Monday, December 31, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
New Year's thanks to all our men and women of the Armed Forces.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
and the bonfire, was what we did for Christmas Night patrol. We went to a check point and did an "inspection" that involved us drinking chi [tea], sitting around a fire, taking lots of photos of stoned gaurds, and talking about weed.
Monday, December 24, 2007
sure, I'm sure the terps would love to get something., I've been passing on candies here and there, but I'm sure they would love something
Anything you would recommend?
ummm....warm garments? If you wanted to send big boxes, but other than that I really don't know, foods and goodies are good
What sort of warm? Civilian clothes or wool sock sorts of things?
maybe something that they could wear underneath the ACUs, since they don't really have anything, and I know they are cold when we go out. I'm usually wearing a polypro underneath my kit in the mornings, and its still cold
Can you take a guess at sizes?
larges, maybe, a medium or two
How many terps?
ummm....lets see there is josh, Kareem, Lewaid, Steve, I don't know the rest, but there are about.....7 maybe
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Daniel wishes all blog readers a very Merry Christmas. He will probably be on patrol. Bleh.
He said tomorrow (Sunday), they have to go to another FOB to pick up someone from their company who has gone AWOL. No, he's not stupid enough to run off into the local population, but he's hiding out from having to go to work by bunking "on the run" at other bases. I asked Daniel what would happen once he was caught. He said, "Well for sure he's a private again, probably for a reeeeeallllly long time!"
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
It is amazing to me how little value is placed on the people whose lives bump up against the insurgents. To them it is nothing to put a small child in harm's way, or to eradicate someone trying to help bring progress to their culture, restoring it in a deliberate and positive way; impacting an entire nation through its children.
Daniel said they were targeted, but no one got hurt. Hallelujah!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
sorry I was eating some popcorn, I just got off 24 hours of quarter
tomorrow I start going back out on missions
quarter? Staying in your quarters because of being sick?
Wow, both ML and I were sure they wouldn't let you off duty because of a little thing like being deathly ill. Are you any better or did they give you 24 hours max?
I was vomiting, and retching, and having cold sweats...
if I needed more, they would have given it to me, but I'm not longer feeling nauseous, or vomiting, so I'm deemed good enough to go back out
I was sleeping most of the 24 hours
cap [Capellino] got back today'
Capellino had his 2 weeks mandatory mid-deployment leave. He and his wife had a $6,000 Bahamas vacation, as well as visiting his parents. I remarked to Daniel that it must be difficult to come back to the sandbox after that sort of hiatus. He agreed.
Daniel signed off pretty quickly because he was not yet over the sick nasties, but had been deemed well enough by his chain of command to get back into the thick of things tomorrow, and he wanted more sleep.
Had he been home I would have parked him on the couch with videos to watch and gotten him some ginger ale, but I guess my little boy is not that any more; he's able to throw up without me. My, they grow up so quickly. :)
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Daniel alerted me to this article about his squad in Stars and Stripes today.
Mail by December 4th for guaranteed delivery.
Priority mail boxes (available free from the post office) cost $8.95 to mail, regardless of weight
Do not send rum balls. Nothing alcoholic is allowed is Islamic countries. The same thing applies to anything pornographic.
Keep in mind that although they may be sitting still at their base for the moment, they could be moved next week, which means 2 duffle bags, leave everything else behind. Any non-commestible should be small and something you don't care if it stays in Iraq.
The most valued thing to a soldier is to remember he is loved and missed at home. Even if there is nothing you wish to send in a package, send a card and if you can, include a picture. It's a touch point with a place they wish they could be.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Soldiers from 2nd Cav’s 2nd Squadron are working closely with a four-person Human Terrain Team (HTT) out of Forward Operating Base Falcon in Baghdad’s violent East Rashid neighborhood.
The team of academics, which includes a social scientist, two cultural analysts and a military liaison officer, is charged with bringing cultural awareness to the Army and studying the ethnic makeup of Iraqi populations so commanders can plan courses of action, governance, patrols and provision of essential services accordingly, said HTT member Fouad Lghzaoui.
The Moroccan-born cultural analyst, who studied geography and Arabic literature at the University of Morocco, said the team helps units deal with some of the unfamiliar quirks of Iraqi culture.
