Friday, July 29, 2005

I recently received an upsetting e-mail from my friend who is stationed in Iraq. I know I said I would post all correspondence from him, but he's been on leave for a while and therefore not writing much of interest. But now he writes this, which does not please me:

Hiya Gang!
It's me again and I'm back in Iraq...again. Coming off two weeks R&R, I find myself in a new city, with new missions, and a brand new base. Camp C____ is bigger than S____, but in disrepair too. We don't have latrines yet, so we piss in tubes and do our business in buckets. Then, every week, one of our guys rotates out for the bucket burning detail. Not only is it hot as Hades, but you come back smelling like a herd of elephants decided to defecate on you. Speaking of hot, it's running an average of 120-125 back here, but compared to Kuwait (where I spent a couple days coming off leave) this is nothing. It was 100 at 1am, climbing to around 140 in the afternoon.
Travel back to base was interesting. I spent an extra day in Bangkok because my flight was cancelled. At immigration, they confiscated our passports and handed us plastic boarding passes with baggage claim tickets attached. Talk about not wanting to miss the flight! Unfortunately, all I saw of Thailand was the inside of a hotel and some temples as we drove past, but i did buy some Muay Tai Boxing shorts that look kickass. I then spent four more hot, dusty days getting back here two days ago. SInce then, I've been learning my way about base.
As to the area, Ramadi is the place to be. In the two weeks I've been gone, our snipers have accounted for 7 confirmed kills and 13 probables. However, also in that time, our battalion has lost one guy (a translator), another lost his legs, and have sustained 3-4 returnable injuries. The folks around here hate the US big time! What I've heard is that this city used to be one of Saddam's privileged gems. So, when the Marines came in, shooting up anything and everything (this city took a pounding), the population, which already had cause to resent us, turned on us completely. We get mortared here every other day and have had several RPG attacks hit areas around camp (included where I'm typing this very email). BUt that said, I'd much rather be here than back at S____. At least here we are contributing and get a chance to fight back. I think the insurgents were a bit surprised to find out that, unlike the previous unit, we'll stay out for 2-3 days hunting them. No place is safe for them anymore.
So, that's about it. I'm starting to get into the swing of things and can't wait to get out on some mission (which start for me very soon). Baby wipes are big again because our showers only run for four hours a day and we have something called "moon dust" here that's everywhere and is sometimes 5-6 inches deep. Also, snacks are appreciated because dining isn't set up yet. I'm very happy, focused, and ready to return to action. Only 5 more months to go...that's nothing. Let's hope those five months pass by quickly!! All my love and take care....
Rocking out,
K

It's great that he maintains such a positive attitude, but his descriptions of his living conditions and the news of casualties is so disheartening. Can't wait for these 5 months to pass and for his safe return to the U.S.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Would you be interested in sharing your friends address so the internet (or just me) can send him some stuff he's needing? Ever since that whole deal where you can't send to "any soldier" I've been wondering what to do.

Brian said...

If you want to e-mail me, we can discuss it. My e-mail address is in my profile.

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