so I don't mean to deceive anyone. I'm not in a wheelchair, I'm not fully disabled.

At the same time my unit got a new leadership program. I don't mean to sound rash, but I wouldn't have followed my 1SG into Alabama so I decided it was my time to move on. My friend was a saxophone player in a Reserve band in Charlotte...I'm thinking what you're thinking, the Army Reserves have a band?!? Yes they do, and I joined it as a guitarist/percussionist.

While a part of the band, I finished my degree in Criminal Justice, got married to the love of my life and moved to Winston and got a job with a major bank.

2 years later I am officially a PFC. Private F*cking Civilian. Ft. Livingroom...ever heard of it?

It's funny, I spent a total of 4 years in a very liberal college, 8 years as a soldier, and 1 1/2 years as a deployed soldier and I have learned more about live in the last 2 civilian with a job years than ever. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my status a soldier and a veteran for anything, it's taught me how to survive physically, but my civilian life has given me an opportunity to look at the life of a soldier from the outside.

Have you ever met someone who's about to go to the sandbox? And I don't mean from a "Yea I'm about to go too" standpoint, but a "God bless you, you're a true American hero" standpoint...it's the saddest thing you've ever seen.

I have. Years after I got back I had to watch my best friend get ready to go. I had to watch him pass test after test qualifying him to get shot at. Ironic how you're ability to pass a survival test can get you killed. Watched him as he told his wife goodbye, watched him as he changed his mannerisms, his personality, his very reason for existence.

"Let me know if there's anything I can do to help" I say truly heartfelt, but sounding foolish...I think to myself, there's nothing short of packing his bags and moving him to Europe that I can do to help him.

It's good to be back, more to come.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Hey everyone. First and foremost I just want to apologize for not being on here for the last...however long it was. Nothing happened to me except the pains/pleasures of coming home. So I'll try to fill you in.

I got to Camp Doha from Virginia in Kuwait and that's where I found out that I probably wasn't going to have time to update you guys. Sure enough...no time, no availability of the internet. I got there the day before we left. The next day was full of travel. First to APOD (which is the term we use for the airport), then Germany, then New Jersey, and finally Georgia. I wish it were as easy as it sounded me just typing it, but that was not the case.

Anyway, it really wasn't that bad. The next couple of days in Georgia were filled with long lines trying to demob and start the process of being a civilian again. Great stuff.

Finally, we made it home at about 1:00 pm today. We were met with a couple news crews and plenty of excited family. It was a great process. Now some of the juicy details.

We got home in GA at night and when we stepped off the bus, there was my family waiting on me smiling and holding signs and taking pictures. I smiled and went on inside to get ready for the ceremony. After the ceremony, I hugged my mom and she handed me a ring that I had purchased on leave in September. After that I got down on one knee and asked my girlfriend Amy to marry me. She accepted and it got quite an applause. So now my girlfriend of 3 and a half years is now my fiance.

Here are the pictures from the engagement. http://community.webshots.com/album/266502631NmamMz

I wanted to take a quick second and thank everyone who has followed me this year. It has been a very tough year and whether or not you agree with the reason we are overseas, the American people have been nothing but supportive of the troops and for that I can't thank you enough.

I'm probably not going to keep going with this blog. I may keep it up and blog every once in a while, but it will be nothing like it is now. I am home, but it is bittersweet. We still have soldiers fighting and standing in harms way, so just because I'm home I urge you, don't give up the prayers. There are soldiers, even ones that I served with, that are still there.

I also want to point out that civilians like to thank the soldiers. But as a soldier, I would like to think the combat arms soldiers and Marines. Every day while I was sitting in the motorpool or post office, this guys were face to face with the enemy. I came home with all my friends, most these guys don't. So as a soldier I thank you combat arms from the bottom of my heart for keeping me safe...Thank you and God bless you.

