Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Sweeeettttt! It is official...I finally have a permanent place to live and should be moving into my approximately 10ft x 12ft trailer by this weekend. Yep, it's pretty much a large dog kennel....kinda smells that way also...but it's MY dog kennel. On top of it all, looks like I'll have Internet connectivity at my "residence". Also, I've been able to finalize what unit I will be assigned to throughout my time here. I can only confirm that it is an Army unit...nothing more to divulge... you friggin spies.

As I've kinda eluded to recently; daily life takes a very strange twist while here. One example: Primarily around this area, toilet facilities are spartan. Primarily they are nothing more than your standard, fun. Anyways, there is one particular porta-toilet that I visit routinely that is covered in graffiti. Now you may think, "How horrible...people being destructive". Actually all of the graffiti is based on Chuck Norris...every single bit of it...all about Chuck Norris. Somehow in my delusioned, brain-damaged, Iraq hating state...I find it hilarious. Trust me some of the graffiti is truly funny. I would give some examples here but most are not appropriate. I promise I will back fill all of you with a few of them at a later date...when I'm feeling less appropriate. Anyways, I look forward to my Chuck Norris toilet every day.

Take care everyone...and to R, K and G: I miss you guys.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Well, so far I'm starting to establish a daily pattern which helps the time go by quicker. Unfortunately, since I'm going to be moving from my wonderful tent and cot into a trailer soon...everything will soon become disrupted. Yesterday, I did buy a little piece of carpet for the area next to my cot. Talk about making a world of difference. It is so much nicer to put my little footsies down on carpet vice dirty plywood. I also bought a small fold-up camping chair. Again, much nicer to sit my rear-end down on a chair instead of the dirty plywood as aforementioned. Yes, I guess you could say, "It's the little things in life.". Now if I could only convince the military to invest in Charmin...I would truly be a happy man.

Anyways, in my last post I failed to mentioned a group of folks from Maine. On my trip to the sandbox, our flight landed in Bangor, Maine for a refueling stop. I personally have never been there...but first impressions mean alot. This place is phenomenal. When we walked off the plane, we were greeted by two rows of local folks. I would guess there were about 40 people present; just to say, "Thank you" and "We support you". It was absolutely amazing. Some were veterans of former wars...who I'm sure never received anything like this. Some were just local folks, who greeted us with a smile and a hug. Did I mention that they are there for every "troop transport" aircraft that lands in Bangor. The group calls themselves the "Maine Troop Greeters"....I like it...nothing fancy. These folks were great and really brightened everyone's spirits.

Bangor, are now one of my favorite places. You made us feel good about a somewhat bleak situation. After thanking one of the gentlemen profusely and telling him, "I wish I could repay your hospitality." He looked at me and said, "Lieutenant are repaying me with your service."

Enough Said.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I'm back! I finally made it to Iraq..via a few other countries and locations. None of which are remotely as nice as Texas. When I first arrived here, it was already night time. That definitely limits one's ability to assess things. On top of that it had rained here a few days everything was completely muddy...I mean everything. So first impression....this place blows. Not to be outdone...the next day I woke up and didn't feel too well. That progressed throughout the day into me "camping-out" next to the porta-toilet mumbling to myself and hoping that I would be able to survive the next wave of nausea guessed it..the other end too. After about 8 hours of that, I decided to drag my sorry butt down to the medical facility and get some help. I'm better now....but my first day in Iraq....was just what I expected...crappy.

Along those same lines; I know up till now that I've appeared not to be a fan of the Army. Well the folks at the medical facility changed my mind. It was quite possibly the friendliest, (dare I say this) most efficient trip to a medical clinic I've ever had. They really took care of me. On top of that all the Army folks here in theater seem extremely motivated and professional. I guess I must retract my earlier disparaging remarks about the Army...still glad I'm in the Navy, though. Anyways that was my first 24 hours in Iraq...quite the intro!

Sitting in my tent seems surreal at times...almost reminiscent of my childhood; camping with my dad in Illinois. Then, a giant muddy (remember from above) hand slaps me in the face and reminds me that I'm sitting in the middle of Iraq...a place where a large portion of the population doesn't like me. Doesn't like me to point...that they want to kill me. And I can tell you this...My wife would be extremely angry with me if I let someone kill me. And you don't want to make a red-head mad...whooooeeeee. The big muddy hand I'm referring to was the mortars that impacted our camp; followed by the Apache helicopters flying over....oh, and how can I forget the tanks and Humvee driving around. Oh well, I'll close my eyes...and still think about camping with my dad in Illinois. It gets me through the day.

I'll close today with a quote that I think sums up things. "There is no fact or absolute; only interpretations." My good buddy Friedrich Nietzsche came up with that one. Think about it for a'll get it.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Everyone, just a quick note to say that I know I've been horrible about posting lately...Sorry. But all this ARRRMMMYYYY training has me very tired. I will be making my trip into country within the next once I'm established, I will have to catch up on the posts. I'll have some pictures and interesting "Barbie-isms" to add for everyone's entertainment.

I had an interesting day today. We spent the day at the local "combat-town", kicking in doors and room clearing and other cool stuff like that. It was quite possibly the most enjoyable training that I've received so far from the Army. Unfortunately, it was a COMPLETE waste. My job in Iraq will not be to kick in doors and take down least I don't think so. Well, I guess they could surprise me. Still, it was great training and extremely fun...just not neccesarily relevent to what I'll be doing over there. Oh well, c'est la vie. I don't speak French...that was my best effort.

I have had the opportunity to meet and make friends with some great people while I've been here. I have to give a "HOOAHHH" ( That's Army speak for any word that you need to use; for any subject) to BKS 3941. Pretty much, I live with a bunch of escaped convicts that are masquerading as Naval Officers. I COULD NOT have picked a better group of roommates....except for you two bastards that snore all night....I hate you.

Everyone take care and please stay tuned to the Barbie Channel for more updates. I'll get on it.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


Sorry I've been so long in writing everyone. Things have been hectic for a few days. I'm presently in South Carolina at the final training stop..before I head across the big pond to the big sandbox; or kitty-litter box if you prefer. I have to be honest with everyone...I'm not enjoying this portion of the training. The actual training that is taking place is very good and that part is well received and understood by me. But the manner in which it is conducted...well...just sucks. INEFFICIENT!!!! I'm here for 2 weeks, which could be shortened to about 4 days. But that would mean that the Army couldn't hold 10 useless formations for about 15 minutes each...EVERYDAY. Call me crazy, but that seems ridiculous.

The training itself is great. We've been issued our weapons for a couple of days now...and I think most folks are getting comfortable with them. Definitely brings back Marine Corps days for me. The overall quality of the gear that they are issuing us is top-notch. Really good stuff. I'm actually looking forward to qualifying with the weapons. We will have to qualify with the M-16 and the M-9(9MM pistol) before we can deploy. Should be a fun day of shooting. Everyone take care and I'll write more when I can.