Well, it has been a few weeks since we left the US, and until yesterday the only internet access I’ve had was short blocks of time at a kiosk at the USO. So, here’s a little update:
Our flight left Indianapolis just after midnight on Wednesday, June 3. After 8 1/2 hours we had a layover in Leipzig, Germany for about an hour. I slept for about half of that first leg; Quantum of Solace was the in-flight movie, but I’d already seen it so I nodded off not long after it started. After the layover it was another 5 hour flight to Kuwait City. In-flight movies for that leg were Inkheart and some Jet Li movie. I didn’t have any interest in the Jet Li one, but Inkheart was ok.
When we landed it was 9:30 pm local time (our bodies still thought it was 1:30 pm) and a nice brisk 97 degrees outside. It took a little while to unload the airplane, then there was a long bus ride to the post. We got to Buehring sometime after 2am, and then we had a couple of hours of briefings. By the time we had finished all of that, found our tent, and unloaded all our stuff, and ate breakfast, it was 7am local time Thursday morning.
At that point we had been awake (other than airplane sleep, which doesn’t really count) since 8am Tuesday morning, or about 47 hours. We slept from 7 until about noon, then got up for the afternoon so we’d be able to go to sleep at the normal time that night.
Have I mentioned that Kuwait sucks? We were only there a week, but I don’t think the temperature ever got below 120. It looked and felt just like Tattooine; I kept expecting to see stormtroopers show up asking me if I’d seen two droids.
After a week there, we flew north to Iraq courtesy of the US Air Force. It is still extremely hot here, but it is generally 10-15 degrees cooler than it was in Kuwait. The quarters here are much nicer, too. In Kuwait we had 4 giant tents; 1 for E-6 and above, 1 for E-5s, 1 for E-4 and below, and 1 for females. I am enjoying my 2-man room in Iraq much more than the 50-man tent in Kuwait.
We have been here for a week now, and are starting to feel settled in. The layout of our company area is pretty nice; the operations center (where I work) is right next to the CHUs, and the motor pool is on the other side of that. The dining facility, PX, laundry, etc. is all about a mile away, so we get plenty of walking whenever we need anything like that. The laundry service is excellent–drop off your stuff and pick it up the next day cleaned and folded, and it is all free.
I have more pictures up on my Facebook page. Send me a friend request if you want to see them; it is more convenient for me to upload them there than to put them up here.
My mailing address is:
APO AE 09351
Several people have asked me for a “wish list” of things we’d like to get in care packages. I’ll ask around and post something here in the next day or so.