Archive for October, 2009

Out west…

I went out west for a few days… good times.  It was great to see another part of this beautiful country.   You’re like beautiful?  Most of the country is desert, but up north there are mountains and the two rivers that pass through creating what once used to be known as the fertile crescent create oasis that make you think  that maybe this was the location of Eden.

It was muddy the day I got to go out on a patrol, and though nothing exciting happened, I got lots of pics.


mosul and tal afar 053

Towards Syria

I was only out there for three days, and now I’m back in Mosul, waiting to go out again. At least the turtle got to check out a new bed and sheets.  Although, I think it was infested, I have bug bites everywhere! ow-EWWW!!

This is before the bugs... he is still happy...



October 31, 2009 at 10:51 am 5 comments

My music sucks…

Ok, this isn’t entirely true…

I’ve been listening to Kings of Leon all night and still LOVE them, but I realized that I’m kinda behind in my recent downloads.  And I have no idea who has new music out, or what is even good right now.

And so I need your help once again!!  What should I download?  I’ve already put the request out on Twitter and FB, so hopefully I will get some ideas there, but I really need help!  I am sooo out of the music scene, which is hard for me to handle.

And I listen to anything, as long as I can hum it, sing it, dance to it, or run to it… which is just about everything!


October 26, 2009 at 11:01 pm 5 comments

Such the life…

It’s been boring the last few days.  Not entirely boring, just slow on the actual war side of things.

As you should already know if you’ve been paying any attention to the news, Iraq (save Baghdad) is pretty safe.  And in many areas, they don’t have use for US Forces much anymore.

So, the last few days have been eventful in other ways.

Football has been very important this weekend.  Iowa and Iowa State both played amazing games.  Ohio State (who I know root for out of proxy) did well aslo.  The Packers won, but because the Vickings and Bear lost, my Fantasy team looked like crap this week!!

Went to a couple of barbeques, with some wonderful local food.  So I ate way to much!

And I’ve been catching up on last season of Gossip Girl! 😛  I have to have some sort of drama in my life, so why not get it from cheesy teenage television shows!

I also finished my class (I might let you know my grade later).  I can’t believe it has been eight weeks since I started it, and even longer since we’ve been here.  Despite the slow schedule, time really is flying by.  I am quite grateful for that!

Large scultpure in Mosul

Large scultpure in Mosul

A donkey and a dog...

A donkey and a dog...

October 26, 2009 at 10:38 am Leave a comment

Swannie’s IBOL video

This is too cute…

October 23, 2009 at 10:15 pm Leave a comment

Oh I hurt today… but it was still worth it!

After two days in body armour, my body hurts today.

The body armour we wear is about 25 pounds alone, but add everything else we need and you’re close to 40 pounds of extra weight.  I was not made to carry that much!

And today I am paying for it.  It had been awhile since I’d had to wear body for a long period of time, and now the spot between my shoulder blades feels like it is on fire.

But I would do it again, and I will do it again!

Here is a picture of me with some of the kids that were out yesterday.

Mosul FPHQ (Zanjali) 010

The fact that I am female and have light hair made me quite the celebrity in the neighborhood.  I had a handful of marriage proposals!

October 22, 2009 at 8:44 pm 6 comments

We ARE making a difference…

I just finished one of the best days of my Army career, short as it may be.

One of the hardest parts about being a female in the Army, especially in this war, is that it is hard to get out and talk to people.  The point of my job is to get out and talk to people, to learn about the people.  And today I did just that.

The great thing about today is that because I am a female, I was able to talk to other females.  That is something that most soldiers cannot do.

And I found out that we are making a difference here.  Slow as it may seem to everyone back home, we are making progress.  Keeping neighborhoods safe, training security forces, providing humanitarian aid.  It all helps.

Some think that we have made a mess in Iraq.  The US is a meddling, self-serving bully trying to fulfill its own agenda.  Maybe on some level we are.  But I know for a fact that the soldiers I was out with today are here for the people.  And to me that makes it all – every single day of training, the time away from my family and friends, the standard of living, all of it – worth it.

October 21, 2009 at 8:36 pm 10 comments

I moved…

Well, just temporarily.  I had to move up to a base in Ninewah (pronounced nin-ah-vah), in the northern part of Iraq.  I am just here filling in on a team while people are on leave.

I didn’t get to move everything.  I only brought two bags, and that was tough.  But I shouldn’t be here for too long. I will get to go back to Tikrit before I go on leave!

It’s different here.  Much more hilly since we are closer to the mountains.  And there is a lot more vegetation.  Trees all over post.  It’s a nice change.

I got to fly in on a helicopter.  A Chinook (or CH-47) is a helicopter with two rotors.  You’ve probably seen  pictures but here is one nonetheless.

mdsup5The ride was pretty uncomfortable as it was close quarters and the seats were not comfortable, plus we were loaded down with all our gear.  And the view wasn’t too good either…  Even though I could see out the back, it was night, and, thus, dark.  It was cool to see all the lights across the land and the large fires were interesting to watch.  It was a long ride.  We made about five stops before mine, and I was on the bird for close to three hours… I am still sore.

October 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm 6 comments

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