Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2003 10:32 AM
Hello from Kuwait!
Yes I finally made it here. From Washington we were issued out weapons and boarded the commercial airline wearing our desert camouflage uniforms. Our plane made a 2 hour layover in Ireland once we taxied to the gate from my window I saw airport security setting up a chain link fence around the plane and guards started walking the fence line. The unit was allowed to exit the plane and enter another lobby in the airport that was also guarded. People hit the gift store and some got a bite to eat.
I made a call and played some cards until we were allowed to board again. Another plane came into the gate next to ours and a similar fence line was setup around it a group of people in normal clothes walked into the same lobby. They appeared to be military by the way they carried themselves and the haircuts. I talked to one guy and he said that they were Airforce on there way back home from the Middle East. He didn’t mention exactly from where or what they did but it was nice to talk about the region and what I had to look forward to. Our commander yelled out from the other side of the lobby announcing that we were able to board the plane. The remaining leg of the flight took a few hours and looking out the window it was obvious…we were here.
I have never seen so much sand and dust! As soon as I walked of the plane the wall of heat was almost unbearable. The pilot said that it was about 125 degrees. No way! I carried my gear to a small bus and crammed in like sardines with more soldiers and sat on the runway for several minutes. When the bus finally did leave we were driven to a small base camp and moved into a tent and given more briefings.
Evidently, the camp we were at was attacked just a couple of days prior and as MPs we may be asked to help guard if they needed it. I thought that we were supposed to go to our base that day but I guess things change. Information was scarce and no one really knew what to expect next.
Our entire company was placed in a tent the size of a one bedroom apartment. Between the heat and having to walk over people to move around no one was comfortable. We were told that we would stay at this camp overnight and move out. I didn’t sleep all night. Part nerves and the fact I was able to swim in my own sweat if I did lie down.
The camp never seemed to sleep. Soldiers were walking around all over. I talked to a couple of British troops and they told me a story about the first days of the war and how in one day they had received 7 warnings alarms of a scud attack and each one was false. They got a bit complacent and then came an eighth that turned out to be false too. On the ninth alarm they said they really didn’t care until someone screamed that the scud missile was flying overhead and they heard the sound of our patriot battery launching off and intercepted the scud over the base.
The next day we loaded more busses and moved out to the base I am at now. There are ALOT of soldiers here. We sleep in warehouses that are filled with bunk beds that hold about 400+ people. It can get to 140 degrees here. I drink more than a gallon of water a day just to stay hydrated. There is a large canopy of cammo net set up in the middle of the camp that is like the town square. The store, gym and food are all around it. At night they show movies on a large white screen under the netting.
Talking to some other Army units that are here the stories coming out of Iraq are scary and exciting. I know for a fact that the news isn’t touching or hearing for that matter half of the issues and enemy contacts happening up north. I am sure there is a reason for it. I don’t want any of you to worry, the US is doing a wonderful job. I have run into buddies from Basic Training and caught up on all of our stories.
This is all of there first deployments and they were surprised to hear that I had been to Hungary, Bosnia and Sarajevo. One of them was running a enemy prisoner of war (EPW) camp in Iraq and talked about rocket attacks and riots in the short time they were there. The other was in a town south of Baghdad attached to the 82nd Airborne.
I really don’t know what to expect for our unit. I know what missions our company is trained in and I can only think of a couple places that we could be used. Until the generals decide what to do with us we are sitting here and waiting. We watch movies in one of the tents to get out of the heat of the day. (I did get a DVD copy of Matrix 2) They are showing “Tears of the sun” with Bruce Willis tonight. As I mentioned before, internet access is scarce. I had to do some sneaking around just to find out about this one.
I’ll try to keep in touch as best I can until we move north and then all communication will be broken. These bases are very security conscious for obvious reasons. No pictures can be taken outside and no undeveloped film or CDs can be mailed with out being confiscated by the intel people.
<br>We will be moving from this base soon up North. We have a couple of options were we will be stationed. The final word will come only a couple of day before we leave.
I don’t have much else to say. I miss all of you and every deployment has taught me a little bit more about my self and how the little things in life DO matter and I should be thankful for everything I have and stop taking for granted all of the love and luxuries I have. Take care of each other and we will be in touch.