I love you all and I thank you again so much for your prayers and support. This was one soldier's story...God bless.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Hey everyone. Just wanted to give you a quick update. I can’t type long because the space bar doesn’t work on this computer very well and it’s making me mad. I have a couple good updates for you. For one, the rest of my platoon made it to Kuwait. So now we’re all here. Number two is that we got a pretty definite date of when we’re flying in. Of course I can’t put it on here, but my family and Amy know now.
To avoid breaking this guy’s computer out of rage, I’m going to go ahead and get off for now. But I’ll come back soon and update you guys on anything else that happens. Really, it’s all back seat to the fact that I’m coming home anyway. Ok, love you guys and I’ll see you really soon. God bless and thank you for your prayers and support.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Hey everyone. As “the man that doesn’t blog” pointed out, I made a mistake. After I blogged that he hadn’t written me, I saw that he had. My fault man who doesn’t blog :) Anyway, I wanted to let you all know what’s going on here. We spent the last two days traveling around the country. Today we brought another unit’s equipment to the shipping dock. I can’t wait until that’s our stuff. Speaking of which, our connexes are on their way down here right now, so that’s awesome. As soon as they get here, we have to clean them up a little, weigh them and send them to the ship.

Other than that there is nothing going on for now. I’ll let you know if things change but right now we’re just trying to beat a schedule so that we can leave on the day that our flight is scheduled. If not, then we’ll just catch the next one, but I would love to leave as soon as there is opportunity. So cross your fingers. That’s it, hope everyone is doing well. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. God bless and I’ll see you soon.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Hey everyone. Just wanted to let you all know what’s going on around here. Things are still about the same. It poured yesterday all day and got our tent soak and wet, but today it’s pretty again, so I don’t get this country.

We have a tentative fly date for the states, but the rest of my platoon isn’t even in Kuwait yet so like I said, tentative. From what I hear it may be snowing a lot in the big ‘ole NC, so I hope that doesn’t mess everyone’s plans to come down and see me. I’m not sure how long it’s supposed to snow, but I’ll e-mail a few people and let them know when the tentative date is so that they can disperse the info to the others.

I guess that’s about it. I asked a buddy to e-mail me what was going on in Iraq so that I could blog that too, but he’s doing a crappy job of it, so I guess we all have to wonder. Anyway, that’s it for now. You guys are so awesome for everything that you’ve done for me this last year; from your prayers to your boxes to your e-mails to your comments. It’s all been awesome and I thank all of you for it. God bless, see you soon.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Hey everyone. So another couple boring days, but at least it gives me plenty of gym time. Some good news from Kuwait. The unit that got here before us is officially gone. They left this morning and they are on their way home. That is good news only because we're next. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for them to leave, but I'll be much more excited for me.

We got our call forward which is our official orders for the rest of the platoon to come down here with us, which means we can leave. I'm not sure how long it's going to take them to get down here, or when they are leaving, but after they get a few more things done that I know they have to do then they'll be on their way then we'll be on our way. I can't wait.

Again, not much that I can think of in the way of stuff to tell you about, I'm just glad it's all coming to an end. Thank you all so much for your support and prayers. God bless.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Hey everyone. So this place is completely boring. Nothing to do at all. I've been going to the gym and watching the same 10 movies over and over again to waste my time. What can ya do? We took a little trip to Doha today so that I could get a bus lisense so that I can drive around this country. The people here are horrible drives so it'll be interesting.

We got some good news up in Taji. Now everyone gets to leave their vehicles and equipment, not just our platoon. So the other platoons now may get out as soon as we do. It'll be great. I still don't know any dates about when I'll be getting home, but it shouldn't be too much longer.

I wish there were more to report, but it's so boring around here that I'm lucky I haven't slipped into a coma due to lack of entertaiment. Oh well, at least the people I'm here with are cool. OK, I'm gone for now, I'll let you all know when I find out something. Thanks for your prayers and support. God bless.

Monday, January 17, 2005

OK, so I typed half of this out on a crappy keyboard that took me 20 min to type out what should have taken 5 and then lost it all. So I'm not very happy right now. But I'll blog nonetheless to let you all know what's going on. Where to start? The last couple days have been hell and I'm glad it's over.