“For example, for an infantryman (the Iraqi practice of) holding hands or kissing another man cheek to cheek is a hard thing to get used to,” he said.
The team helps bridge the gap between the squadron and key Iraqi players in its area of operations, said Capt. Travis Cox, 30, of Salem, Ore., 2nd Squadron’s fire support officer tasked with civil military affairs.
“They (the HTT members) are a second set of educated eyes who we can talk through what happens based on Arabic culture,” Cox said, “and aspects of different middle eastern things that being from Oregon I don’t know a lot about.”
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Daniel just sent you a nudge.
I just finished blogging about not hearing from you!
I am, we finally got some time yesterday to get a card, unfortunately we didn't have the time to use it
ah....yeah.....we have been getting screwed a tad lately.
yesterday we were on patrol 5 times, for about 20 hours
it was absolutely awful
Not 30 seconds after I posted the previous blog, life resumed as normal. All is well with the world!
He reports that although the new is reporting a general decrease in violence and a brighter outlook, his particular sector is "lighting up." They are seeing an increase in IED incidents, and the sectarian violence has not abated.
When I was a child, time passed slowly. A school year was as close as a mortal being could experience infinity. As an adult, time speeded up considerably other than those long bits of giving birth.
When your child goes to war, time does funny things. You hear from him and everything is fine. A few days of silence go by and all of a sudden each day is longer. Each moment more finely chiseled in its clarity. You find yourself praying more frequently as though whatever might possibly have happened would somehow be erased.
It's in the quiet times that those in regular communication begin to ask, "Have you heard from him?" "No, you?" The tension is heightened by the affirmation that contact has not been made. In my own situation I can't help but wonder are there people trying to contact me at my old address, the one the Army has on record? Nah, the phone number is still the same. They could call. So in the meantime we check Stryker news every day (whew, nothing new) and wait for a call. Maybe today. Good grief, is it only 9am? I feel like I've been waiting by the phone for hours.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Daniel is grateful for the Concerned Citizens Network or whatever it is they are calling the Iraqi's brave enough to risk harm by providing intelligence which allows the military to disarm the bad guys. Without saying what, in order to protect who, suffice it to say some lives were probably saved, both military and civilian. It's a good thing!
He also said one of their platoons went on a mission with the British SAS. He told me to report to Steve (who is British and would therefore take great pride), that these guys kicked major butt. It is supposed to be like Navy SEAL's on steroids. I'll just be grateful there are people from all sorts of countries who feel this is the right thing to undertake and do it with professionalism and pride.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
The mission, supported by U.S. military advisors and Soldiers from both the 82nd Airborne Division and 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, resulted in the sheiks' rescue, the capture of four abductors and the death of three extremists. The body of an eighth sheik also was discovered at the scene.
The sheiks were taken to a nearby Iraqi army facility where they received medical attention. Several said they had been beaten with a tire iron. The sheiks also said that they have no doubt that their abductors were Shiite extremists.
"The execution of this mission shows how far Iraqi security forces have come," said Army Brig. Gen. John F. Campbell, deputy commanding general for maneuver for Multi-National Division - Baghdad. "The 9th Iraqi Army, led by General Riyadh, reacted very quickly to intelligence they received. They planned and then organized their forces, and executed a tough and precise mission with support from the coalition. They are well on their way to being the pre-eminent security force for the people of Iraq."
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Alan and Daniel went to high school together, ended up in Airborne school at the same time and are now sharing the joys of the Sandbox, albeit in different locales.
When I told Daniel I would be meeting with Alan's mother he asked that I pass a message to Alan through her. It was "Tell the [starts with 'b,' ends with 'astard'] to stay alive!"
Alan's mom told me to tell Daniel, "Sleep is a weapon," wisdom taken from the Bourne series. When you are tired, you are less aware of your surroundings, less likely to make good decisions and more likely to put yourself in harm's way. I thought it was sage advice.
Monday, October 22, 2007
well, I just survived another mortar attack
For which I am grateful, as I'm sure you are. Were you out or was this close to home?
