February 8, 2023

Hello friends,
It was such a busy day, my first day from morning to night in bagdad, iraq. I am tired, I purchased a lot of stuff to make my stay more enjoyable. We are living in a place called Area 51 foxtrot. It was saddams old money mint, so it’s a big warehouse. There is room for five or six hundred but we don’t have that many, and since I am a sergeant I got my own little cubby hole and stretched it out a bit. I am trying to keep a low profile, so no one notices my swag new pad. I got a big ass tv, maybe 23 inches and a tv stand off someone who is leaving for 175, its used but at least it was already in the barracks and I didn’t have to move it far. , my cubby hole is made up of lockers, I got like ten of them surrounding me, some cord and a sheet for a make shift door and I got a bachelor pad to myself, their bunk beds, but I purchased an extra set of sheets and threw them on the top bunk, so it looks like someone is sleeping there,ssshhh though no one is. The only problem I hear so far with this place is all the dumb details we have to do. There are a lot of local nationals working on the base and one of our details is we have to babysit them. Basically watch them work. There is other stuff we have to do , so I am already thinking of ways to keep my mind occupied while doing dreary work like that. I really could write pages and pages about the dining facility. It is so good. Its like the best buffet I ever went to, even better than las Vegas buffets. The food here is real real good. If anything I am worried I will put on some weight. I went to the large px, military store, and bought essentials and couldn’t help think I was in a war zone. Oh wait, I am. On the bus ride over, the radio was tuned into an American radio signal, Freedom Rock, and boy it was all types of classical rock, especially the acid rock of the 70s, the stuff you attribute to Vietnam ere, listnening to some rollingstones, eagles, and jimi. It just gave the choppers that were taking off only 140 meters off the right side of the bus a certain cinematic feeling. I really do like the station and trying to get a t-shirt from them, “Iraqi Freedom Rock, 92.1, the best in Classic Rock” Anyways we drove around all the palaces and lakes, it is quite beautiful and interesting at some of the decadence of the Hussein regime. I will send pics next time of the palaces on the lake, I don’t think words could do them justice. Even though we are in the middle of a war zone, the base we are on seems so far away from the city. Most of the people on base consider it a garrison base, imagine that, right in the middle of murdering ole bagdad is a garrison base. I am glad I am not infantry. The plane ride over was a little scary just in the thought of getting shot out of the sky with a shoulder fired rocket from an insurgent. But luckily we flew at night. It didn’t change the fear though, especially in a military plane, where most of your senses are overloaded or deadned, its extremely loud, the powerful engines roar at full volume where ear protection is a necessity, the lights are off for light discipline and security, and we are scrunched literally like sardines in a can, we sit on web seating, right , and I mean right next to the pallete of luggage we loaded on. Claustrophobia becomes a real animal than, with little room to even move an elbow. Supposedly it gets ice cold on those flights, not in the summer in the desert, it got cool, but with all the protective gear we wore it was still very hot. We landed just fine, to a sudden thump on the airway, someone said that they heard small arms fire hitting the plane, I didn’t notice I was just glad to be on the ground. The airforce runs the planes and in many ways its nice because of their laid back attitude it made us at ease. And I really am not that worried here. I talked to people and someone said they had one mortar hit the whole of last year, with no casualties. Anyways going to a new place , there are so many questions on what to do, how to go, where to go, how these electrical plugs work. Their not easy on me. We are going to the toc tomorrow, so I will try to put in a good word on how much I like this place and want to stay. The great thing about this place is there is running water, with indoor plumbing and showers. That is awesome. Also there are trees here and canals and large lakes filled with algae but still very cool. Anyways, I will talk more tomorrow. Later. I thinks its day three, yesterday we went into the tactical operations center, I got the night shift for the first month, so it will be slow, but that is good, give me a chance to catch up quick. The countdown is already started. Camp victory where I am at is very safe, it doesn’t even feel like warzone, you will occasionally hear small arms fire or a mortar will hit, but considering, this might be one of the safer places in bagdad. I talked to the people we are replacing, and they all went out on human intelligence teams for one month, they all were very excited about the expierence. I myself probally won’t volunteer. My job is pretty basic and I can see how it can get tiresome after a little while but I am trying to fill the rest of my day with productive things, like looking for college courses or working out, or being more social. There is a pretty good social scene here with classes and sports leagues and stuff. You can easily get involved in a few different things to make the days pass by quicker. The plan is to do my time and get home safe. I am contemplating getting my own internet access, but that is going to cost 75 dollars a month, it would be more convienet. I will think about it when I get everything more settled.

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