Thursday night we're set to fly out of Taji to Balad. We have a LOT of baggage because we're all leaving forever (hopefully) so that doesn't make it any easier. We get on the bird and take off and land in like 5 min. We all know it takes longer than that get to Balad so we're not really sure where we are. We pick up a few people and some boxes and take off again. We fly for another good 45 min and land in a half a mile long perimeter marked off with lights in the middle of nowhere. Now I have no idea where we are. They tell us a bunch of initials, which I have no idea what they mean, and later we found out we landed in an FOB (Forward Observation Base) in Fallujah. Good stuff. We dropped off blankets or something. Thankfully, we were out before I even knew where we were.

After that, we fly for a while and finally land in Balad. Our new batallion (which may I just say is ten times the batallion that we over us before) picks us up and takes us to a little tent city where we finally get in to bed...this is at 0300. We wake up at 0430 and get ready to go our briefings for flying. After our briefings we get our names on a list to get out as soon as possible and they gave us a tent to stay in until they call our names. We stay there all day and then get ready for our flight.

Mind you we've been moving a ton of bags this whole time and we're all pooped from getting an hour of sleep the night prior. They have us move our bags outside after moving them inside because our flight is supposed to be announced in a little while...yea, it never does. Turns out our flight gets pushed back a couple times then cancelled...AT 0300 AGAIN!! We get in the bed finally (after moving our bags again) and finally get some sleep. We get to sleep in the next day, so it wasn't that bad.

After we finally get on our flight the next night, we fly into Kuwait, land, clap, all happy to be out of Iraq. We get off and wait on our ride. And wait, and wait, and wait, and wait. She got lost. WOW. Anyway, after our ride comes, at 11:00 pm when we landed at 9:00 pm, we get on and make it back to Victory. Where we are now. We got in the bed last night at 0230 again, so it's been a nice little routine.

But we're here, we have all of our baggage, and I'm out of Iraq. So all the hussle was worth it I guess. This place wouldn't be so bad though except that it's pooring the rain. We're staying in a tent that leaks so all of our stuff is wet now. That's nice. We're working on a plan that will get us out of here by the end of this month or the beginning of the next, so cross your fingers. I'll will let you all know when I'm coming home, but it'll be last minute. For now, we have plenty of work to do.

If I had anything else to tell you, I can't think of it now and I'm tired of typing anyway, so maybe next blog. It's harder to get to the net here, but I will, as always, make an attempt to get to you all. OK, I'm gone for now. Thank you all so much for your support and prayers. IT'S ALMOST OVER!!! Oh, I almost forgot...my cousin has now been deployed with a tanker's unit (I think, I haven't gotten all the details) but I ask that you all keep him in your prayers now. He's going to be busy for the next year. God bless. Talk to you all soon, and hopefully see you soon too. Peace

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Hey guys. I wanted to let you all know that I finally got a hard date for when I'll be out of here. I'm now attached to the advanced party going to Kuwait. As redundant as it is by now, I can't tell you when but let's just say, my next blog will be from Kuwait. Awesome huh?

Anyway, everything else around here is normal. Everyone around here was getting people to sign t-shirts and flags to remember them by, but I thought, what better way to remember everyone than to have them sign my guitar. So I had people sign my guitar and when I get back, I'll hang it up on my wall.

Well, I guess I have nothing else. I'm excited about leaving and I have almost everything packed so I'm ready. Guess that's it. See you all in Kuwait. God bless and thanks for your prayers and support.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Hey everyone. So I have great news for you all. As of right now we are leaving our vehicles here. What that means is, no waiting on TMR dates for other trucks to tow ours down to Kuwait, no waiting on them in Kuwait, no cleaning them once we get to Kuwait, it could knock weeks off our time to get home. So we'll see.

We also get to leave one of our connexes here so that means once everyone puts their personal boxes in the one connex that we are taking home, then all we have to wait for is a customs inspection. Hopefully that will be soon.

I still don't know when exactly I'll be in Kuwait or at home. I'm sorry, but that's something I probably won't know until days before it happens. I guess that's it for now. As awesome as it is, I know it's still not solid dates and I know that's what everyone's is waiting for including me. But I will let someone know that can let everyone else know as soon as I find out.

