Arrival Al Asad, Iraq 9FEB06
I had dosed off during the ride to Al Asad and was oblivious to the world until I felt something smacking my knee. I convinced myself it was just another soldier trying to get comfortable in the C-130's seating, until I heard my name repeated with each punch.
I opened my eyes in the green light of the transport's passenger area, strapped in face-to-face with other members of the unit. One of my buddies was waking me to get ready to depart the plane.
The plane's green lights flashed to white as we unbuckled, stood up and shuffled to the rear ramp door where we saw small buses waiting for our arrival -- not the typical American school bus, but 20-seaters like the ones you see in Japan. As we moved off of the plane ramp and out of the heat dispensed by the plane's engines, the cold nip of the 45 degree desert night struck my face.
Someone who appeared to be a local national was driving the bus and we trusted him to take us to the right place. We boarded and were whisked away to a nearby hangar, where we received a briefing of what not to do while stationed here.
For the second day out of three, we were dead tired as the day had started 24 hours ago. And we still had to unload our bags from the pallets, load them on the trucks, then drive to our sleeping quarters. Would there be cots, beds, or even a shelter? The long ride soon sucked some of us back to sleep as the local clock ticked to 05:30.
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