December 20th, 2007 (Camp Buehring, Kuwait)

We’ve been in Kuwait for about two weeks now, and it sounds like we will be making the move to Iraq within the next day or two.

Today was an easy day. I stayed in PTs all day, grabbed a coffee from Starbucks, and played Medal of Honor on my PSP to pass the time.

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I’ve been getting Myspace messages pretty regularly since I’ve been here. I wouldn’t trade an email or phone call with Theresa for anything, but it’s always nice to hear from people back in the states. It’s fun to talk with people who are unfamiliar with deployments. Things that are normal for us are so unreal for them.

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Theresa is at home in Illinois at her mom’s right now. I talked with her a couple of hours ago. I’m having a really hard time talking with Jacob though. I talked to him a couple of days ago, and it tore my heart out. I’m glad I’ve decided to get out of the army, because I don’t think I want to do this again.

As of now, our plans are to fly from Kuwait to Baghdad International Airport, and then on to Camp Taji. Current intelligence says that our AO isn’t too hot. We have learned that insurgents in our sector have been using deep buried IEDs. I’ve only heard of two types of IEDs that can kill a Stryker, and that’s one of them. We are supposed to be patrolling a rural area that is mostly Sunni. There are two towns in our company AO, “14th Ramadan” and “Abayachi.” Abayachi is believed to have about 25,000 to 35,000 people, and we’ll be traveling on Iraq’s Highway 1 to get to it. From what we’ve been told, that road is a constant IED threat. Highway 1 is busy though, which means insurgents have less time to emplace IEDs, so they are typically smaller. It’s my understanding that our vehicles will withstand smaller blasts. Country roads; however, are where we will do most of our traveling, and that’s where larger IEDs are usually found. I’m feeling a little terrified of getting blown up. I keep thinking of how I might react if we survive a blast, but land upside down. I’m not trying to get trapped inside of my Stryker. It’ll be dark, dusty, smoky, and confusing. Most of the openings are on the top, and if there is a fire, I’m not sure what we’ll do. I’m just not quite sure how I feel about being in a vehicle for all of this.

On a lighter note, Sergeant Bridges (Jimmy) tagged our Stryker with our squad’s nickname “The Worst Day Since Yesterday.” No one has noticed yet. Hell, I didn’t even see it. They put “The General Lee” and “01” on Leo’s truck. His guys asked for it, but I think he was pissed about it.

B-12 Stryker

We’ve decided to do a platoon-wide white elephant for Christmas. I was joking with Sergeant First Class Arambula (AB) and Staff Sergeant Miller about it, and I said I was going to pick up a G-string from the PX. SFC AB said that was his idea. Then I suggested getting a six-pack of the tea that everyone likes here. It’s lemon or peach flavored, and it comes in huge bottles from United Arab Emirates. I’ve bought it on every deployment. SFC AB said that was his second idea. We realized by the end of the day, that we had both bought the same gift, a folding pocket knife, the same folding pocket knife. AB commented that we should get divorces and marry each other. I told him that he could live with Hollie in Texas, and I would stay with Theresa in Hawaii. With BAH in both places, we’d be set.

We’ve all started getting sick here. It was cold enough today to make my ears and hands ache while I was outside.

More later.

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