Thanks so much for your prayers and support, I can see the light at the end of this year long tunnel and it's beautiful. :)

EDIT: On a very sad note, my great aunt Dot died on January 5th. I'm very sorry that I couldn't be home for the funeral but I want my family to know that I am praying for Dave and the rest of my family. God bless.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Hey guys. A few more days down and I got A LOT of packing done. They have given us a two week window of when we should be leaving and it's soon, so that's awesome. They said we needed to be in a situation in the barracks that we would be able to pack in an hour's time to get to the flight line. So that's what I have done. I sent another two boxes of stuff home today and now I'm officially done. The only thing I have left here is military clothes and miscellaneous survival items...toiletries etc.

Here's how it's supposed to work. The main body (me included) will leave and fly down to Kuwait. We will leave a couple behind to make sure our equipment gets loaded up properly. Then they will meet us down there about the same time our equipment (vehicles included) gets there. We will then spend the next couple days cleaning them. After that we put them in a sterile yard and here we come America.

The main body could be in Kuwait for a couple weeks waiting on the vehicles, but I can handle Kuwait. They don't shoot at you there. Once the second smaller group gets to Kuwait we should be there for less than a week. Once we get to the states, we should be in MOB station for just a couple days.

They say it's hardcore get in get out down there, so if you're planning on coming down to meet me at MOB station, you should know that I'm not going to get very much time to visit. Pretty much just the evenings...maybe. But anyone that wants to come down is more than welcome to come. After we get done processing, back home we go and then on to the rest of our lives. Can't wait. So there that is.

Our promotion packets SHOULD be going through the board today, so hopefully I will find something out soon. When I know you will know. I can't really think of anything else to tell you. I thought I had something, but I've lost it now. I appreciate you reading my blog and mostly for your prayers and support. God bless, I'll be home soon.

EDIT: I see a lot of you have listened to "Paper Idols." I appreciate it. I just wanted you all to know that I have a new song up too. It's older but it's the first time I've recorded it. You can go to www.afbmthemovie.com and look at the "Downloads" section to find it. It's called "Sand Song."

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Hey everyone. So the new year hasn't been that bad so far. We had a nice reuniting of the soldiers that we had to send down to Baghdad today. Now that they are all back plus the replacements for one of the platoons, we finally have plenty of people to help work. Our replacements are supposedly in Kuwait right now getting ready to come up here, so that's pretty exciting too. I think when they get here I'm not going to be able to contain myself. It's going to just be too much. I can't wait.

Me and one other soldier got our promotion packets in and they are supposed to go to the board on the 5th of January. If we have enough points to get promoted, we should know about it about two weeks after it gets through the board.

That's all I have for right now I guess. Things are going good and I can't wait to get out of this place. Gotta keep my head in the game though, if I get too antsy time will go way too slowly. God bless and thank you all for your prayers and support. Peace.

Friday, December 31, 2004

Well, a year has come and a year has gone. I thought for this segment, I would list some of the things that I and other soldiers have endured.

During the course of this year I have:
Visited a new country
Talked a different language
Kissed my mother goodbye in tears
Lied and said "I'm not scared"
Cried over the phone to my girlfriend
Watched an incredible sunrise
Watched an incredible sunset
Heard a mortar round shot
Heard a mortar round land
Been 200 yards from an impacting rocket
Been less than that from an impacting mortar round
Been 300 yards from an exploding IED
Walked on the Iraqi streets with a bullet in the chamber begging the people not to start anything because there were children around
Laid on the streets under a truck with my weapon ready to fire
Watched a building wondering if a sniper was going to take a shot
Asked my friend to tell my girlfriend I loved her if anything happened to me
Stood in a crowd of Iraqi's
Yelled at a crowd of Iraqi's to move back and get away
I've been scared
I've been happy
I've cried
I know what it smells like when a motar explodes
I know what it sounds like when a car bomb goes off
I know what a 50 cal sounds like in the distance
I know what it feels like to not be scared of a noise anymore
I know what it feels like to not have your family there
I know what it feels like to not be there for your family
And if there's one thing I've learned in this year, it's that I could have lived without this.

I love you all, I'll be back soon
God bless.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Hey everyone. I don't have much time, so I wanted to write really quick and let you all know that I'm still doing fine. Not much has changed. We heard some explosions today but from what I hear they were all outgoing.

