Continued from my earlier post Welcome Home: Guam 2002 (part 5). More e-mails from my husband to home while deployed.
“5/11/03: Hello home, On Wednesday I complete my circumnavigation of the Earth. It is kind of neat to be able to say that, but I think I would rather be home. Today I received an e-mail from the detailer discussing options for my next tour. I want to come home to Florida, but some of these options are fantastic. War College in Paris, Sidney, Toronto, England, or Tokyo. My DLI scores are such that I can pick where to go. It is just a matter of whether my timing will work out or not. After that tour I would have one more before I retire. ~G8r”
“6/10/03: I enjoyed talking with you from Bahrain. It wasn’t the greatest port, but I started to enjoy it after a while. Just like every other place I have traveled, the people are extremely friendly if you know a few words of the language, and the Arabs are just like everybody else. I researched a little bit about the culture and have studied some of the language and it has paid off. I started talking to this cab driver there. He wore a thobe (yes, spelled correctly – long white shirt/dress) and the Arab headgear. He was just making small talk about where to take us in the cab when I read the prayer card he had hanging from his rear view mirror. It turns out that I had just reviewed a chapter which discussed that exact prayer and being able to read it in Arabic impressed him. From there he started to talk about the shiites (he pronounced it ‘Shia’ without the T) and the Sunnis. He told us about which mosques to go to and who to talk to…who liked Americans and who didn’t. It was amazing (although we were told not to get into any political or religious discussions with ANYBODY). He even played some Islamic prayer music for us which was really cool. We are now back at sea and I am happy to be flying again. The instructor experience is paying off with some of the younger pilots. I find that many of the same techniques work when trying to show these guys how to fly VERTREP. We are trying to set up to fly a mission into one of the local countries where we fly people (locals) into the mountains and drop them off to fix the lights on towers. If we can make it happen we should get some spectacular flying. The locals will put us up in a hotel, and when we aren’t working we can check out the town. ~G8r”
My husband (G8r) is a Naval helicopter pilot. During this cruise, he was in charge of 2 helicopters and a group of officer pilots and enlisted personnel attached to a ship that travelled to the Middle East. Their helicopter’s mission is to deliver supplies, food, people, etc. (VERTREP = Vertical Replenishment). When he speaks of “the instructor experience,” he was a helicopter instructor 2 tours before this. On these cruises, the pilots continue to learn the “”real life” aspects of what they learn in flight training and he, as the Officer In Charge, is their teacher.
One last one…
“6/12/03: I remember working in Florida during the summer. Until now, I thought that those termperatures and conditions were amazingly hot and humid. Don’t get me wrong, they were, but…it is 9:41 a.m. here as we pull into Fujarah, United Arab Emirites. The temperature is 98 deg. and the humidity is 89%. I just checked the internet to get this information. I would send some pictures, but he haze is amazingly thick. Maybe I will just take a picture of the haze so you can see it. Unfortunately, we can’t leave the pier here. What they do is make my guys stand Entry Control Point Duty to make them stay near the pier. My guys don’t know anything about security duty (it wasn’t their job). What they have here is called beer on the pier. You walk off the boat, drink a beer, and get back on the boat. I think I would rather pour the beer on my head to cool off. What a great way to see the world. I think we should resupply in a place where the port is a little more friendly. I am allowed to discuss the port we are in once we pull in, so this is not considered ‘privileged’ information. I understand SR and the kids may be on a plane right now going back to the States. I hope they have a good trip. I am sure that they are going to enjoy seeing you guys. ~G8r”