I was outside, coming back from getting my laundry, the base defense sounds off with an "incoming, incoming" and I hear and see the mortar round whiz over my head, and hit about 100 meters in front of me
Wow, laundry and a chance to be blown up. That's awesome multitasking.
Seriously, I'm glad you're OK.
Did it mean more laundry?
Brown Trouser Alert!!!
these ones are already stained, hence the picking up laundry, I still need to take a shower and change into some NOT nasty cloths
oh yeah and we found another 20 lbs of HME IED, and a few mortar rounds on a patrol
Wow, they've been busy little blow up beavers.
Is any of this in response to the Sadr City raid?
Hammurabi's Code strikes again
So did the bomb guys blow up the IED?
yeah, they blew the mortar rounds and the HME in place. we were standing about 20 feet from it when they blew it, it was kind of annoyingly loud
LOL. Annoyingly loud. It sounds like the neighbors are having an all night party and you're being forced to listen to Motley Crue when you've had a tough day pushing paper.
its just another day at work
Thursday, October 18, 2007
well I wonder when you are going to get up today
I am up, but I have kitties to take care of. It takes about 1/2 an hour
just so you know, my vehicle hit an IED last night.
Obviously you're alive and kicking
yeah, it was a small one, and it exploded a bit early, so it just took some armor off the vehicle
I actually need to turn mine in [to be laundered], we have been...very....busy recently
Oh. You don't have to do it yourself?
It's like living at home only with live ammunition!
in the last three days I've gotten about 9 hours of sleep
its been...a little bit trying
No joke. How can you make good rational decisions when you can't see straight?
oh yeah, and there was a rocket attack on the FOB early yesterday morning
Any damage from the rocket attack?
not that I know of, but they were close to the tents
What do you do about your styker armor?
get another stryker untill that one can be fixed
Oh great. The one with the other guy's brown trouser stains. That's totally awful.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
I often wonder what happens when you are the one responsible for killing someone. I know you're trained for it, but it still has to affect you
it was interesting....to say the least....definitely something I wouldn't mind never seeing again
Yeah, you should leave that sort of thing to Hollywood. They do a much better job of it, right?
not really....death is too quick in Hollywood.
and you don't have an opinion about the guy laying on the ground bleeding to death
an opinion? or an option?
Not sure I understand
Ah, you don't care about them as a "character"
when you watch a movie, and you see "Japs" or Nazis getting splattered, you don't think much other then the special effects team sure did a good job.
here...you know that that person has a life, you see him bleeding out right before you. he tried to kill you, you hate him, yet you feel some guilt. you think afterwords about his family, and his life. you think about the wife, or girlfriend that lost someone today. its different.
Yeah. I think a lot about that from afar when I put up the names of 2nd Cav when DOD announces they aren't coming home.
you picture yourself getting wrapped into a body bag, under the same circumstances, just because of a difference of opinions
Not a good thought, is it?
So I continue to picture your angels in baseball uniforms, doing batting practice with the bullets.
Any requests for the next one [package]? I have a box out and ready. We put things in when we find good stuff
actually, canned chili is really good, ML sent me some in her last package, and it worked great for going out on patrol, I just bring my combat spoon, leave the can out in the open for 30 seconds, and voila! cooked chili on patrol
Canned chili we can do. How do you feel about ravioli?
eh...its food, really, I'm not too picky, but bland food I can get in an MRE
I'm wondering if I went to Uwajimaya if I could find interesting canned food. I assumed it wouldn't do you well because it wasn't "walkabout" food, but now that I know all it takes is 90 degrees and you're happy .....
pictures are very much appreciated, I'm trying to get as many as I can, just so I have familiar faces to go with all the stories
anything really is good, I'm not picky, and since my diet is always off, I tend not to eat too much at the chow hall, and more when I'm off on patrol, or just coming back at midnight
I wonder if we had one of those "seal a meal's" if it would stay OK long enough to get to you. Maybe ask around and see if anyone else gets packets sealed from home. I know Aunt L has a sealer. We could make some Thai curry noodles or something.
I will if I can get it to you. Other than that, I'll see if I can't wrangle up some more yakisoba packages.
I know some guys that got sealed Mcyucks in basic
hahaha. Why go to the trouble of sealing fast food?
