Monday, February 28, 2005

Things are calm.

Things are still going well here. I've been working hard trying to get up to speed on the different projects going on and getting to know the different people in charge of all the different areas around the sector.

They all seem pretty good as far as the caring goes. The problems I seem to run into is the organizational abilities of some people. Which is to be expected, all the people who've been in charge for the last thirty five years are now in jail, dead or on the run. It will take a while for them to get the hang of things.

I'll post again soon. Hope everyone is safe.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


So today I went to my first contractors meeting. At this meeting we discuss current projects, future ones and then put out a few for the contractors to bid on.

When we first started doing this, the US Army was in charge of everything. We picked what projects were going to be done, where and when. Every so often we transfer more of the power over to the local Iraqi governments.

This is where we seem to run into problems. The local councils appoint an engineer to look over, alter and change the scopes of the projects. The guy who was appointed in my area runs off of a different time than anyone else. We give him a project to look over and then he sits on it for weeks, so we have a hard time putting the job up for the contractors to bid on them.

The council is talking of replacing him. Hopefully they'll pick someone a little more proactive.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Insh Allah.

I don't know how it's spelled so I guessed.

I means, 'If God wills it' or 'God willing'.

I've discovered that it's basically a way of life here.

Today while out in sector, we came across a suspected car bomb. As we warned people who felt the need to walk by it or go right up to it to check it out, that's what they said, 'Insh Allah'. They honestly didn't care if their life was in danger, their way of thinking is...if it's their time to go, they're going to go.

I also met tons of wonderful people today. They are extremely kind and generous. The kids are beautiful and they are all polite.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

One life taken, one life given.

My first day in Iraq was an eventful one for my unit.

The Ashura festival is ongoing and my battalion is tasked, along with the IPs and ING with protected the Kadimaya(sorry if it is spelled incorrectly) shrine which is in our sector. Last year, the terrorists where able to explode a number of bombs within the shrine itself. This time we did not allow them to get anywhere near the shrine. The help of the IPs and ING was immense.

Because of this they were only able to explode a bomb on the very outskirts of the town. Sadly, in that bombing, we lost one of our own. He was a good man, I did not know him personally but from everything I heard he was one of our best.

Hours later, one of my soldiers learned that his wife gave birth to a baby boy. The soldier I mentioned above gave his life so that this baby, who was born hours after his death can be free to live life as he wishes.

I hope no one forgets his sacrifice. I never will.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Being pushed back.

They keep pushing us back. It feels like we'll never get into Iraq but the time we have here is being spent wisely. We've had a ton of classes and ranges, it'll only make us better....but I just want to get there and get to work.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Being sick.

Everytime I go to a new enviroment, I seem to catch a cold.

Runny nose, sore throat and upset stomache. Typical.

What was cool though, is I saw my first herd of Camels yesterday. I didn't get to see one the first time I was here. Of course, that was during the invasion so the camel herders probably kept their livestock out of the way. I wish I had my camera with me.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Not quite in Iraq yet.

I'm just outside of it though. We're doing a last minute train up before going into Iraq proper.

It's hard to post where I am due to the limited internet connections but I'll do my best till I leave here and enter the country.

My biggest enemy right now is boredom...and a crappy keyboard. Once the training for the day is done there is not much to do but read and sleep. I don't think I'm going to have to sleep for the next week with the amount I've gotten since arriving here.

I hope this post finds everyone safe.