We have some more stuff going on, but it's stuff that hasn't happened yet, so I'll have to tell you all about it later. And I will in a couple days. Sorry I don't have more, hope you're all doing fine. Love you and God bless. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. Peace.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Hey everyone. When I finally woke up Christmas day (after staying up until 0400 Christmas Eve night) it was pouring, an absolute downpour. It rained pretty much all day on Christmas and made one huge muddy mess. Christmas Eve was nice, that night was gorgeous, and the 26th was really pretty today, as is today, but for some reason the weather decided to punish us on Christmas. Oh well. The day really wasn't that bad, like I said, one more day closer to coming home.

We have had a lot more updates on the movie website including some downloads. You can now download the AFBM movie trailer, a forfeit movie that Whitney made with pictures from 3rd ID, and he put up a song that I completed called "Paper Idols." If you want to download any of these, go to www.afbmthemovie.com and either scroll to the bottom and download there, or click the "downloads" link to find the links. You can stream or right click save as.

Time's coming soon to an end, but it seems that dates keep getting pushed back. They have changed the way advanced party works here. Initially, the advanced party was supposed to go down with the vehicles before the main group got there and so they could clean the vehicles and be ready to roll out as soon as the main party got there.

But now, the dates for the vehicles to go down have been pushed back so much, that the main party is going to go first and the "advanced" party will be staying behind to make sure the vehicles get line hauled. But we will all be leaving Kuwait to go back home together so it doesn't matter whether or not I'm in the advanced party.

We got two days off for Christmas Eve and Christmas so now I'm trying to get used to going to work again. Two days off...hmmm, sounds like what they would call a weekend in the civilian world, but after two days off it seems like I haven't been here to work in weeks. I get bored when I'm cooped up in the trailers for too long anyway.

I suppose that's it for now. I appreciate ALL my comments on Christmas. And I'd like to extend my thanks to the readers that don't know me the posted. Thank you everyone. Well, I'm going to go for now, thanks so much for reading and I appreciate your prayers and support. God bless, see you soon.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Hey everyone. So it's Christmas. And I know it's still the eve to you all, but here it's about 4:00 in the morning so it Christmas here. Anyway, I stayed up late so that I could call the family while they were all together and get to talk to everyone for the first time since I've been back from R&R. It was pretty great. And I know the phones were bad when I talked to dad, but at least I got to hear everyone's voice.

Anyway, the way I see it, and I can't remember if I already said this, but it's not really Christmas here to me. Just another day closer to me getting to come home. I'll have Christmas when I get home and that'll be good enough.

As far as current events, we got to show the full movie to the company tonight. Huge success. It was great because all the hidden jokes that we had that were inside jokes for the company, they got. Well, most of them at least. So while you guys may or may not like it, our target audience loved it, and that makes me happy enough.

Also, my family got to see the trailer to the movie so that was awesome. From what I here they liked it too, so that's good enough for me.

Well, I don't have much to say. I've been up for about 20 hours now and my brain's starting to fry a little so I guess I'm going to go to bed finally. But it was GREAT getting to talk to you guys tonight. It was the best little piece of Christmas I could ask for from this far away. So God bless you all and thank you so much for your prayers. Peace.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Hey everyone. Well, first things first. I want to offer my condulances to the familes of the soldiers and civilians killed in the DFAC attack in Mosul. It's truely unfortunate and I hope they find out exactly what happened so they can prevent further attacks. The DFAC can be a scary place when you hear an explosion.

It's always hard to follow news as bad as that with anything else. All other news seems insignificant. I'm sorry, I will try to write tomorrow to catch you all up on the rest of things going on around here. But for now, I'll dedicate this post to those who lost their lives in the attack. God bless.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Hey everyone. Not much going on here now. Christmas is coming and we're trying to get in the spirit. I already told you about the decorations that we put up. Really, I think we all agree that Dec 25th is just a day this year. It's still a religious holiday but it isn't what it's supposed to be over here. Christmas is when you're supposed to get with your family and have fun and realize how dysfunctional everyone is. That's what makes it such a great holiday. But since this year we're without our families, then Christmas can be celebrated on a different day, in a different month, when we all get home and we can be with our families again.