But it worked out OK?
yeah I guess so
Maybe I'll ask Aunt L if we can use hers to give it a test run.
that would be sweet, everyone would hate me lol
not like they already don't hate me enough. although it has gotten better since getting here, they actually see me outside of patrols, instead of Germany, where they would never see me after work
I'm glad they're getting to know you. You're a cool dude. At least I've always thought so
But I'm biased.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
It's hard to picture your son with a bullet 2 feet away, but I still take solace in the fact he's got some hard working angels sent by the awesome men and women who keep him blanketed in prayer. Many thanks to the group at Shoreline Covenant who meet Wednesday morning's, Rose C's group, Bobbi B's group and many others both individually and collectively who lift Daniel and the rest of the troops up.
As to his angels, I picture them giggling as they pull on their baseball socks and do batting practice with the incoming bullets. If you have trouble with the image, read Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness. :)
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
One of my autopilot items now is to visit Stryker News in the morning. I hope there is nothing newsworthy, but some mornings, like today, I am disappointed.
What I check for are the names of those who have given their everything so that I don't have to worry about IED's in my front yard. It is the names of those who should not be forgotten. I add them to the blog, and pray for their families.
One of the things we do as parents whose children (yes, they will always be our children) are serving, is hope that we never have to answer the door to find two people in uniform on the step. Each one of those names has a door knock associated with it and a flood of grief .
Last night, driving over the 520 bridge, I was thinking about how beautiful Seattle is, how much Daniel loves it and how I long to make that drive with him and have the comfort of him safely returned. You've been in my thoughts a lot lately Daniel. Be safe and come home soon.
I love you,
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
When I talked with him this morning we began with the platitudes of, "Well it happens and then you move on," and ended with the reality of losing someone as mortality hitting you upside the forehead.
He is scheduled for leave in April, coming home to celebrate his 21st birthday! That's a little beyond the halfway point of the deployment so he'll be on the home stretch after that.
If someone would like to donate to the care and feeding of a distant but yet lovable Nano, he says the best connection with home is the phone and if you email me (Mom), I'll give you the information to allow you to refill his phone card for him!
He sends his love, sounded reasonably upbeat and misses everyone.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
he sounded alive (not spiritually, more physically) His platoon had their first death. It was his squad leader. Lt. Johnson(?) I believe...so, he and some other guys smoked a cigarette for him. - kinda like a send off tribute; Daniel said he was a great guy. Then Daniel and I just talked until the phone connection died.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I would appreciate continued prayer for God's will and provision for him once he is out of the Army.
Thanks for all your prayers.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I just received a phone call from the Army that Robbie is in the hospital in Baghdad with a pulmonary embolism. they said he is in ICU but in stable condition. Please pray for him and for God's will for him at this time.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
I haven’t got to use the internet in 3 days cuz we've had some major things happen. 2 days ago we got our first k.i.a. he was shot in the back of the head during a fire fight. I was on that mission but wasn’t with that particular company. Today one of our vehicles was blown up with 2 rpgs. No deaths but 3 guys were hurt. so far my squadron alone has issued 18 purple hearts. We aren’t doing well. Another one of my guys stepped on a pressure plate causing an ied to blow. Luckily they didn’t do a good job with it so there was a delay so he only got some minor shrappenal (sp?) wounds and a concussion. When a guy dies there’s a "blackout" it causes all phones and internet to shut down until the family has been notified. That’s why I couldn’t use the internet for so long
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Saturday, September 8, 2007
I told Daniel each of these stories demonstrates to me that prayer cover for him is good and there is a right mighty angel keeping his scrawny little hide out of danger. Thanks to everyone who holds him up!
He says his tennis shoes are falling apart and if anyone would like to bless him, he needs a size 9. Saucony or Nike are his preferred brands, although this is just walking around; they don't do PT. If you would like to support him in this way, please post a comment so everyone knows it has been taken care of.
