Very small update: The time changed in Iraq. So now, they are GMT+2 instead of GMT+3. So, noon in PA is 8pm here.
I finally got to get ahold of Danielle last night. The last several times I've called her, I've always just missed her. The one time, she was at the fair, the next time she was working a 16-hour shift (and where she works, she's not really allowed on the phone), the day after that I had just missed her leaving the house. However, I called at 1240am our time and got her as she was getting to the house. Well, the first time I missed her because my phone cut out, but the second time, I got her. It was very good to talk to her after all this time. She was doing good... somewhat upset over a test that she had studied for and flunked. I feel bad for her because I know she works really hard at her studies. She'll get a chance to retake it, but I think it kind of gave her some self-doubt. Anyways, her dad had apparently turned the oven on with a pan in it that had a plastic handle. She discovered this and pulled it out and ran water on it. When her dad came in, she told him about it in all seriousness, and I heard his reply "That's a darn shame" in a not so serious tone. I'm pretty darn sure I like this guy, and I don't even know him. I just like his laid-back reactions to things. She told me about the time that I knocked her into a fence at Hershey Park and he's like "good job". Anyways, I've come to learn that Danielle doesn't know about stone soup. This has shocked and amazed me. I asked if she had been home-schooled, and she asked if I was insulting her. So I asked if she thought home-schooling was worse than public school, and she said no, but thought I was saying that. Well it turns out that neither of us look down on home-schooling, and in fact, she isn't home-schooled. So, I am in even more shock that she doesn't know about stone soup. How could society fail her in this way? I gave her a mission to find out about stone soup. BTW, this whole stone soup fiasco (as it's being called in popular media) came as a result of what we know how to cook, which came as a result of the pan in the oven. I had stated that I would never have that problem of turning the oven on with a plastic pan in it. Why? Because I don't use an oven unless it has the word "microwave" or "toaster" in front of it. So, to make a long story longer, I somehow am now required to cook her a meal that isn't a noodle when I get home. No problem. Popcorn's a meal, right?
Well, I've been at the internet cafe for 5 days now and things are working out pretty good. I got a helper, and we worked it out where he takes the morning shift (5am-10pm) and I take the "evening" shift (8am-midnight) so we both get a decent amount of sleep and both of are covering during the busy times of the day. Some other good news is that I did my laundry and pulled out a fresh set of camies from the ol' seabag. I spent a couple hours arranging my gear. Now all my clean clothes are accessible from the footlocker and everything else is in the bags. Gee, I know this must sound really exciting to all of you tuning in at home. Well, in truth the job isn't the most exciting one. I had my excitement last year, and while if they wanted me to get some more this year I would, I don't mind sitting this one out. I do hear the "exciting" stories. However, they aren't actually exciting so much as they are troubling. A buddy of mine got hit by an IED and fortunately only a bit of it hit his arm. He's fine and will be back out on the road in a few days. I appreciate everyone's prayers for me and my unit, and I ask everyone to please keep it up. I know I will continue to pray for the rest of my unit and other servicemembers out here.
For all ya people keeping track... I got it! I have just moved into the internet cafe in Iraq and will be running it for the next 7 months. Now if you'll excuse me, I have more skating to do. :}
Well, all worked out well. We got into the air field on the 14th, and made our way into Fallujah by the 16th. They have decent internet access here, but the actuall facilities are crowded. Basically, everything is overcrowded with the number of Marines living here and all the generators are overloaded, meaning we can't run all the "niceties", but otherwise the base is pretty nice.
Well, we have another flight scheduled for late tonight... anyone taking bets on wether we make to Iraq this time or not? In other news, I managed to get a shower and put on the same stinky clothes again. I won't really get into my good clothes until we can really unpack. I'll keep people posted as time permits. :}
Touched down in Kuwait last night (9/11, a very commemorative date) and on our way to Iraq tonight. Things have improved a lot since last time. Lots of niceties, I suppose to contrast the bad situation going on outside the firm bases. Anyways, thanks for everyone's support and prayers. If anyone would like to write:
3/5 H&S CO MOTOR T
FPO AP 96426-0380
I'll post more as time permits. Perhaps a nice log of my take on the war will be possible this time. Cheers!
Well, when we invaded Iraq last year, it was hailed as the largest inland movement by marines in history. Last night was perhaps the most inefficient movement by marines in history. We boarded a c-130 and took off, flew for about 15 minutes, and then you could feel the plane banking yet again, and sure enough, we were turning around. We landed back in Kuwait due to a hydraulic leak that they somehow didn't catch prior to take off. We then waited at the air station for two hours before taking a bus back to camp. We could be waiting one day, or we could be waiting a full week. I have this vision of us spending the next 7 months attempting to get to Iraq and failing. "Police Iraq? We can't even get there!".