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 before...so 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 and...yep...you 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 moment...you'll get it.