So what are the Iraqi's like you're coming in contact with? Other than the ones making IED's, are they glad you're there or do they stay away from you?
it really depends, you know how the opinions differ back in the states, its the same over here
some of them ask us for protection, some of them keep as far away as possible, some of them love us, some of them try to use us, its just different
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Monday, September 3, 2007
lol just lol, he can share my misery then [referring to a friend Jaecob K who I informed him as been assigned to be RTO for his unit in the Marines]
Lost in translation sent 9/3/2007 6:29 AM:
I've been so busy with commo, everything is in such a state of disrepair, I come back from missions and then I have to stay up almost all night fixing that day's problems.
Lost in translation sent 9/3/2007 6:30 AM:
last night we couldn't shower. I was pissed. We got back from a patrol, and we had to go straight onto QRF until about 2am, so we all smell......very rosy.....to say the least.
Lost in translation sent 9/3/2007 6:31 AM:
we got shot at some today when we were setting up security so the FOB commander could OK our new COB
Lost in translation sent 9/3/2007 6:32 AM:
a few of our guys got some injuries because they fell off houses, some broken ribs, sprained ankles, broken wrists, that kind of thing. nothing life threatening, but not a good thing.
Lost in translation sent 9/3/2007 6:32 AM:
anyway, I hope I get to call tonight, I will try my best, no promises though.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
- Tortilla chips with salsa. Yes, they'll arrive broken, but make for good snacking. Bags of pre-popped popcorn would also fill that bill nicely.
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.
- Cookies. Although I wouldn't usually advocate it, store packaged would probably be best as they do put preservatives in them.
- Craisins (dried cranberries).
- Trail mix
- Crackers and cheese spread
- Top Ramen/Cup 'o Noodles/Yakisoba bowls (just add hot water type of oriental noodles)
- Salted Nut Roll candy bars
- Beef Jerky/"Slim Jim" type meat sticks
What not to send? Anything that will melt in heat. Anything with alcohol in it. Surprisingly, Daniel said they don't need liquids - the military provides them with all the water and Gatorade they can hold.
Other than that, handwritten notes, pictures from Seattle and words of encouragement are appreciated.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Under the old regime, at least there was a common enemy in the Baath party and Saddam Hussein. Now the angel of death could be wearing shorts and kicking a ball in the park.
It's going to be a bloodbath when we leave.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
The troops were air transported from Kuwait to Baghdad, then by Chinook to their FOB. The vehicles were already there - they had done a land transport.
As we spoke, he said there was a 600 foot column of black smoke he could see. He didn't know if it was an IED explosion or an oil well which had been sabotaged.
He does have a new address. Please email me if you want it. He says Internet will be non-existent for the most part; phone calls when he can and snail mail will be the best form of communication.
If you want to send packages, at this time he is requesting:
- Postage Stamps
- Food - nothing that will melt in heat. Chocolate is right out.
- AT & T phone cards. No other cards work with the phone system, and they're really expensive to buy there - essentially an hour costs about $30.
- Books on tape you have copied to CD's. He will listen to them and pass them on to other soldiers. They don't necessarily have room for physical books and if you send one, only do so with the understanding it will not come back. He will pass it on and doesn't have room to carry things around.
The best way to send a package is with the Priority Express Box. You have to get the offical box from the post office (you can order them online), but they're free. It is a flat rate, regardless of weight.
He sends his love, thanks everyone for their prayers and says, "please write!"
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I will be sending packages to Daniel and if you would like to spread some sunshine, donate bags of candy to the Packing Material Fund. If it's OK with church, I may even leave a donation box there so all the military families may do the same!
Welcome to the place where I'll post Daniel's correspondence as I get it. He may or may not still be in Kuwait, if he's not, destination is unknown.
Here's his arriving in Kuwait letter:
AND ITS FREAKING HOT! we stepped off the planes last night at midnight, to 102 degree winds whipping at us. But I'm here, I'm safe, and everything will be OK, I don't know if I will have time to IM or anything like that, with the time difference, and the lack of Internet use, but hopefully this won't be the last time you hear from me. we should be leaving Kuwait in about 2 weeks, still nothing official said on where though. I miss everyone at home, but I'm trying to have as much fun over here as I can. they even have a coffee shop here! everything is looking up, so don't worry about me, I can make it though. just let everyone at home know I love them, and miss them very much.
I don't know when I will be able to write again, but hopefully you should hear from me sometime tomorrow as well.
See you all later