Monday, December 31, 2007


I just realized that "SPC Daniel Webster" can be rearranged to form the words "Respectable Winds." I'm not sure this is a good thing, but his grandfather would have been proud!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Forms of Turkey

As you sit around wondering if turkey (or ham) can possibly be combined with any other food substance in a way you had not previously envisioned, Daniel's squad is pulling 11 1/2 hour duty guarding contractors as they build a wall. Part of that time is spent sitting in the Stryker. Daniel says 20 minutes in the vehicle makes your backside go numb, so 4 hours should probably be covered under the Geneva Convention.

We read our Christmas novels, burn the Christmas candles (thanks Lynn!) and prepare for another round of indulgence on New Year's Eve. Our guys are staring down same old, same old; boredom, danger, fatigue, hunger and discouragement. It's another reminder of what sorts of sacrifices they make on our behalf.

New Year's thanks to all our men and women of the Armed Forces.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Military Secrets

Daniel told me they had a very ..... vital ...... and important ...... probably ..... critical mission on Christmas. Hm .....
His IM picture is now a dark scene with a bonfire in front. Burning anti-American pamphlets? Destroying evidence of evil? So I asked ....

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.

Maybe vaguely reminiscent of the shepards in the fields, guarding their flocks by night, but I'm guessing the only angels visiting came to those who were smoking :P

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas peace

Daniel says:
hey I'm probably going to hit the hay now
Daniel says:
Merry Christmas to all
Diane says:
Merry Christmas in the best way of all. We share the gift that knows no geography or time. Be at peace and know you are loved and missed. Sleep well.

An opportunity!

In talking with Daniel today about things Christmas, we had the following discussion.

Daniel says:
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
Diane says:
Anything you would recommend?
Daniel says:
ummm....warm garments? If you wanted to send big boxes, but other than that I really don't know, foods and goodies are good
Diane says:
What sort of warm? Civilian clothes or wool sock sorts of things?
Daniel says:
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
Diane says:
Can you take a guess at sizes?
Daniel says:
larges, maybe, a medium or two
Diane says:
How many terps?
Daniel says:
ummm....lets see there is josh, Kareem, Lewaid, Steve, I don't know the rest, but there are about.....7 maybe

If you look at the slideshow, or see any pictures of the troops in Iraq, occasionally you'll see a soldier with his face covered. If you look, you'll notice an Iraqi flag patch on his sleeve, even though he's attired as a US soldier otherwise. These are the LN (Local Nationals) who risk their lives and even the lives of their families to act as interpreters for the troops. They live on base but do not get the full kit the US soldiers are issued, and are not allowed to go into the PX to buy things for themselves. Daniel is concerned they are cold, have no toiletries and are still willing to do what they do, at great personal cost.
If you're reading this and have a soldier deployed, they have "terps" assigned to their unit. A gift at Christmas to these invaluable aides would be a great thing and you can send to your soldier with instructions to pass them on. If they are confused, tell them Daniel says its a good thing.

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

After the flood

It has been an eventful couple of weeks. We have survived the Washington floods, the wind, the cold and the airplane ride you don't want to repeat. These coupled with Daniel's busy-ness and lack of communication, and I haven't published in a bit.
We received a packaged with some jewelry, money and a disc of pictures he had taken. I have posted them in the left margin. If you are reading this and are a 2-2 relative, I hope you see someone you know and it brings you joy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Oh the weather outside is frightful

It's raining bullets while the troops are doing humanitarian aid. Snipers are taking shots at the delivery by the US Army of school supplies. Not little things like pencils, but truck loads of desks, chalk boards, television monitors and DVD players.

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!