Leaving the Wild West

I've concluded, as we prepare to leave Al Asad, that the base would have been the perfect location for George Lucas to have filmed his Star Wars movies.

The base itself is in the middle of the large expanse of dirt and dust, similar to where many Lucas scenes played out. Hangars are embedded into the cliffs, with most of the taxi-ways are placed along the natural carvings that water has made in the earth.

Along the taxi-ways are concrete bunkers in the shape of miniature pyramids, about 25 feet tall. Some of the structures are strategically cut into the cliffs to provide parking spaces for aircraft and equipment. Built with concrete of the same color as the surrounding soil, the pyramids really provide a futuristic look.

Besides looking like the landscape of a galaxy "far, far away", Al Asad reminds me of the Wild West, with a touch of Mad Max thrown in -- especially the areas around the shops, mess hall and utility trailers.

Vehicles use the roads as a suggestion, randomly pulling off over curbs and sidewalks to park where they please, even though there are street signs. Everyone carries a weapon, rifles, pistols or both. The main drag is lined with shops, just like Main Street in the westerns (although we lack a saloon). Every third street lamp has been hit by a vehicle ands is bent or even on the ground. Wire is strewn about the lamp posts and you see frayed ends about every fifth post. Trash lines the streets and the concertina wire fences surround everything (think of it as just like a suburban picket fence, except that it will rip you apart if you get tangled in it.)

We will miss the friendly gate guards, Ugandans who issue a daily "Hello sir" after you learn to greet them in their native with "Jambo", meaning 'Big hello' in Swahili. We will see little of this base in the future as we are moving to a new location, and will only return occasionally to work with those left behind. As of yet, the details are unclear, but as they materialize, I hope to share them.

-- Written 4/1/2006

By Bert Stover |  April 6, 2006; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Al Asad, Iraq
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Che...please find somewhere else to keep all of us updated on current events!! This has been all over the news for days now and most important BERTS BLOG IS NOT THE PLACE TO SHARE IT!!!!! Get a frigging life and stay off this blog!!! I am sure as you sit and "copy" and "paste" these things here that there is some other blog that would be happy to hear about all of this. Just remember Bert and others are there protecting YOUR right to be able to use this blog as a liberal dumping ground that most of us 1. already know about and 2. doesn't affect us personally. We want to know what is going on with our husbands, wives, sons and daughters...so please as you have been asked before find somewhere else to spew your nonsense!!!!

Bert, my husband is curently deployed with your unit. Thank you for all that you are doing keeping us updated with the blog! God Bless all of you and the US thanks you!!

Love and Miss you all!

Posted by: av8tryf | April 6, 2006 02:20 PM

WaPost blogs need an "Ignore this Person" like many other blogs.

Then Che and his friends can vacuously post to their hearts' content.


The digs do sound awesome.

Posted by: Jay Cline | April 6, 2006 02:48 PM

I agree with both of you, av8tryf and Jay. Sadly, I don't think these idiots read anything we or Bert write. I think they must just randomly go on blogs, copy and paste, and feel that are doing us all service for letting us know these stupid things.

I started my live journal if you guys are interested. www.livejournal.com - Search: soldiersupport or oursoldiers.

Bert, thanks for the description. In my head that is how I had thought it must look like but hearing it from you puts it even more in perspective. Stay safe where ever you are going and please know we are here supporting all you do.

Posted by: Cali-Girl | April 6, 2006 03:08 PM

I'm glad you guys were able to relax just a bit. It was well deserved. As you move to your next base, know our hearts move with you. We are so proud of all of you and we support all that you do. And tell my VTH I love him.

Posted by: Barbi | April 6, 2006 05:01 PM

Che: Do you not have anything better or more constructive to do with your time? Do you just sit mindlessly by your computer and wait xx number of minutes before you decide to post yet again your long essays on nothing?! I suggest you get a hobby, like volunteering, you know doing something that actually matters and makes a difference.

Posted by: military wife | April 6, 2006 05:31 PM

Che, please quit blighting this Blog.

Posted by: Madeline A White | April 6, 2006 11:28 PM

c'mon Americans, support your military and enlist now!

Posted by: dave | April 7, 2006 09:05 AM


Most of us here have already been there, done that.

So, when was the last time you gave 2 or 4 or 6 years of your life, risking life and limb, for a cause you believe in?

Hint: Peace Corps and missionary work counts. Been there?

Posted by: | April 7, 2006 09:30 AM

Sorry , folks, that was me.

Posted by: Jay Cline | April 7, 2006 09:30 AM

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