I usually don't put my opinions in this thing. Normally I just put what's going on and stay out of the political events etc. And I know that this happened a long time ago but for some reason, everytime I posted I forgot to mention it. But I wanted to just give a hand to the soldier that stood up to Rumsfield in Kuwait. I have a buddy here who's father was actually at that meeting I guess you could call it. Too many times we as soldiers have complaints and then we don't express them when we get the chance.

Armor is a HUGE problem here. When my buddies were going to go to Kuwait to pick up the replacements, we spent two weeks gathering scrap metal and welding big rusted pieces of steel to the vehicle to make it safer to travel. Going to war with the army you have, not the army you want is a great answer. But even hinting that uparmoring a vehicle doesn't really protect you that much, or that you could be blown up just as easily in an uparmored tank as you can a truck with no doors is preposterous.

When we traveled up here we had a hmmwv that had no doors coming up here, but times were as dangerous then. Now rumors are going around that we may have to drive a couple of our vehicles down. We haven't had time to armor them nor do we have enough time now. I hope for the best. I will let you all know when we find out but as of right now, we still should be flying back down south.

On a lighter note, the movie is finished. We burned 10 or so copies of it last night to hand out to people around here after we show it. It's going to be great, I'm really excited. We even put up a website for the movie. It's only a test site right now, but once we show the movie it'll change a bit. The site is www.afbmthemovie.com.

Ok, that's it for now. Hope you're all doing well. God bless you all and thank you so much for your prayers and support. We're almost out of here.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Hey guys. So the talent show didn't go that bad. I didn't place but I didn't get booed off stage, so I can't complain about that. It seems that a lot of people were more mad than me that I didn't place but they are all my friends so I think they're kind of biased. I played three songs, two originals, and one cover. I went to the competition with one song to sing but when I got there they said there were going to be two rounds so I had to try to remember something to play...didn't take too long. Anyway, it was fun so that's all that matters.

No attacks that I know of the last two days. We had a simulated attack. They put a vehicle outside the front gate and lit it on fire to simulate a car bomb. Then everyone on the base had to get an accountability check and act as if it were a real attack. Good training, but in my opinion, we really don't need the training when we get hit about twice a week. But who am I? Just a little ole Specialist.

A couple things I forgot to tell you about. It ends up that my buddies don't have to go on the convoy to pick up the replacements for another company...cause they are already here. Me and one of my friends went to pick them up about a week ago and they are busy trying to move in. Pretty exciting, because even though they aren't our replacements, they are replacing a company that got here right before we did. AWESOME!!!

OK, well I'm gonna go for now. It seems like there was something else I forgot to tell you but if I think of it, I'll do an Edit. OK, love you guys and thanks so much for your support and payers. God bless.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Hey everyone. I know it's been a few days...sorry. Things are going pretty good here. We finally finished the movie all the way...well at least we thought we had. We had our first preveiw today with an audience and we saw a lot of mistakes that we needed to fix. But they are all quick fixes. It's pretty exciting to finally almost finshed, but at the same time it's sad that we're done.

We had a few attacks and some fake excitement a couple days ago. Still not sure what it was all about but they shut down all the KBR ran stuff, laundry, DFAC, all the other stuff that we use everyday. There were a thousand rumors running around from KBR ID checks to assassins on the base...so who knows?

Really, not much has been done because we've been working hard on the movie for the last 4 days. The talent contest is coming up and I've been practicing. I'm a little nervous about it but all in all I'm pretty excited about another chance to perform w/o getting booed off stage.

I guess that's about it. I love you guys and I can't wait to get home. Thank you so much for your support and prayers. God bless.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Hey everyone. So a few new things but not much. I woke up this morning to gunfire from the fenceline...pretty interesting. We also had an IED go off outside the gate. I don't know if anyone was hurt during the attacks.

There is a talent show right here on base next week that I'm going to enter. This time I won't have to travel anywhere and I've decided to go solo on this one. I'll make sure to get someone to tape it for me, hopefully I won't get booed off the stage again...cross your fingers.

