Like many things I have done, I started a journal on the way to Iraq. It didn't get very far. The next couple enties are some of my thoughts on the way over there.
19 OCT 05: Bangor, Maine
We landed here after leaving McChord AFB. After instructions from the flight attendant, I led the company off the plane. After going through a long walkway, I turned the corner. There were about 25 people lined up and started clapping as we came down the final ramp. I wasn't ready for that. I stopped and let about 20 Soldiers go first- I needed to make sure I could make it through without crying. After shaking hands and getting hugs, one of the men handed me a cell phone to call my family. I called Janey and felt like crying. I talked to Jonnie and felt like crying. After the last 36 hours, I think my emotions are just a little bit raw. I called Jessica because I didn't have a chance to talk to her before I left- she was surprised. She said that she is feeling better but doens't understand why someone would want to be pregnant more than once! We walked back on the plane after going through the emotional gauntlet of hugs and handshakes again. Another 8-10 hours and we wil be in Germany.
I realized this morning as we got on the plane that I have a huge responsibility. A couple of Colonels that came to see us off made the comment that I was the "only Daddy now- Take care of your kids." I worry about losing someone (or more) while we are there. I pray I can bring everyone home.
21 OCT 05: Camp Beurhing, Kuwait
Germany was nothing but a warehouse. The USO had a few tables set up that gave out free coffee and cookies. I tell ya': the USO is awesome. They were great in Maine and they helped out a lot in Germany. Oh yeah, we landed in Stuttgart. It was about 2 hours in a warehouse surrounded by a 10 foot fence topped with concertina wire. I will always donate money to the USO.
When we got back on the plane- nothing special happened. I have no idea how long the flight was, I guess about 5 hours. When we landed- the landscape wasn't much different than the Mojave desert. After getting off the plane, we loaded busses and went to the "staging area". I guess I should say that we landed in Kuwait City. After an hour in the staging area, SGT XXXX from the movement control team out of Fort Eustis told us to pick two shooters per bus and send them over to get their ammo. Each bus sent two Soldiers. They were briefed on when to shoot and what to expect from the drivers. Our driver was from Bangledesh. He started talking to one of the shooters from my bus and asked a lot of questions: "Who is the highest ranking officer"; "How many Soldiers"; "Where are we going in Iraq", etc. Sgt XXXX, the questionee, handled him excellently. He told him that we didn't have any officers. He pointed to me and told him that I was just a sergeant, not an officer. I slid out and reported the passive information gathering. I was told they do that all the time.
We finally left and spent the next two hours on the road to get here. It also sems a lot like Fort Irwin. So far, we have moved 223 Soldiers around the world, gotten into Kuwait and had no accidents. We are sleeping in four tents; 1 for females and two platoons in each of the otehr three. Cots and wooden floors keep us out of the sand. We have to do a couple of small things tomorrow, but in reality, tomorrow, Saturday, and maybe Sunday will be pretty slow. Its a little past 2 AM and I am finally getting tired and think I may go to sleep.
Feelings: I feel like my insides are shrivelled because my best friend is 1/2 way around the world. I miss Janey and the boys. Mainly I miss the company they provide and the love they show.