Monday, November 29, 2004


My body is totally out of whack, thinking it's about 6:00 PM right now. I fell dead asleep tonight at 10, then woke an hour later and couldn't sleep.

It's COLD here. Am wearing polypro and sipping a vanilla chai (one of the benefits of a modern army's forward camp being a private coffee joint). It's cold enough for gloves and hats too.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Arrival in Kuwait

We left Louisiana on the 27th on a United 747. There was PLENTY of food on board when they weren’t serving an actual meal, they were dishing out plenty of ham & butter sandwiches and soft drinks), but none of the free drinks that many had hoped for. And me and my fire team leader (two fire teams make up a squad) unfortunately missed an opportunity to sit upstairs in business class. We joked about going upstairs, the flight attendant said go ahead, but we declined, assuming such places were for big NCO’s or officers. Later, when we went to go take a look at the cockpit, the joint was populated by sergeants, specialists, and even some privates.

The crew was super attentive and let us have the run of the joint, including leaving the cockpit doors open and the maintenance guy even took some folks downstairs into the crawl spaces.

It was 8.5 hours (and three and a half movies) to Frankfurt, then off to Kuwait City, supposedly. We were diverted to a USAF air base in Qatar for a few hours because Kuwait’s airport was socked in by a sandstorm. After finally making it to Kuwait, we got on buses and waited, then finally pulled out into the night in a caravan of buses, traveling 2-3 more hours to Camp Beuring (?). All told, it was 26 hours of travel, plus a few more hours of finding our tent, and getting our stuff settled.

The camp is pretty impressive. The chow hall is enourmous and there is SO much food. If an army really does travel on its stomach, then we could go to the moon. Three hot entrée lines, one fast food line, two soup/sandwich lines, coolers full of local milks and juices, three dining rooms with their own cake/pie areas, soda dispensers, coffee, coolers of ice cream, and breads.

There is a Subway, a Burger King, a coffee place, a pizza joint, a store full of local crafts and junk, and the ubiquitous BX/PX. There are three MWR (Moral, Recreation, and Welfare) buildings with a gym, pool tables, fossball, games and widescreen TV’s. There are two internet cafes, one you pay $5/hour, the other is free. Both are packed, as are the two AT&T phone buildings. Total travel time was 26 hours.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Care Packages

Below is a list of stuff that I'd love to get. Sorry if the list is rather specific and sort of anal, but that's me I guess. I hope this list isn't too presumptuous as I would be happy to get even just a postcard from all of you.

CARE Packages – packages must be durable! They will be thrown, stepped on, crushed, etc.

--Trail mix with peanuts, chocolate, raisins…and that’s about it (like Target’s Monster Mix)
--Nuts – salted peanuts, honey roasted peanuts or salted cashews only
--Dried fruits – all natural with no sulfur added!
--Poptarts – brown sugar with frosting
--Luna bars – Dulche de leche, Chocolate Over Peppermint, Key Lime Pie, Lemonzest, Smores
--Nature Valley granola bars, especially peanut butter
--Fig Newtons/Newmans
--Salmon or turkey jerkey
--Gummy bears and/or colas
--Sesame sticks
--Pringles – sour cream and onion
--Disposable cameras – 400 speed only!
--Weapons and electronics cleaning stuff - Cans of air (the kind used to clean out electronics), pipe cleaners, Q-tips
--Cheap (old) DVD’s – classic movies (Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, etc.), light popular comedies, stand-up comedy, full seasons of shows (Simpsons, Arrested Development, Northern Exposure, The Family Guy, etc.), History Channel/PBS documentaries, music videos. Prefer no war stuff as there is plenty of that around the barracks!
--Calling cards

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