Team update - 08 February 06
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.