Monday, July 6, 2009

The Road To Iraq (Part Two)

Continuing the saga...

So over a hundred tired, smelly troops descended upon the military Logistics Support Area (LSA), offloaded duffle bags and combat gear in a pile next to the road, and watched our buses drive away in a cloud of diesel exhaust. The rumor that quickly spread throughout the ranks was that we would be assigned temporary billeting, and fly out early the next morning. Well, like most Army rumors, this one was complete and utter hopeful speculation. Reality proved to be much different, as we moved our baggage four times to accomodate newly-arrived units who actually did have flight and/or billeting reservations. The boredom was alleviated by the discovery of a McDonald's 200 meters from our position, and the plague of junk food consuming locusts immediately moved in that direction. I kept one of my detachment buddies company as she headed for a rendevous with a Big Mac, but we had no sooner reached the order window when we were notified to haul ass back to the passenger terminal. We learned that since the first tactic had failed, we were all signing up for "Space A" rosters for our respective flights. Yippee, more lines to stand in!
Our collective karma improved the next day, after a sleepless night on a bed of duffle bags...spent throwing small rocks at camel spiders...those suckers can really move! My detachment got on a C-17 flight to an airbase in Southern Iraq (It's like flying inside of a warehouse, but aside from the combat descent, it was a reasonably comfortable experience.). The CID office here arranged for quarters, and picked us up at the terminal. Part of our detachment will be taking over here, while the remaining four of us head to our own FOB by helicopter. This base is pretty civilized, with an amazing chow hall, and apparently makes our FOB seem like Khe Sanh...
So, what's Iraq like? Well, everyone is carrying guns, and there are blast walls covering every structure...sandbagged bunkers are located within easy reach, and it continues to be hotter than I've ever experienced. Some of the coalition troops remain, but are on their way home shortly. (Love hearing the Aussies tell war stories in the DFAC...too funny!) And for a guy like me who actually likes non-alcoholic beer, it's paradise, because that's the only kind of beer available here. Lots of varieties, and it is dirt cheap for the Becks and St Pauli Girl brands.
OPSEC considerations prevent me from adding too much detail, but suffice to say the war is still in progress.
I'll post again once I've reached my FOB...Leprechaun Out!


  1. Dave! you are the greatest writer ever!am so glad I learned how to find your blog. Sending a gallon of dulce de leche and one of coffee next post (I wish)
    Love you in Austin

  2. Hey favorite leprechaun!
    soooo very glad you are writing this blog-even though you are so far away-I feel so happy that I can just sit down at my computer-and there you are! I know I am not alone when I say thank you so much for taking the time to write such vivd details of your journey! I am going to have to get a book that explains all of the abbreviations you army people use-can you suggest one! love you so much-the description of the volunteers in the airport brought tears to my eyes- you take care-we love you! me, Mike and Ginger

  3. Dangerous Dave--glad to hear that they transported you on a decent aircraft! I hate the combat descents too. So cool to be able to keep up with your travels & experiences. Stay safe and God's speed!

  4. Shellster! Welcome aboard. I checked to see if you were our loadmaster on the C-17, was bummed out when you weren't.