Saturday, February 18, 2006

Garage Sale

Dear Gang,
Life is good here. Not as good as when I get home very soon, but for the most part good. I called my wife up to tell her the good news and oh by the way, I mailed home a trunk full of junk from Iraq. Her response, “That’s great and we’re going to put this stuff where???” My mind is racing now, “Honey, don’t worry, I took apart the engine from an old Mig 25 that was sitting out in the junk yard.” Mind you it took six Marines on their day off, four hours in bitter cold, brute strength and a heavy duty hammer to make all this happen, so by God, I was going to get my turbine fan blades come hell or high water!! “Don’t worry, they will make awesome gifts to some of my pilot buddies” I know she is thinking…(garage sale)I'm thinking the shed in the back yard. She just doesn’t understand the importance of such a find. This could have belonged to an Iraqi jet that maybe shot down an Iranian F-14 back in the 80’s when they had their war together. Who knows what they could say if they spoke. Not that we’d understand it all since they would be speaking Russian. But really cool to think about. I have left a ton of other odds and ends here too just because it’s to much a pain in the rear to mess with. I found a foxhole where the guy just took his entire uniform off and ran away naked for all I could tell. All of his gear was there to be picked up a few years later by me.
I used the “left handed metric crescent wrench” LegHound found for me, to get a bunch of old panels off some of the derelict bombers sitting off the end of the runway. Then I had a talented Marine downstairs paint them up as going away gifts. I have one too that will be hanging on my “I love me” wall at home. When guys come over, I can proudly show off my piece of Iraq that I brought back as a war trophy. That and the 10 inch silver looking polished intake blade from the engine.
The big thing going on over here is non other then the Olympics. AFN, which stands for Air Farce News (because that’s all they show, you’d think they were the only ones out here) is hooked on Women’s curling. When you go to the chow hall, all heads are peeled to the tubes to watch these gals slide these 50 some odd pound round puck looking things at a big bulls eye. I was talking to another Marine tonight on what was so appealing about this sport and he said “Man, I don’t care about Curling, I just think those gals are smoking hot… just look at the way those two gals handle that broom going down the ice. Can you imagine what she could do with a mop in my kitchen at home?” I know why he’s still single and looking.
On another subject, I saw on the news that some Pakistani Cleric has offered a Million dollar bounty on the poor Danish cartoonist, to the first person who can do this guy harm. HHHHmmmmmmmmmmmmm a religion of peace huh?, that’s all I have to say. Talk about showing your true colors. Oh, such is life in the real world. Boy, that would be one way to “off” your worst enemy, just claim he is the one behind some cartoons and he’ll be running for his life.
You make the best of it over here which allows the six months to fly by. I will be out of pocket for a week or so, keep checking because I may be able to post something at a later date this week. With that in mind, I hope you have a great day and look forward to talking to you soon.
Semper Fi,

Monday, February 13, 2006

"What's for Chow???"

Well Gang, what’s going in the life of the office?? We had a helicopter lose his cockpit door one dark night on their way out of here. We call this “TFOA” sounds like tofu and it means “Things falling off Aircraft”. It’s a big deal because in the states and something falls off, next thing you know, it’s on the news that Grandma was almost decapitated in her garden while planting her tomatoes. Even the stories about the giant chunk of blue ice that fell from the sky, that’s TFOA and these things happen. So the next morning, I go into the office “What’s up Ssgt?” He replied “The Col is out with Leghound looking for that door that fell off the 46 last night” Me, “have they found it yet?” “No Sir” he says. I pick up the brick, “Col, any luck with the door?” The Col says no and if you want to drive around come on out.
I load up in the trooper and head to the end of the runway. Hmmm, if I was taking off going where they were heading to their base, where would I look? I drove straight out to a parking lot past the runway and outside the wire. There sitting in the middle of the lot was the door. I was certain that it was going to be under a foot of moon dust out there, but it was the only metal object in sight. My total time was 10 minutes. I called the Col with the news “Sir, I found the door” He was on the radio in a heartbeat,"No flippin way!!! Where are you?” Me, “Sir, I’m in the middle of a parking lot outside the wire by the departure end of the runway.” He arrived in about five minutes and was just shaking his head. He drove through the same lot only 30 minutes before but was looking left and Leghound was looking to the right, almost where the only object in this entire lot was. The Col remembered when they drove through that lot and all Leghound talked about was “Wonder what’s for lunch, hope it’s good” and “Oh Sir, I know where that door is, it’s over by the rocket motor I saw off of Kilo taxiway” Well they drove back and alas no door but he got his rocket motor that was leftover from some old rocket attack on the base. They were out there for hours and I found it in 10 minutes. Better lucky then good any day I say!! The fun part was holding it ransom from the Squadron and demanding a Squadron tee shirt, coin and 3 pizza’s with everything on it. They brought the payoff to our vip pad and we made the swap. That was a pretty successful day for me!! Ha!
Today is Valentine’s day, so this is for my wife who takes such good care of me and the family.
My True Love,
Here I sit, 7000 miles from home, watching the sun set across the deserts of Iraq. I know what love is, and you encompass it all. I often dreamed about marrying a woman of your stature and beauty. God granted me the chance to meet you and for that I’m blessed! As the sun sets here, know that my love will rise to meet it in the morning. Happy Valentines Day Honey, I love you!!!!
As for the rest of you Taco fans, I hope you have a wonderful Valentines days with your special person.
Semper Fi,

Friday, February 10, 2006

Only the best for our guest!!

