Sunday, March 9, 2008

This time he called for real!

You always worry when your phone rings at 3am, but this was Daniel apologizing for waking me, wanting to say hi on a precious FOB visit where they would have telephone access. The satellite kept dropping, but we managed to talk for about an hour before his bladder forced him out of the phone bank.

Lots of news. An EFP (see previous post or look up in Wickipedia for an explaination) hit one of their Stryker's right outside the COB. It sent 3 guys to Germany for extensive reconstructive surgery and there is question as to whether a fourth will be able to pull through. Please pray for all four men.

Daniel said their base is a lot more difficult than the FOB. There is no offset - the civilian population is across the street (which is where the EFP was located). He said the sector is heating up again and he appreciates your prayers. They will be there till probably September.

Noteworthy tidbits:

  1. It's getting warmer in Baghdad (he described it as the downward spiral into hell fire temperatures). My last package for him included chocolate, which he said arrived melted. No more chocolate, although Lynn, the brownies he said would probably be fine if you seal them. Really, feel free to send them, he said.

  2. He is hopefully coming up on leave and was quite specific about what that means.
  • He wants to be alone. He said he will need significant time to be by himself to decompress.

  • He does not want to have family or group gatherings; he will see people one on one.

  • He does not want to go shopping, to the mall or to the movies. He gets very tense when a lot of people are in one place. He says he will grow out of this once he's out, but for now he survives by being alert and wary in crowds.

  • He does not want people to ask him what it's like or have him tell stories. Most of the stuff he doesn't want to think about and does only beccause it's his job.

  • He will probably not go to church for the above reasons - too many people in one place coupled with not wanting to talk about it. He asks everyone's indulgence and thanks them for their understanding.
The optical drive on his laptop is having issues and they can't use canned air to clean it because 2 bright sparks have "huffed" cans and departed this planet in their stupidity. Canned air is now a banned substance at least in their part of the Army. I am having Matt buy a cleaning kit to send in his now chocolate-less package so he can at least have his movies.

He has no indication of when his leave will be, and I told him we were quite fine with the notion we'd receive a phone call at 11:30 at night saying, "I just landed in Newark. I'll be home in 3 hours, will you pick me up?" DUH!

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