Friday, May 30, 2008

The Long and Winding Road

When I spoke with Daniel last, he said he needed to get to bed because they had a long mission ahead of them, which of course he couldn't talk about. He was worried about doing so much walking in this heat.
I haven't heard back since, so I am hoping they are back safe and sound.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I had all sorts of interesting things I wanted to say about this piece from the Seattle Times today, but I think I'll let it stand on its own.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Humor in Uniform

Daniel has a picture he entitled "Two Worlds," which I had seen before. Jessica, wife of previously photographically featured Locke, sent me some pics of Daniel and it included that one. I post for your amusement.

Archie Bunker

It's "all in the family." They target each other; picking off a GI is just gravy. These people are happiest when they "resolve" feuds by taking out other Iraqi's who might have a different sect belief, or whose ancestor may have offended their ancestor. It doesn't matter the reason.

The sector Fox Company is in is relatively quiet. The population is much less dense than when they were in Baghdad and consequently there is much less noise. Small arms fire is almost nonexistent. That's the good news. The bad news is the criminals are much more likely to use IED's.

There haven't been any US injuries here since February, but Daniel reports they were busy over the weekend killing each other.

Anyone who believes the fall election will bring a speedy exodus of troops from this area is delusional. There is not a savvy politician alive who is willing to take the PR fallout from the massacre which will occur when these internally warring factions are unrestrained.

Daniel ventures that within 7 years, Baghdad will become a duty station.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I was cleaning Daniel's room after his leave, getting it ready for his grandparents' visit next month. I came across a brochure which given the Memorial Day weekend, I thought appropriate to share.

This is Perez' Baghdad memorial service program. This is the one his brother's in arms shared with each other.

Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thank you!

It's Memorial Day weekend, when we honor those who have fallen in service to their country.

Just like, "I love you," I firmly believe, "Thank you" should be said when the person to whom it is directed is able to receive it.

Thank you to all who have served, who are serving and the families of those who are no longer with us.

Courage is not the absence of fear
but the williness to act, regardless.

How hot was it?

I've been trying to find a widget to put Ba'qubah weather on the blog, but it has been an unfruitful search. When I talked with Daniel this morning I told him it had been 111ยบ today. He said he knew it had been hot, but hadn't realized it was *that* hot. Ah well, just a preview of the really hot days to come.
The mess with chow [pun intended] has been resolved. The supplies orders for the previous squad left when they did, and now new supply orders have worked through the red tape so the troops are actually eating! Daniel said the first chow they were served took everyone about 2 minutes to down . They were quite thankful!

Daniel has been doing some photo work for a guy in his squad who is an aspiring rap artist. He has posted 3 of his pictures to his myspace account. [The link only works if you have a myspace account and are signed in, so belatedly I have posted the pictures here]

He's been learning a photo editing software, so the added verbiage is his work as well!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Food related anagram

Microwave popcorn can be rearranged to spell "vaccine worm or pop." It's important that you know these things!

Food in general

...With plenty o' popcorn. Extra butter?
Daniel says:
Yes please. food is kind of scarce around here so far. I haven't eaten much. Cup noodles and other such boil-water only things would be good. Even in the heat it's still food and easy to make.
The other things he enjoys are semi-spicy things like chili. He says if you leave a can out in the sun; it's pretty darned warm when you want to enjoy it.

He's not fond of dried fruit and thinks protein bars are a last resort, but if you feel inclined to send something, I would hazard he won't turn it down. I am also guessing he's lost the 15 pounds he gained on leave!

Monday, May 19, 2008

More Corn

Talking to Daniel as I type -- he says they have a microwave in their building and his top request for packages is ...... Microwave popcorn!

Who's the leader of the club?

Corn on the COP

I'm so glad he's at the new COP because when he calls, there is no satellite echo. It's really annoying to listen yourself talk!

There is Internet, although they can't purchase it individually, and there is VoIP phone service, which is cheaper than the AT&T calling card.

The chow is shipped over from FOB Warhorse, which was the best part of the FOB. They don't get choices on what they eat, but the food is good and he doesn't have to walk half an hour to get it.

He said it is more humid than in the Rashid district, which surprised me. He also said that may have been his perception since it was his first patrol with kit on and he was sweating like a pig. Side note - I'm so glad he's past puberty. When he would run cross country, you didn't want to be in a closed car with him as the hormones burned off with the sweat!

He has a new address. If I haven't sent it to you and you want it, drop a comment with your email. I'll send you his address and delete your comment so you won't become spam-fodder. Bring on the packages, he says!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Camp Warhorse can be rearranged to spell "Search War Mop"

Just thought you should know.