Dear Gang,
You have to love VIP’s, those Very Important People who cause all sorts of chaos around the area as they just stop by for lunch and some “I love Me” pictures with the Marines etc. I received a call from higher headquarters somewhere out in the green zone that we had 6 congressmen arriving who just wanted to pop in say hi and then go tour another base. I said, “that’s fantastic, give them my number, I’ll say hi and they can stay there with you!” He just laughed at me “Nice try bubba, they are coming to you, I’m tired of dealing with them, and so I’m passing this monkey to your back.”
There was a weather system building to the south that looked pretty bad and I knew it would cause them to be stuck somewhere and by God, I was hoping not here!! “Hey, do you realize that we’re about to get hit with some weather later today?” maybe common sense would keep these VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE, there where they could have more fun and out of our hair. “Taco” he says, “That’s not a problem, just put them in your VIP lounge and let them cool their heels there” VIP LOUNGE!!!! Who do you think we are? The Air Farce, VIP Lounge… “We don’t have one” I say. He is still laughing, “Take them up to the Bing and let them smoke a Cigar”. This isn’t very funny, as much as I would love to entertain them up at the “Bada Bing”, I don’t know if they would like their picture being taken next to the mud flap gal on the wall. Plus it might be raining by then.
HHHHmmmmm, I’m thinking now, VIP lounge, I think I can fix that problem… make a nice cozy VIP lounge that they can relax, smoke a cigar in and watch the pretty sand billow up and swallow their aircraft and never want to come back. The day that they arrived, it was suppose to be a drop off here on a C130 and then picked up by some Army choppers to take them to another base. Now I’m happy, because they changed their minds and will tour another base not to far away from here. Things should run nice and smooth, the C130 drops them off, and they run onto the Choppers presto, VIPs are far, far away from me…
The C 130 arrives early; the choppers arrive late, so now I’m stuck with them by the taxiway waiting. Waiting for word as to why the Army is late. I hate that because folks look at you with this “brick” radio in your hand and expect you will know the answer, chop, chop. Tough since we don’t control those aircraft and have no visibility on them. Well with the delay I ask if they would like to move over to the VIP lounge? Congressmen X says, “VIP LOUNGE, that would be outstanding, please lead the way” I start walking to this wooden bench we had built with the new sign overhead I had just painted the day before that read “VIP LOUNGE” in blue. No special room, no plasma screen television, no coffee, only the best that we could offer…
They loved it, thank god it wasn’t raining. They ended up going to the other base, the weather came in that afternoon like I was told it would and they were stuck there for two days. I think they were shelled a couple of times which will make them think twice about coming on out here again. Just visit the Air Force bases over in Kuwait next time, they have some nice stuff there and no one is trying to kill you. Hell you might just make it in time for the water polo matches at the base pool, or the crud matches at the O club.
Well just remember this, “I went to war and Garrison broke out”….
OOOOHhhhhhh RRRRRRRRRRhhhhhhaaaaaa,
Semper Fi,

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

"Singing in the Rain"

I once wrote about the hazards you face while out here on Combat duty. You worry about the rockets and stuff, but it’s the simple things that can really hurt you around the base. Take for example the rain. When it rains here, it comes down like a cow pissing on a flat bed rock. Big ole’ drops that actually hurt when they hit. Since this is all talcum powder sand with a clay base, there is nowhere for the water to run off so it collects and forms little mini lakes around here. Having walked over the same route to the Chow hall, I know where all the pot holes are and low spots where you need a boat to get through. The smaller puddles work great to get the mud off of your boots as you splat through mud, water, mud, water on the walk.
The other night as I was walking back from dinner after the big rain all day, I was following two new Marines as they navigated the little lakes in their path. I say new Marines because if they had been here long they know the cardinal rule of “never walk through a puddle” It was a guy and girl combo. The guy was taking the direct path through the water puddles and the female Marine was skirting around the edges. I was following the route of the female Marine, taking my chances with the mud and muck. She was not having an easy way with the mud and decided that after this next puddle she would walk with him. Big Mistake…
There in front of us was a mini lake with the access around the edges made up of 6 inches of mud. They start plowing through the middle of the water joking about having to put on new boots. I stopped to watch for a minute because if I’m not mistaken, there is a giant hole right about there… the guy on the right steps off into a foot and a half hole, pitching forward grabbing the closest to him who was this poor gal standing all of about 5’4. Both of them go face first into this giant puddle and disappear under the brown muddy bath. When they trudged unhurt out of the puddle, you could hear them screaming all the way to the other side of the base. She was screaming “I told you so” and cursing “Shit, Shit, Shit, my uniform is all messed up!!!” I asked if they were ok, and had to bit my tongue not to laugh out loud.
That, I’m sorry to say made me chuckle though as I walked around the edge of the lake taking my chances in the mud. Those two have just learned a valuable about walking around in Iraq… It’s not just the Rockets that can get you and don’t trust your buddy who says, “come on, it’s not that deep”
Take care guys and I’ll talk to you soon,
Semper Fi,