Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Well, I know I just wrote in this blog a week or so ago, but I figured in celebration of the end, I would try to keep up a little better. At least for a little while longer. Besides, with the end so close now, I feel a whole lot more energized. As do most people here. The advance party of the incoming Combat Support Hospital should be arriving here today or tomorrow. We are very excited. In fact I can't remember the last time the entire unit was excited about the same thing at the same time before.
(If you are wondering - we are trying to capture a small bird that had managed to wander into the ER. Very funny to watch a group of adults try this)
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Tick-Tock. The clock is continuing to tick down. The end of November is here - which means as of one hour from now I can say... "this month". Most people are starting to get very excited about leaving, a return to normality, the ability to wear jeans and whatever hat we want. Hopefully nobody opts to wear my Halloween outfit ever again. I say 'most people' because being here has a strange effect on some. It is like we live in a bubble where the real world (i.e., back home) doesn't really exist. People's problems and issues that are home are easily forgotten. We are in our own world here where we don't have the stresses of decision making in real life - what to wear, what to eat, who to be friends with. While I can't wait to get out of this 'bubble', there are people who are stressing over the return home more than they stressed about coming over here.
In addition to the views that we got, we also stopped for some food at a local restaurant. Surprisingly, we did not get the runs despite the swarms of flies that surrounded the place and dive-bombed our food and our faces.
Speaking of food - Thanksgiving was interesting again. The interpretation again by the caterers from Pakistan and Bangladesh was comical at best, disturbing at worst. It was our second Thanksgiving here, and it actually felt quite a bit different than the last one. For one thing, we knew what to expect both in the food and in the decorations. But at least it was like eating with family having spent the equivalent of a lifetime or two here in Iraq already. The people make it just about bearable. I have told them that while I feel pretty strongly about my friends here - I really don't want to see them again for a long time.
In the meantime, we will keep trying to stay sane for the time that we have left. Todd will keep trying out new patterns of Army camouflage. If you are interested in investing in some property in the Green Zone - there are some phone numbers that you can call. We hear there is quite a demand these days. And hopefully, the next time I send one of these out, it will be when we have started to pack our bags and are heading out the door.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Nothing very adventurous planned for the rest of this month - except did I mention - we are going home next month. Hope to see you all then.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Unfortunately, I have been unable to upload pictures recently. I will keep trying and let you know.
Hello again from Baghdad. I have been gone for the last few weeks - back home at last with Amy and the girls! It was great, and very much needed. It was starting to get really old over here. It took a few days to get there - the Army has to make everything as painful as possible. Over a day to travel 20 miles to the airport in Baghdad flying in the usual Blackhawks, another almost 2 days to travel 250 miles to Kuwait using Air Force C-17s (much more comfortable then the smaller turboprop C-130s), and then one more day back home via Ireland and Georgia (the state) using chartered commercial airlines. The delays going home were easy to deal with knowing what I was heading towards. However, the delays on the way back to Iraq were agonizing. My arrival back home in New Jerey was exactly what you would expect in Newark, but then I walked out to Amy and the girls in the car and it was one of the greatest moments in my life. When I approached the car in the pouring rain, Sara saw me and started screaming "It's Daddy, Daddy, Daddy..." waving her arms and feet at me. Naomi looked at me trying to place my face with someone she knew from long ago, but after about 20 minutes, followed Sara's lead and it was like I had never left. It was about as great a homecoming as you could hope for. Even Riley (the dog) recognized me right away when I walked in the house and started howling and running like I hadn't seen him do in about 5 years.