OK I lied

It wasn't within a couple of weeks - they went yesterday but I'll be darned if I'm going to let that on to casual information gleaners.

They are established at Camp Warhorse and Daniel called today to complain. If nothing else was worth noting, the cold drink area's refrigeration unit didn't work so it was the "lukewarm drink area."

The camp has wire fences filled with dirt which you can't see over. He says navigating it is like a maze, although I didn't hear Disneyland-like glee when he described it.

I don't have a new mail address yet.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Change of address

They're moving within the next 2-3 weeks to Diyala province, to Ba'qubah. Looking at topographical maps, it will be a little more hilly, so maybe cooler. At least it will not be so humid. Funny, you don't think of that as a desert issue, but down by the river where their sector was, it could be a problem.

The highs are in the 90's, so they're climbing into the furnace of summer. When he's older and his children say, "Dad, I'm hot!" he will probably say, "Let me tell you about hot ......"

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Clarification

Daniel is still in the BIAP, a ring of FOB's around Baghdad International. He has not able to rejoin his company because of low visibility due to sandstorms.

When he eventually rejoins them, they are moving to Camp Warhorse where they will be assigned to the 4/2SCR temporarily. He does anticipate the snail mail address change, but only the zip code. I'll post the new one here as soon as I know it.

I'm loving him being there because 1) he's not being shot at 2) he's getting regular meals and sleep and 3) he has Internet! Woohoo.

Tea Time and Mortars

Daniel says:
oh yeah, apparently. If I wanted to , I could join the British army, and keep time in service, and rank when if I were to join. interesting fact of the day.
Daniel says:
(they pay in pounds)
Diane says:
Don't you have to be a British citizen?
Daniel says:
Diane says:
Daniel says:
we were talking to some British soldiers and they said we could sign a contract while we are here to join their army.
Diane says:
And the advantage would be...? Other than getting paid in pounds?
Daniel says:
a LOT better equipment, a Much more funded and cared about military.
Diane says:
shorter time in service?
Daniel says:
and pounds
Daniel says:
don't know, didn't ask. not really interested in staying in any military
Diane says:
But they could take you to England for training. It is lovely there. Nice vacation and you could bunk with the future heir to the throne. All in all, it could be much worse.

And another inane bit of chit and chat. I hope I won't get him in trouble with Homeland Security by divulging this

Diane says:
Matt's now eating a day old donught. Nothing better than stale pastry.
Daniel says:
cold pizza? day/week old popcorn?
Diane says:
Cold pizza, yes. Old popcorn is nasty and makes your breath smell bad so girls don't want to suck your neck. Stay away from it if you ever want to have children.
Daniel says:
well at least we agree about the pizza. I don't think I agree with your theory of a new form of contraceptive. I don't think its as affective as you think
Diane says:
Trust me, dad and I could have potentially had 27 children except he insisted on eating old popcorn. You're lucky to be alive bucko!
Daniel says:
ok then

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Gotta speak the lingo!

I can't tell you how many times I have asked Daniel to "go smallest to largest," organization wise for me.

This morning, looking at Stryker News (no new names - yay!), I came across the following article, which may help clarify if you're like me and can't get the org chart straight to save your socks :).

The picture is of booty discovered in a raid. Daniel thought it was funny.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Back in the saddle again

So he's back in Baghdad and it's 105 degrees. Quite a change from the snow he experienced when he was here. The chopper which was to ferry him back to the FOB was cancelled, as were all chopper sorties. Instead he's to phone his squad (why am I thinking of ET?) and they will send someone to get him.

They will be moving to another FOB, so he asks you to hold off on packages in case he gets a new mail address. It probably wouldn't be any different other than the zip code, but he'd rather not have to have packages "catch up" to him - he's not sure they do that very well

Saturday, May 3, 2008


After asking Daniel to do a "guest" blog, it apparently won't happen. He's on his way back to the Sandbox. He reports he gained 15 pounds (woohoo) and his flight from SeaTac to DFW put him in too late to catch the flight to Kuwait. The US gave him a complimentary overnight at a hotel near the airport and he's scheduled to fly out this afternoon, most likely.

They have until late September or early October in Iraq, then to Kuwait for outprocessing and debriefing (making sure no one wants to go off and get weird), then back to Germany for at least 90 days. After that comes the breath holding. The goal is to stay with the 2-2 SCR, which is not scheduled for a re-deployment for at least a year. If they get transferred to another unit, he could go back for a 2nd stint. He would like to come home and get on with education and the rest of his life.

It was wonderful to have him here. Please stick him back in your prayers for safety.