Continued from my earlier post Welcome to Guam: 2002 (part 11). While we were stationed in Guam, my husband got a free ticket to Iraq. This was one of his first e-mails after arriving telling about the first of the many places he lived and worked while there.
“8/1/04: Home, This is a less than good place to live, but it is exciting. I am getting more comfortable with living in an oven after stumbling around yesterday and the day before. I tell you, walking around in this uniform in 115 degree heat while jet-lagging is an experience that I hope to never forget and never repeat. The crazy thing is that the office that I work in is this spectacular Palace in the middle of a lake. They keep the place so cold that many people have to wear their winter jackets and black knit covers to not freeze to death. Some people even sleep by their desks in the palace. Our encampment is not in the green zone as I had previously thought. I am located at Camp Victory South. It seemed huge the first day, but that was because I walked in circles to get places. The dufus at billeting ripped the map off of my packet, so I wound up seeing this place three or four times more than I should have. I am going to try to call you guys later; the phone center is on the other side of the encampment from the computer center. Right now I do not have any computer access at the Palace because they are still processing my clearance. Temperatures are unbelievable and should stay this way through September or October when the rains come in. Someone told me yesterday that it really pours here, but he has never been to Guam. I think I can handle it. The mud may be a bit of a pain, but I look forward to the change of seasons. Operations run pretty much 24/7 around here, so life moves quickly. I haven’t officially started yet but should meet with my boss tomorrow to get rolling. Until them I am getting my living situation set up. Nine of us live in a tent surrounded by sand bags. I have tons of room and am busy getting everything in order. I got some cool red LED lights for creeping around in the morning. I am all set. More later, G8r”
Here’s another interesting one:
“8/8/04: Yesterday I got to go to the Green Zone to brief two Major Generals. We got all suited up in our Kevlar helmets and flak jackets and stood out in the heat to wait for our rides. I expected to get HUMVEEs, but two Ford Explorers drove up and we loaded in. It was weird. We locked and loaded and drove to the green zone at Mach 5 blowing through local traffic, M-16s sticking out of the windows and our pistols in our laps. I wonder what that looks like to the locals. Baghdad is hot and miserable but so completely different that it was neat to see. When I got to the green zone and Saddam’s big palace, it was truly awesome, and I was envious of the people there. We work 7 days a week, 14 hours a day, so to see those guys in the pool, playing music and barbequeing was strange. I stood there in my flak jacket, drank my water and enjoyed the music while I watched a bunch of overweight tan foreigners walk around in bikini swimsuits and drinking beer. Surreal… G8r”