Live from Baghdad

My adventures in Iraq.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

False Modesty

My wife called me out for not sharing the news of my award. The Commanding General of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Lt. General Carl Strock (that’s 3-stars), was in Iraq this week and held a “Town Hall” meeting at our Gulf Region Central District headquarters at Camp Victory.

The Army has a tradition where the Commander of any organization has coins made up with the name and insignia of the organization, which can then be handed out for recognition of merit. For instance, the colonel that commands the Los Angeles District office (my normal job) has a coin. My new coin has three stars on it.

Monday, March 21, 2005

120 days (and counting)

Last night I ran into two guys that I processed through Fort Bliss with a lifetime ago. Okay, so it's only been four months, but that means that today is my original deployment end date. The guys I saw last night were flying out today and I could have been on that plane.

I was depressed for a moment as I want to see my wife three days from now, not two months. But then I realized that I'm not done in Iraq. Not quite. It took me three months to figure things out and only in the last four weeks have I begun to make my mark. We have a dozen infrastructure project about to come online and I want to be here to watch clean water flowing. We're kicking off a program to provide Iraqi engineers with operations and maintenance training to leave a legacy of working facilities.

I'm on the last lap now, it's not time to quit.

Friday, March 11, 2005

40 days and 40 nights

It's been raining for two straight days. If this keeps up, I'm building an ark.

Monday, March 07, 2005

War Blog

The two things I remember most about Gulf War I are Wolf Blitzer on CNN and "smart bombs." It's probably too early to tell what will stick with me the longest from this war, but I'm guessing that three things will be near the top: embedded reporters, digital cameras, and war blogs.

Embedded reporters have provided a frontline view of the invasion, for better or worse. Digital cameras have captured more images of Iraq than any battlefield in history. And war blogs have recorded the thoughts of soldiers and civilians alike.

I just stumbled across another great blog, called Birding Babylon. A Civil Affairs soldier spent a year in Iraq, but kept up with his hobby.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Telling the Truth

Those of you who read my previous post titled "Nothing Happening" about our PSD convoys before I deleted it will remember the following excerpt:
[Our PSD's] favorite weapon seems to be half-liter water bottles. He tosses these like a Nolan Ryan fastball at the windshield of cars that don't pull to the side of the road quickly enough in his estimation. He actually has a little rack of water bottles mounted inside the turret [of his Humvee].
This particular comment seemed to get the most attention of the entire post. Thus, I found it ironic when it was reported recently that a rumour was making the rounds among Iraqis in Baghdad that, "US soldiers have been witnessed throwing glass bottles at civilian Iraqi vehicles."

Pretty easy to see where the rumor started.