Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Team update - 08 February 06

Hi all,

Unbelieveably… incredibly… undeniably… this may well be my last blog entry from Ramadi, and from Iraq.

As mentioned earlier, our replacements arrived more than a week ago. There are 10 Marines and one Navy Corpsman. The head of the team is Maj David Richardson. Capt Leo Gregory, my replacement, actually knows LtCol Garay from when they worked together for PP&O at Quantico. They are not (almost) all artillery guys like we have been. A couple of artillery guys, a couple of infantry grunts, an amtracker, a couple of school trained intelligence guys. They all seem like great Marines and sailors, and I think we are leaving 3-2-1 in good hands. I am sure that they are ready for us to leave, too. Besides living four to a small room (imagine your college freshman dorm, but littered with rifles, pistols, helmets and flak jackets), they are ready to take the reins. And we are ready to hand them over.

I will tell you, it has been strange handing this mission and this battalion off to a new team, more so than I had expected. That is NOT to say that I am extending, or am interested in sticking around for another seven months. But we now have a lot of history and a lot of personal and professional pride in what we have done, and now we a handing the keys over to completely new guys. Strange.

From here, we will lift via CH-46 to Taqqadum (TQ), across the street from Habbaniyah, where this all started for us. After a couple of days there, it will be on to Kuwait and then to Cherry Point, NC and Camp Lejeune. Hopefully, we will only be there a couple of days, then it will be back to our families, back to our civilian jobs (for some of us), and back home. As far as the blog goes, I will maintain it for a while longer. Once everyone is home, and safe, I will post a few more stories of what we were up to over here. I will move from “G” to “PG”; you will have to hit your Marine up for the “R” versions of stuff. Our guys did do some pretty amazing things, and some things that we found to be “old hat”, you, gentle reader, would be probably be interested in.

It is now a beautiful sunny day in Ramadi. About 68 degrees, slightly overcast, light breeze. The flies aren’t out in force yet, the mud is drying up, the turnover is nearly complete. We ain’t home yet, but you can see it from here.

You want some funny stuff, you say? Hmmmmmm. Had one of the new lieutenants ask the other day, “Hey, sir, is that a Dagger (an IED clearing vehicle)?” “No,” I said, “that is a forklift.”

Ha ha ha ha ha! I thought that was pretty funny, but I guess you’d have to be here a while.

Look, gotta run. Still very busy. Will post again as soon as I can. I am having trouble posting any pictures from here now for some reason, but I will put some up as soon as I can.

22 Comments:

Blogger radkesintx said...

WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

08 February, 2006 22:38  
Blogger marrusmc said...

XO,

From the bottom of my heart....

THANK YOU

please tell the rest of the team.

08 February, 2006 23:57  
Blogger Andrew L. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

09 February, 2006 00:11  
Anonymous Agnieszka O. said...

Great news!

09 February, 2006 00:18  
Anonymous Anne Gregory said...

I am so glad to hear things are well! Leo has certainly had a lot to say about his first few days with all of you! I think he is excited to take the reins! I would love to welcome you back home, and put real faces to the names! If you can, let me know your arrival at Camp Lejeune. Maybe I can treat the team to a decent meal and some well deserved beers! Safe journey home!

Anne Gregory

09 February, 2006 02:46  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Well, I know you passed on your "lessons learned", I just hope the newbys listened and will remember.

Congrats and good luck with your journey back to "The World".

Just remember, it won't be like you remembered it.

Until then,
Continue the Mission.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

09 February, 2006 06:14  
Anonymous Wayne T. Peterson, PE said...

Can't wait until you get to LeJeune and we get to see you.

We love you.

Dad Peterson and Patty

09 February, 2006 07:05  
Blogger KARMENandKAMRYN said...

Thank God for answered prayers and THANK YOU for all that you've done as a group and individually.

09 February, 2006 12:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AWESOME....Get home safe

09 February, 2006 15:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Captain Rush -
We all look forward to you getting home safe. Thanks to all of you.

Eric

09 February, 2006 15:34  
Blogger Bag Blog said...

I have been following your blog for a while now, and I will miss the great pictures and comments. Thanks for all you have done. Soon you will be home for spring in the Hill Country. Stay safe.

09 February, 2006 16:34  
Anonymous mrsgyellis said...

Thanks for all of your hard work on the blog. It has been a great resource for feeling close to all of you. Nothing like well placed humor to get us all through this experience. Thaks for keeping my Marine safe inspite of his "small ego" and "light snoring". Safe travels to you all and can't wait to have everyone home.

09 February, 2006 18:27  
Blogger Mike Coogan said...

Semper Fi, Marines. It'll be good to have you all home!

09 February, 2006 19:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be good to have you back in the USA. Whenever you get time, there is an open invitation to come see Cub Scout Pack 173.
Until then, Take Care!
and thanks so much for all that you do: and to your families~ that goes double!

-Steve Scarlett
Wolf Den Leader
Cub Scout Pack 173
Bowling Green, VA
*since 1958*

09 February, 2006 21:44  
Blogger bossysiskit said...

Thank you for everything. This blog was a life saver at times. Loved all the stories and pictures. Have a safe journey home. God's Speed!!!

Kittee

09 February, 2006 22:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THIS IS THE BEST NEWS THAT I HAVE HEARD IN A LONG TIME!

AM I YELLING??? *&^% STRAIGHT! I am also jumping up and down!!

WE LOVE YOU UNCLE ERIK!!

XOXOOXOX Jill and Isa

09 February, 2006 23:58  
Blogger Call Me Grandma said...

May God bless you for all that you do. Have a safe trip home and thank you.

10 February, 2006 04:07  
Blogger dyzgoneby said...

Thank you for all that you and your Marines have done for us back home.

My Marine is one of the replacements, just not where your at.

Job Well Done and Semper Fi!

10 February, 2006 05:36  
Anonymous 1SG J.R. Sodan USA Ret. said...

TEAM MED-FAH
Thank all of you for your dedicated service to all of us. Guys I sincerely hope all of you make it back to the "WORLD" in the most expiditious manner possible. Start accounting for all the sensitive items-pack up the diddy bags-mount the "BIG IRON FREEDOM BIRD" and wave bye bye. We all want you "HOME" safe and fast.

10 February, 2006 13:52  
Anonymous a texasmom said...

My son is in Kilo, 3/7. We have not seen any pictures since he arrived, so it's been great to look at yours and feel a little closer to him. I especially like the shot of the Texas flag flying next to the Marine Corps Flag.

I know you are all looking forward to the end of the deployment, but he assures me that it's one day at a time till the end. I am glad to know the focus is still there, you know we moms are worryworts, it's our nature.

Hoping that you all stay safe and sound,

Semper Fi,
a Lance Corporals's mom

11 February, 2006 04:39  
Blogger radkesintx said...

Thank you so much for maintaining this blog! It has truly provided a great deal of comfort and a connection to y'all!


Elizabeth Radke

11 February, 2006 20:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I join the rest of your well wishers in waiting on your return. Thank-you for keeping up the blog so we knew what was going on in your lives. Erik, we have missed you and we anxiously await your arrival at home. To everyone in your team thank-you for all of your hard work, the time away from your loved ones and all that you have done. Come home safe!
"Old Teach"

12 February, 2006 06:25  

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