Something I forgot to mention on my last post. The 8th of December was my one year anniversary for this blog. I started the blog on Dec. 8th 2003 on our first day of home station drill. So I have been in this deployment for over a year now. Crazy to think about huh? And now it's all coming to an end. I'm not sad about that at all. I'll be happy when I don't have to do this blog anymore because it'll mean that I'm home.

I've been pulled for the last couple days to be the company gofer. It gets old fast. One day I had to work in the post office and I pull guard duty about 2 sometimes 3 days a week. I guess the changeup isn't that bad, but I enjoy being in the motorpool so much that I hate being switched around.

I don't think anything else is new. I appreciate all of your posts, I love getting messages back. So thanks everyone for your support and prayers and I'll see ya when I get home. God bless.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Hey everyone. So what's new? Not sure anything really. It's bee prank central around here for the last couple days. It all started when our 1SG got water boxes and stacked them up on our porch in front of our door so we couldn't get in our trailer. So me and Klinge retaliated by getting Barrett. We put the whole pallet of water on his porch. Then we lied and said we didn't do it, so we all got together and got SGT Barks. We stacked it while he was inside and made it so that he could open his door only to find he was completely surrounded by water boxes.

Then he got me back by stacking water all the way up to the top of my door. But you can't mess with tall people like that. So me and two other guys stacked water all the way up to the roof of the trailers in front of SGT Barks' door. You could see the water bottles from the other side of the trailer, it was hilarious.

But the funniest one happened when we were cleaning all the boxes up and SGT Whitney said he wasn't going to help because he was never involved. We decided to involve him. We got the key to his room from 1SG and put individual water bottles all over his floor. Then we stacked 4 water boxes in front of his door.

So when he went back to his room, he saw the 4 boxes and thought "Wow, what a bunch of pansies. Is 4 boxes the best they can do?" Only to open the door and fine 144 water bottles lined up like dominoes along his floor. That was the best one, we got plenty of pictures and video tape. Good stuff.

Other than us being complete idiots, we're trying to get in the mood for Christmas. It's not easy but we're trying. SSG Watson put one of those cheesy door covers over his door. It's awesome though. 1LT Knight put a small tree and a bunch of decorations in the APO office and I'm putting up a tree in my trailer, but I'm being lazy.

We just got finished with about 4 days of being slammed in the motorpool. In one day we had like 8 deadlined vehicles that needed to be fixed. I replaced the glow plugs in one, replaced the gasket in the top of the fuel tank on another vehicle, Klinge had to fix the oil pan and battery box for the little Ranger Gator vehicle that our commander drives, and more. We still have some stuff in here, but we've worked until like 6 or 7 almost every night. We usually get off at 3. I have to work at the post office on Friday because some of our guys are going to be getting ready to leave. That's exciting to know that we're starting to move out, but I still really don't want to work at the post office. But it's only one day, so I won't complain too much.

Well, that's about it. Hope you all are having fun and I can't wait to get back home. Love you all and thank you so much for your support and prayers. God bless.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Hey everyone. I regret to tell you that I was wrong in my last post about no one getting hurt. The attack was on a guard tower and a soldier was killed. I jumped to conclusions and I apologize. I did not know the soldier but I ask that you keep his family in your prayers. From now on I will try to make sure I KNOW before I post.

We were in communications blackout for two days, but for some reason they don't cut everything off, they just tell you not to use it. I didn't get word so I went ahead with my postings and e-mails as usual not knowing we were in a blackout.

Things here are still about the same. Work in the day, find something to do to keep my time occupied at night. Yesterday I laid down to take a nap and accidentally slept for 4 hours. Made for rough sleeping that night.

