Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A message from Mike...finally! :)

August 9, 2006

Greetings from Tallil! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything, or much less written anyone, but I’m finally settled in and doing about as well as one can in Iraq. As Colleen has posted before, I’ve been assigned to the 1/34 Brigade Troops Battalion, which is a National Guard and Reserve unit out of Minnesota. Needless to say the accents have been funny which makes all of them really hard to take seriously! But they’re all good people and all have been really supportive of my mission and have taken care of the lone sailor in the bunch.

We’re located at Camp Adder, Tallil, which is outside An Nasariyah, about halfway between Baghdad and Basra. That means we’re south, and that means it’s fricking hot! 115 is normal, and the past few days it’s been 120+. I’m really looking forward to winter. Anyway, the base is decent – we have one dining facility with pretty decent food (tons of ice cream and cheeseburgers), an Italian pizza place (lots of Italians on base; Australians and Bosnians too), a good size gym, internet cafes, phone centers and a PX. Oh, almost forgot Burger King, which isn’t very good. Pisses me off. My living “can” is pretty nice though. After ten years in the military I finally have a room to myself, and leave it to the Army to provide me with it! The heads (latrines in the Army) and showers are a 10 second walk, and we even have a laundry service with a 24 hour turn around. No maid service though, but I sleep in my Army issue sleeping bag so it doesn’t take much to straighten my room in the morning. So all in all this place isn’t too shabby. I could definitely be stuck in worse places.

Today I’m going outside the “wire” for the first time, out to visit some of our Radio Relay Points to give those guys training on what I do and on some of the systems that I was called over here to help them out with. Should be an interesting trip. Not sure what to expect really. We’re going south, which has been relatively quiet in terms of asshole insurgents, but you can’t really relax because you never know what to fully expect. Well, I don’t know, this is all new to me, but like I said, it will be interesting for sure.

That’s about it for now. With a little luck I’ll have internet connectivity in my room shortly and will then have zero excuses for writing anyone!

I love you Colleen!

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