Operation Iraqi Freedom

My Time

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Hey guys. So another day in the desert. This time for real. We heard some distant mortar rounds last night but from what I hear, they were outgoing and not incoming. We apparently have a range here so the artillery boys go have their fun at nights sometimes. I have some grusome news as to why we got hit so hard that last night where we were before. Apparently, rumor has it that when another unit was leaving, they threw an MRE at a kid that was on the side of the road. MRE's are the food we eat when we are convoying or don't have any hot chow. They tell us not to give the people here food or water while driving by because it can cause a stir up of crowds. Anyway, one of the soldiers threw the MRE down and when he did the kid went running out into the road to get it. Then the kid must have gotten hit by one of the vehicles that were behind the one that threw the MRE at him. This upset the locals a lot and that's why we got hit so hard that night. I'm not sure if the kid lived or died, but I would say that it was an unfortunate outcome that would anger the locals so bad. It's a sad story, and it's a horrible part of war that civilians get hurt in accidents. But that is basically why we got hit so hard that night.
Well, today is day two in our new camp. We have seen our living area that we will soon be moving into, it's nothing to write home about, but as you all know, I'll write home and let you all know how it is when we get there. Also, we worked on our new post office today. I have to say, it's pretty nice. I still have no idea what I'm going to be doing, especially since I don't hold the postal MOS. But I guess they will put me where they want me when the time comes.
Ok, now a little about the base we're at. It's just North of Baghdad and it is a dump. I mean a complete and total dump. It was carpet bombed when the Americans came in because it is an old Iraqi camp of some kind. We left it in total rubble, and now we're building it slowly back up. The local contractor (KBR) is sending out Iraqi construction units etc. to fix the place up. These KBR people are pretty much a monopoly here. They contract EVERYTHING. From food to construction to laundry, they do it all. And they are rich for it. But they do a great job and they get the job done so I'm not complaining. Well, I guess that's it. I'll write you again in a while, but I have a feeling (at least I hope) that the future messages are going to start being more and more boring. So we'll see. Well everyone, I love you and God bless. Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Hey everyone. You will all be happy to know that I am now where I'm supposed to be for the remainder of my time here in Iraq. This place isn't that bad so far, the food is excellent, the internet is fast. The phones are harder to get on which will cut my calling down drastically, but at least I'm here. Right now I'm living in a huge holding area with about 200 or 300 other people. This will change in a couple days and we will get our final stop until we come home. I can't wait.
Ok, now for some scary news. We had another attack last night in our old staying place and it was scary. It really wasn't that bad, but it was close. I was in the MWR tent (that is where they have all the tv's, pool tables, and what I was enjoying...Ping Pong) and a mortar hit about 500 or so yards away from the tent. It was so close that I acctually heard the round leaving the barrel of the mortar gun. When it hit we all hit the deck and rushed outside so we could all go to a hard building for protection. When I looked outside, I saw where the smoke rising from where it hit. It was by far the closest uncontrolled blast that I had experienced. From what I heard, two American soldiers were injured but no one was killed. This blast was followed by multiple other blasts, but they were a lot further away. We hope that these attacks will end soon. A combination of the anniversary of the beginning of the war and the recent assasination of one of the terrorists leaders has caused a bit of an uproar. Personally, I just hope to be out of here before Sadam's trial. Every little event seems to upset the terrorists.
Anyway, like I said I am here and I have a mailing address for anyone that wants to send me anything in the mail. Please no illegal items ie. tobacco, alcohol, pornography, etc. Nothing that is illegal to send in the mail. I don't need it, and I don't want to get in trouble for it. Also, if you send food, don't send any perishables, ie chocolate. It will cause a huge mess. Thank you. The address is:

SPC Meadows, Joseph M
449th AG Co
APO AE 09378

That's it, letters and packages can both be sent to that address. Thank you everyone for your support in my travels. And thank you all for the e-mails. I love getting new mail. So God bless and pray for peace. Thank you

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Hello everyone. We had a little more action today and last night, but first I have some good news. My information on yesterday's events was wrong. At first they said there were American casualties but it ended up that there were none. Unfortunately some Iraqi civilians were hurt and I'm sure they or at least some of them had nothing to do with the attack, so that is still misfortune. But I'm sure that you all are glad that there are no American casualties, neither injuries nor deaths.
Last night we had a firefight. I say we meaning the army, I was not included. We watched from our tents as flares were sent up and all we could hear were gun fire and mortars. It lasted maybe 5 or 10 minutes and then it was all over. This afternoon there were more rocket attacks on the front and back gates. Why so much action lately you may ask. The reason is because (maybe yesterday) or sometime in the last week was the 1 year anniversary of when the war started. I know it doesn't seem like it was that long ago, but it was. It has now caused the rebels to attack more often, but thankfully, not any reported American casualties yet, at least for this camp. So thank you for your prayers, I know they are working. I believe they are.
I'm sorry for the way the last post came off. I didn't mean to sound morbid nor did I want to sound like no one was appreciative of our service. All of you have been nothing but supportive of me and I greatly appreciate it. Thank you all again for your support and keep the prayers up. God bless.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Hey everyone. Just another day in the desert. Actually, it wasn't. We had an incident this morning. Someone drove a car bomb into the front gate and exploaded it. The blast woke us all up and it was big enough to shake our tent which was over 2 miles away. Sadly, there were American casualties. I haven't heard how many injured and how many, if any, were killed, but for you who pray, you may want to send a prayer out for their health and their families. Again, I know this is a dreadful thing to have to experience but know that we volunteered to come here and it wasn't the draft that brought us here. These American soldiers are giving their lives, even if they don't get hurt at all, to come here and do a work which may essentially keep our freedoms sacred. Whether or not you believe it is your own convicitions, but I feel like I as well as the other soldiers here are here for a purpose. So please, if you have something to say against the people in power that's one thing, but remember that your freedoms have been protected by men and women who have volunteered since this nation was established. And pray for us. The Iraqi's do not seem to be getting any better over here. They (meaning only a small few) seem to hate us even more now than when the war started. It's to be expected and the casualties have still been very low and our defense measures have been excellent, but some have still hurt and even killed by factors that they could have never stopped. I don't mean to be morbid in this message, everything is still going very well, I just ask that if you pray, to please send one up every night wishing us health and safety.
Ok, I'm going to try to change the mood a little. We finally (hopefully) got our real date and time to get out of this place. It's in the next week or so. It's only a 1 day convoy so I'll be able to write soon after I get there. I'm not going to lie, the route we're going is one of the worst here, but it's still very open and very swept and very protected by the military. So don't worry. I will let you know when I arrive for safety reasons and then we will be able to start our job, get completely unpacked, and finish up our work here and get home. I can't wait. Know that I love you all and I appreciate your support and prayers for me and the other soldiers. Pray for peace and pray for the right decisions to be made by the right people. God bless

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