I had guard duty yesterday and there was an Iraqi there that spoke english very well. It was nice because I actually got to talk to him and ask him some questions that I wanted to know about. I didn't get to record the conversation, but I wanted to let you guys know what we talked about, so I'm going to paraphrase the conversation. It was kind of sad and a little bit suprising.

me - so your girlfriend is from america?
him- yea, she's a sergeant.
m-so are you going to try to make it america
h-it's so expensive, plus i can't move there because of september
m-september 11th?
h-yea, i'm sorry about that
m-you have nothing to apologize for, you had nothing to do with that. we know who's responsible for that. plus, there are a lot of muslims in america and while some parts of america are more rasist than others, we mostly live in peace
h-i'm looking for someone to help me get to america because it's so expensive
(After a pause) m-so what do you think? how has it been here in iraq since the americans came? is it better or worse...you can be honest.
h-(laugh) i don't know, i can't answer that
m-well, has your situation improved or are you in greater danger?
h-well, when i come to work here i can't tell people whre i'm going. they say where do you work, and i say, just take me there, and they say who do you work for, and i say just go this way.
m-why do you work for us then?
h-because my uncle works and i want to help him. plus i like the US and i really want to respect my uncle.

That's about all I could get out of him, I wish I could have set up a real interview, maybe before I leave I can get something going. He let me take a picture of this old Baath party coin that his father owned before he died in the first gulf war. His father was an officer in the Baath party and the old Iraqi army and now he's trying to sell these coins so he can move to america. He says they're real gold, I looked, I'm not so sure, but if anyone is interested in getting a real Baath party coin, e-mail me, I have his e-mail address. I told him I would see if anyone wanted to buy it. I know I know, it's Baath party, but I know a lot of people are interested in stuff like that, not to support them, but trophies. I mean, plenty of people have WWII German helmets and knives etc. and no one thinks it's because they supported the Nazis. So if anyone is interested let me know.

I guess that's about it. Hope everyone at home is doing well. I miss you a lot but I'm coming home soon enough. God bless and thank you so much for your support and prayers.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Hey everyone. Wow, what a buy couple of days. I’m really sorry it’s been so long. I didn’t realize how long it had been. But it has really been crazy around here. We have a lot going on around the unit that I can’t really disclose right now, plus I don’t know all of the details, but it’s bad. I’m not involved to don’t worry about that…but it’s bad.

To top that off, I’m not sure if it’s the weather or what, but we’ve had 8 broken down vehicles in 2 days. That’s ridiculous. We’ve been working our butt off here at the motorpool and it seems to only be getting worse. Plus with the new undisclosed stuff going on, I may have to move back to the post office, we’ll see. Hopefully I won’t, but we’ll see.

We had an attack yesterday. I’m not sure where it was, but I heard it, then we spent a half hour in the bunkers. I guess since communications are up I can at least assume no Americans were killed in the attack.

We got more songs done now for our album. We’re up to about 7 or 8. It’s a ridiculous album, but it takes up time so that’s all good. SGT Whitney came back, so we’re all excited about that. We can finally finish up our movie so we’re VERY excited about that.

I suppose that’s it. I can’t think of anything else enough. Again, I’m sorry that it took me so long to write you guys, I have no excuse, I hope it’ll be sooner next time. Love you guys and I hope you all fun and thank you so much for your prayers and support. God bless.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Hey guys. So I just got finished with CQ. That means I had to stay in the office all night in case they needed accountability etc. You get to sleep, which isn't normal for CQ, but you get to sleep because you have to work the next day too. Oh well.

Anyway, last night was an interesting night. First of all it was our awards ceremony. Most of the people in the company got an ARCOM, which is an Army Commendations medal. Me and another guy from the motorpool got SGM coins. In the army when an individual wants to recognize another individual, they hand out these personalized coins. Some of the other people got the Col.'s coin. It's kind of like the green ribbon at field day in elementary school. They TRY to give one out to everyone that's not a complete screw up, so it's not that big of a deal.

In addition, yesterday they had some kind of investigation, or barracks inspection, or something. I'm not sure what it was because we weren't allowed in our trailers at all.

We also got to show our movie trailer to the company last night. It went pretty well for the 2:00 that it takes to show the trailer. The real movie will be interesting because it was hard to get this group to sit down for the 2:00 trailer. How much worse is the 30:00 one going to be. We'll see.

I guess that's about it. I need to go shower and shave etc. Gotta work in an hour. So I'm going to go. Love you all and I thank you for your support and prayers. God bless.

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