Tuesday, April 27, 2004

finally a good meal

Today J (my battle buddy) and I had the best meal since we've came out here. We were down in the bat cave (my home the bunker) and I finally opened up the package of Kasilof Fish Company Smoked Salmon that my dad sent my way and the box of hickory farms goodies. Everybody else on base is in the MRE eating mode, so I felt the smallest feeling of guilt while partaking of this feast. We spread Hickory Farms Sweet-hot Mustard on MRE crackers, put garlic cheese on it then topped it with smoked salmon. For beverage we had hot tea (I've purchased a electric tea kettle) with honey that I got from the local vendor. Mmmmm, it's funny how much pleasure you can get from an act this small. I have been sharing 95 percent of the goodies I've been receiving in care packages, I do get my fair share but I did hold back the salmon and some of the cheese and don't regret it a bit. Thanks dad and the person that sent me the hickory farms! And thank you Jennifer and Allen from Monroe MI for the care package.

Dear Anonymous Guy

Don't you think I know what Baghdad Burning and Salam Pax's blogs say? Salam has been posting since before the war and he was very pro American. Check out his archives, what I'm trying to give is a round viewpoint of whats going on around here. Do you see anywhere on this blog that tells where we are? Or on the fotopage. Read a bit more before judging.

Friday, April 23, 2004

the other jungle

Back home in the US, man reigns supreme of the jungles of his own creation. While here in Iraq it seems to be an eternal fight against nature, the desert seeps in no matter where you're at. My base is an oasis with a wasteland stretching in all directions, you fly towards Syria and you might see a palm tree outside of a house and it's just a dot on the landscape. There are little depressions in the sand where the dew gathers and the infrequent rainfall gives life to green grass shoots. It's like something out of Dune or Star Wars. Fly towards Baghdad there's civilization, fields, roads, suburbs. You look down from a helicopter and you see the blocks go by underneath you and you think for a second it could be any midsized town in America, till you notice that whole portions are blacked out. We complain about electricity being out for a couple of days, wonder how long these guys with nice houses have been without power? Even after a couple of days with out power or showers you notice your veneer of civilization dropping away. Not a nice way to live.

We've bent over backwards trying to get basic services back on and the bad guys take it out. Don't they know that they're hurting their own people? Summer's coming soon and this place is going to be boiling. These jokers are trying to make everyone cranky and blaming it all on us. We're too stubborn and just keep going back and fixing the problem. The whole place is a tinder box and it's hard putting out all the fires. This is no longer an offensive war for us, it's turned into a defensive war. The regular Iraqi on the ground is getting closer to the snapping point and we're trying to keep the good guys calm while getting rid of the bad guys. The bad guys out here must love chaos. As usual there's no easy answer.

Welcome to Baghdad, at night there's hardly a flight that there's not someone shooting at you. They can't see the aircraft (hopefully) but as soon as they hear one coming they come out and shoot into the air. Mainly they're hoping to get a lucky shot in. A tracer flies by a window and we're banking and rolling which is kinda like gambling, they can't see us but we can't see them either, a great game of battleship in the sky. Wish sometimes the bet wasn't my life. In any case I'm glad I do not have to fly through Baghdad every day, I'll stick with the lonely desert.

Care package thanks,
Pop, thanks for the two 220 volt soldering irons, already using them!

Chad from Wake Island, the baby wipes just came in, thanks again.

Mary Ann Merritt, Women Marines Association and Girl Scouts from Romeo, MI sent a great box of goodies with Girl Scout cookies, toiletries and some great snack items, mmmm, thanks.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

update on life

Life has been heating up for being a CASEVAC Corpsman, I hear the Corpsman at the forward operating bases are seeing quite a bit of action. Me I've been playing electrician to the unit (since today I'm not at a forward operating base right now). We wired up the tents to a generator and wired up all the shops to a switch that goes to another generator in case of power loss. The start of my hitch as electrician happened when I wired the lights and plugs to my new work space. Then the base started moving out all the tents in our area except for ours, taking the huge generator that was powering them in the process. No warning to the people that were living there, we just went without power until acquired the generator and me and Sgt C wired it up. It hasn't gotten really hot out here yet but we have night crew that sleeps all day. 90 degrees isn't that bad but it does make it hard to sleep. So that has been my life, haven't had much time to get on the internet.

Care Package thanks
If you have a loved one out here, send them a solar shower. We've lately ran into some water problems and people have been taking showers by holding bottled water over their heads, it's wasteful and cold. Yet with a solar shower, it uses less water and you get a hot shower. You know who you are that sent it to me, thanks! And thanks MEW! She sent my unit 4 huge care packages, over a hundred dollars in just postage! The package's contents have been handed out to my Marines and they all wanted me to pass my thanks. Chad from Wake Island sent me a huge package full of baby wipes, q-tips and insect repelling sun screen, very big thanks too. If you're sending something my way and leave an email address (I'm horrible at snail mail) I'll be happy to send emails in your direction. These packages mean the world to my guys, just to know there's someone out there that cares.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

more fun in the sun

I watched CNN for the first time in a while yesterday, guess there's more going on then I know about. We're constantly being told about OPSEC, but if you're looking to get information off someone out here that's writing a blog, forget it. We usually don't find out anything that's happening until we see it on the news, someone from home tells us about it or several days after it happens in Stars and Stripes. We just don't know. Of course we can put down what we're feeling and nice little stories about what we're doing that day, tell a bit what war is like the people back home. But we're in a basic communications blackout. I was amazed at what was going on when I saw CNN, I can tell you that's not the war front that I'm on. People are going nuts out there. Hope what our guys are doing right now works, what those Iraq's did to those contractors in Fallujah was asinine. I'm sorry there should be a few rules on basically being included in the human race. Are these the types of people we want running any country? I know history shows us that it's happened time and time again but maybe it's time to stop these kinds of people? I would understand it more if we were doing horrible atrocities like the former regime was doing but if we catch our guys doing evil and mean stuff, it's an automatic ticket straight to jail, do not pass go. Well if you'd been watching the news, there's much action happing right now. We lose all of our un-secure contact with the outside world whenever someone dies, usually for a day till the family is notified (good idea) or if we're implementing some big plan. Personally I think it's a good idea, myself I don't say anything till its old old news. In retrospect, the average Joe on the ground isn't told anything, just told to do things. Does the pawn know the big plan?

Found another blogger out here by way of Salam Pax, she takes on a very anti-war attitude and though I respect her views, but how dumb can you be? Check out the places she's going, madness! Fiona (I can't help thinking of the girl in the movie Eurotrip) keep your head down silly girl! She's going to places where I wouldn't dream of going with out a platoon behind me in light of the news this week. Keep your head down silly girl!