Archive: July 2006

TQ Internet Is Up!

TQ Internet is up! We finally have installed the satellite Internet system we purchased two months ago. Not everyone is participating, but those who are have the opportunity to communicate with loved ones on a regular basis, without time limits or having to stand in line. The first night I noticed several people sitting in front of Web cams chatting with their families. I am sure this service will save at least one relationship in our unit, hopefully more. It's allowing me to call home more often. The biggest difference: Now my parents and brother can call me here in Iraq. I am sure there are several other families that have come to enjoy this new, reverse flow of communication, especially the ability for those at home to dial up their soldier when they have had a tough day. We all owe the command a big "thank you" for allowing...

By Bert Stover | July 29, 2006; 1:04 PM ET | Comments (3)

A Message to Iraq, from Home

By Guest Blogger Candice Sabourin in Virginia Recently I was "talking" to a buddy of mine, meaning we were e-mailing each other while at work. I learned a valuable lesson from the conversation: Never tell someone serving in Iraq, "But you don't know what it is like here for us at home."...

By Bert Stover | July 26, 2006; 12:38 PM ET | Comments (35)

Moving into "the Cans"

Over the last few days we've added moving to our daily tasks. It's the eighth or ninth time we've moved since deployment, but this time it was into semi-permanent quarters -- "the cans." The cans are cargo containers rebuilt as living spaces. They're small, at 140 square feet for two people, with two bunks, two wardrobes, and a night stand. The cans are air-conditioned and sealed tight from the dusty weather. They also block out all light, providing better sleeping condition for night crews. Some have a can to themselves: As the cliche goes, "rank has its privileges." After several days of moving and rearranging, many of us are happier and are now awaiting our Internet connections. Of course, there has been some grumbling about the tighter living quarters, but you can't please everyone. Morale should improve, now that we'll be getting some quality sleep and a bit of privacy....

By Bert Stover | July 20, 2006; 7:44 AM ET | Comments (73)

Shopping at the New Exchange

The Exchange, run by AAFES (Army and Air Force Exchange Service), closed down for a couple of days as it moved. Marines and soldiers with tobacco habits had to suffer a few days if they hadn't stocked up on cigarettes....

By Bert Stover | July 19, 2006; 7:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

Scorpions and Spiders and Snakes, Oh My

With the heat has come an invasion of local wildlife. Scorpions, camel spiders and sand flies are the most common, with an occasional snake. Most sightings occur at night. Fortunately none of us have been caught completely off-guard -- e.g. stung by a scorpion while pulling on a boot....

By Bert Stover | July 12, 2006; 7:30 AM ET | Comments (18)

Back to Iraq, Back to Work

Many have called their travel for the R & R pass program exhausting, lasting hours due to cancellations for weather and maintenance. Some have traveled 50 hours to get to pass, and others have spent eight days getting back. My own flight to Qatar lasted an hour, and the return trip took about five hours. For anyone using this as a gauge for your pass to Qatar, I warning you that it may not be so simple....

By Bert Stover | July 11, 2006; 7:26 AM ET | Comments (36)

A Day at the Beach, Qatari-Style

I slept in again, then got ready for my trip to the beach and headed to the pickup point. Those of us on the day-trip had our names called from a list, were given a safety brief, and got inspected for dress-code adherence, the same routine as preceded the tour of Doha. We piled into four SUVs and set out for the dunes....

By Bert Stover | July 5, 2006; 7:24 PM ET | Comments (1)

 

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