Hi gang. Long time no post, yeah? Figured I’d chime in and let everyone know how I was doin’, and what’s been going on here.
My unit (1-14th) is setup outside of Camp Taji, which is just a few miles north of Baghdad. The first few months were kinda crazy – mission after mission after mission, without any kind of battle rhythm; no one knew when our next refit or maintenence day would be, or even what the next mission would be more than a couple days out. It was common to go for weeks straight without any kind of day off or time to service the Strykers. Then in April, all of the Battalions pushed out their company-level assets off-base to set up smaller patrol bases in our area of operation, usually co-existing with a platoon or company-sized element of Iraqi Army. Still maintained a hectic schedule – never really knew how long we’d stay out in the sticks, or when or what kind of supplies would come in, if any, etc. Then finally, about a month ago, the patrol base my company has been occupying finally started to get built up into a decent base in its own right. it’s still a work in progress as of this post, but we now have electricity, internet/phones, a movie room, a small gym, a cook with a small dining area, porta-shitters (we were burning our own shit for a long while), AC, and here soon some actual showers. Power doesnt stay on 24/7, but a group of engineers are out here now fixing all that. Not too bad now… actaully don’t mind staying out here anymore :-P Good thing though, is that my company’s AO is relatively calm – we’ve only had two IED’s go off on us, and zero ambushes/small arms fire. The younger first-time-to-deploy Soldiers wish things were more ‘exciting’ around here, but I tell ’em they wont be thinking that if things ever did heat up. Typical – I felt the same way my first deployment, and then after being shelled/blown up/ambushed X number of times, I was ready to give it a rest. Hopefully they never get a chance to learn that the hard way.
Anyways… yeah. Things are ‘good’ here I suppose. Boring, but I’ll take boring over the alternative. Some of our sister companies have seen a lil more action/IED’s, as have certain other elements within our Brigade, but overall the violence is low compared to my last time here.
I’m slotted to come back to the states for R&R around the end of August. Gonna be in Vermont the entire time… gonna meet my wife Jenn up there with her family. Her sister is getting married August 30th, and we’re also going to spend a lil time looking for lots of land to build our ‘dream’ house near Burlington. I’m also gonna spend a half-day talking to admissions at UVM – with the newly revised GI Bill in place, I’m going to go back to school full-time after I redeploy (my Army career ends June 2009), wrap up a degree (finally), and let Uncle Sam not only pay for it all, but pay ME to get a degree at the same time. Too good an offer to pass up.
So yeah, that’s about it. I got a few pics here and there, but haven’t posted anything yet, as I havent really taken any pics of anything exciting. And I don’t see the remainder of the deployment being any different from how it is now. I’m doing fine… just miss my wife, and I’m ready to come home.
Hope the rest of ya are doing well, and are enjoying your summer. Take it easy, and I’ll see ya around maybe ;-)