Friday, October 29, 2004

Dust Devils & Side Arms

If I had to describe Iraq in one word or less it would be "Grapes of Wrath dusty"! Holy Mackerel it's dusty here. It's not like a huge dust storm or anything, more like you can smell and taste it in the air kind of dusty. Rather hot days and slightly cool nights but our weather guy says it's gonna start getting a bit cooler over the next month or two.

This is a great unit to serve in for many reasons, not the least of which is that my uniform consists of combat boots, black shorts and a brown T-shirt. Also they gave me some high speed Oakley glasses for the day and a Petzel light for the night.

Our living conditions might be considered Spartan but it's not as bad as some other guys have it. My little hooch looks like the trailer on an 18 wheeler except it's only about half that size and has no wheels. More or less a big metal box with a window at either end, a door and a small A/C unit. There are bunk beds in it but fortunately there are enough of them so that I don't have to share it with another officer. RHIP!

The chow is not bad either. It's not home but it's not totally unpalatable. However, the Iraqi people who make it seem to really like cabbage. Not Korean kimshi type but it's cabbage nonetheless. Not often the main course but almost always included as a side dish in one of about one million configurations.

My unit operates on Greenwich Mean Time rather than local time so we get up around noon local and hit the sack around 2am. That's actually up around 9am zulu (GMT) and then to bed at a quasi decent hour. Where I am is relatively safe, or at least as safe as a war zone can be. We hear gunfire periodically but it's fairly far off. Besides which, we are surrounded by other units and everyone is carrying loaded weapons. My unit all have pistols they carry around loaded. Kind of old west style. The conventional army guys around here carry their ammo separately so they don't accidentally shoot someone. I always thought that was the point of fighting a war. Silly chaplain. They watch us walk around and get a bit ticked that they have to wear flak vests and ballistic helmets all the time while we wear shorts and Oakleys. Nice!

It's exciting around here at times. Last night our guys went on a mission and jacked up three bad guys transporting mortar tubes. They won't be trying that again.

I'm glad to be a part of this effort. Our guys are doing a wonderful job for the cause.

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