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Monday, December 25, 2006

Back from Iraq



I made it back from Tikrit, Iraq (Saddam's Home Town...shout out to all my boyeezzz on the Tigris, yo yo!) in time for X-mas, and to see my blog layout all hosed up due to the Giveaway block above, so had to tweak that! I'll be posting a decent write-up about my trip and the gadgets I dragged along on my Smartphone and Pocket PC Magazine Blog (see links on right column) sometime in the future, when/if they get around to bringing the server back up. Evidently something bit the dust within the last day or so over there. The Iraq trip was a grueling ordeal travel-wise (going halfway round the world is never easy). Of course, I had to drag everything but the kitchen sink (sleeping bag, bedding, my backpacker guitar, etc.), and then get issued body armor and combat helmet in Kuwait. When in transit over there, you usually have to wear that stuff, and drag your crap too. Not to mention all the typical pick-em-up/put-em-down, go-here/go-there, do-this/do-that rigamarole that goes along with military travel.

All-in-all, it was a fun and successful trip which I enjoyed, but a lot of hard work, no mistake. I made more good military buds, and have to once again give major props to our Armed Forces serving long, arduous tours over there in a dangerous place. We were always well protected and safe on the base, and I only heard machine gun fire once. My colleague said mortars were going off somewhere in the area one night, but I slept right through it if that was the case. I guess it's a good thing they weren't aiming at me tin hut, because I slept so good over there my alarm clock couldn't wake me up half the time. Must be that clean desert air. Cold there at night, but our living conditions were pretty good if a tad spartan. It sucks running outside in the cold at 2AM to hit the latrine, somehow manage to unknowingly drop your keys, lock youself out of your hooch, and subsequently walk around for an hour at freezing temperatures (in shorts, tee shirt, and flip-flops) trying to find them in pitch dark because you forgot your flashlight! You only do that sort of thing once.. Merry X-mas to SFC Olsen, Chief Overton, Sgt Solo, and to all our awesome troops. I was only there for a short time, but I miss ya'll already, but it's damn fine to be home. Stay safe and if I don't see you again, Good Luck, and God Bless...Hooaaah! I have a funny feeling though, we'll be crossing paths again.



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

GLAD YOUR BACK.

YOU ARE A DARING BASTARD.

I HOPE YOU WERE WELL COMPENSATED.
JTH

Natestera said...

No, I'm not really. I had a whole bunch of soldiers around me at all times, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about going over there. It's not bad at all, really if you stay on the bases where the protection is good. They have huge barriers up around all the important stuff, of course, and lot's of concrete shelters for in case of mortars/rocket attacks. I would have been scared crapless in a shootout or something crazy like that. The briefings they give you before you go are more scary than the actual place. Many contractors walk around over there packing sidearms, but I'm so out of practice with a weapon,I'd be afraid of hurting myself or my buddies. I'd probably still be fairly familiar with an M-16 from my military days, which is much like riding a bike (the Army teaches darn near everyone how to be deadly shots , and you handle one quite often). I qualified expert with both the Army and Air Force with the 16. Good eye-sight, good sight alignment-picture, controlled breathing, and slowly squueeeze the trigger is about all it takes. They only let the soldiers have those over there. I'd be like Barney Fife with a pistol. Frankly, guns scare me to death, because of how lethal they are. I have always had a healthy respect for them.

Anonymous said...

Hooray; thanks a lot for your work
_____________________________
http://www.austinshakespeare.org/Season/

Natestera said...

My pleasure, as I enjoy working with the military a lot. They're the best. I don't think I heard a single one of them guys complain the whole time I was there...