Sunday, May 6, 2007

Long Day

Our last day in Kuwait began around 3:45 am. There was no particularly good reason for it to start this early, especially since we didn’t have to stage our bags for movement until 11:30am. Still, about 15 people in our tent decided that they needed to start packing their one small bag 8 hours before it needed to be packed, so we all got up. I woke up, saw the lights and heard the racket and then looked at my watch, and then yelled loudly "Holy crap, I only have 8 hours to put my pillow in my bag!! Why didn’t someone wake me up sooner?"! Ah, the joys of sarcasm.

We staged our bags at around 10am, and soon after doing so a dust storm rolled in, coating everyone and everything in a fine layer of sand. Not long after the dust storm we loaded up our bags and hopped on a bus for an hour ride to the Kuwait airport. There we were herded into tents with rows of chairs, and told to stand fast and wait for word of our flight. 8 long, boring hours later, we finally received word that our flight was ready. Another bus ride to the airstrip and we packed on to a C-17 military aircraft for a short ride to BIAP (Baghdad International Airport). The flight was uneventful, but I forgot how fun the landings are in a combat zone. The pilot rolls hard and then dives, and alot of people on the plane who haven’t been through that before were pretty shocked. For such a steep descent, though, the landing was great.

Once we landed we quickly exited the tarmac and in-processed with the personnel office, collected our bags, and boarded another bus to the billeting (tent) area. By this time it was 2:30am local time, almost 22 hours after we woke up. The night was warm, as the temperature in Baghdad has been over 100 during the day already. Today we slept in a little and walked around the FOB (Forward Operating Base). I was happy to see that the 2nd Brigade from 10th Mountain Division is here! I feel at home with all the 10th Mountain patches walking around. I feel bad for those guys, too, since I know this is the 2nd or 3rd deployment for alot of them.

I'm not sure when our next travel day is, as we have one more stop to make. I have been pretty lucky finding internet access, though, so I will continue to update as I can. I will also continue to post new pictures, so check back! For now though, Greetings from Baghdad!

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