Sunday, July 31, 2005

Hi, all. Just a quick posting today. I start these things at the "house" and then almost a week goes by, and I'm still fooling with them. Guess I'll post what I got.

Man, you would not believe the biggest issues we seem to have these days. Right now it is air conditioning; who has it, and who doesn’t. Who takes matters into their own hands and removes swamp coolers from other buildings to “install” as wall units into their rooms. Who threatens Neville the A/C repair guy with cutting the power cords of all the a/c units if Neville doesn’t fix his room NOW (and this guy's a/c hasn’t worked since we got here). It has honestly been one of those days where I spent about 15 minutes on actual tactical issues and 12 hours on the most ridiculous, non-tactical, sanity-draining issues you have ever seen. Iraqi interpreters who don’t like Jordanian interpreters; Iraqi soldiers who bust the locks on two empty rooms (signed for by Marines) and take the bunkbeds out across the parking lot in broad daylight. It IS the Twilight Zone. The nickname for Iraq is “the IZ” for some reason. I think I will start calling it “the TZ”.

Working with the Iraqis is kind of like playing poker. We have our cards (gear, assets, money, knowledge); they have theirs (native personnel, speak Arabic, have ALL of the “boots on the ground”). Each day, each conversation, each operation is exactly like playing another poker hand. There are days when it feels like playing five games of multi-dimensional poker. Luckily, our guys are pretty good poker players, but it can get tiring. As Marines, we’re used to making the plan, executing the plan, giving orders, following orders, etc. These guys are not as… exact. You have to see the consequences, the give-and-take, over the LONG run. If I win this hand, what will the cost be tomorrow. If I shame them into going to Ramadi on schedule, what will they NOT do for me next week. This is the Land of Unintended Consequences.

Other news: the new battalion which took over from 1/506th is the 1/110th, a Pennsylvania National Guard outfit. They are a good unit, and I think that we and they will have a great working relationship. Their CO is a former Marine, and since half of our team is from Pennsylvania, we have started off on great terms with them. We all have a really good impression of these guys.

I’m off for now. Hey, if there are any specific questions that anyone has out there, about the camp, about the area, about the equipment we have, please let me know. I feel like I am just rambling sometimes, and would be glad to address questions and comments from the peanut gallery.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Wayne T. Peterson said...

Keep rambling, son. You are keeping us informed and we appreciate it a lot.

31 July, 2005 19:56  
Blogger radkesintx said...

I second that!!!

01 August, 2005 01:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me three....

We are Canadian but we sure support what you are doing there.....

Good luck bubba - our prayers are with you.



Fred & Barb

01 August, 2005 14:37  
Anonymous mrsgyellis said...

I haven't talked to anyone who doesn't enjoy this site. Keep up the good work.

01 August, 2005 17:05  
Blogger vmijpp said...

ET:

evil clown here, living up to my name again. just had a flash of brilliance. CHECK YOUR EMAIL SOONEST. keep moving forward, though the going be ten steps forward and nine steps backward. that tenth step wins the war. and keep your heads down.

sf

jpp

01 August, 2005 17:47  
Anonymous Jenn DeWalt said...

Stumbled upon your blog today, while searching out anything having to do with Camp H. My cousin, Lt. Scott Crum, just recently arrived with the 1/110th. Any chance you've met him? He's a medic, and a damned good one! If you should happen to run across him, tell him he should set up a blog like this - I'd love to be able to read stuff like this and see pics like this from him. You've got a great thing going here!

Know that I, personally, am deeply grateful for all you're doing. Freedom isn't free, and I thank you for being there!! Best of luck, and my prayers are with you!

Jennifer D.
Lancaster, PA
USA!

02 August, 2005 23:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Kid.
Just the "old man" here. I have half of Ocala tuned in to you. I get comments like "your better than CNN."
Stay tough and safe.

Jack

06 August, 2005 04:46  
Anonymous Tom said...

Major,

I found your site looking for information about Camp Habbaniyah. My friend, Doug Etter, is a chaplain with the new battalion from PA. Thanks for all the work you and your soldiers are doing.

Tom
Erie, PA

07 August, 2005 06:27  
Anonymous L Crum, Lititz,Pa said...

Just found your site, Thanks and Thanks again. My son is with 1/110th and can't comunicate much yet. You have helped me see some of the things he is seeing. He's the silient type. All of you stay safe.

15 August, 2005 01:46  
Anonymous Martin Wesson said...

This may not sound like much. I am proud of all you people doing your jobs. I know this sounds crappy, but I wanted to join you, but the local recruiter said the Army does not want ols men like me. I am 39 now, and wanted to enlist when I was 37. Well, we will have to fight here before it is all over with as long as the wuss American liberals have their say.

24 August, 2005 08:01  
Anonymous Momma M said...

Thank you for Blogging. Keep up the good work!!! Praying for you guys. Our soldier son is with 1/110 PA Guards. Love seeing your pictures. It means more than you will know.

25 August, 2005 17:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok im looking for my husband ed walls, he is with the 1/110

09 October, 2005 18:49  

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