Archive: December 2006

Christmas Raises Spirits at TQ

Weary of Christmas woes, mostly a result of being away from family, I woke for an early Christmas dinner, expecting to be part of a few close knit people in the unit who agreed to eat dinner together. To my surprise when I emerged from the concrete castle-like fortress, known as home, I found almost all of the assigned unit assembled. Only a handful of were not in attendance, creating a scene as our herd of soldiers migrated to chow....

By Bert Stover | December 29, 2006; 8:03 PM ET | Comments (4)

Two Beers and a Guitar

(written while observing the 'cease' order) Due to my unit's schedule, we were unable to take advantage of the Marine Corps 231st Birthday, two-beer celebration until we had a down day, about a week and a half later. It happened to fall at the beginning of the end, as we were organizing our personal gear for shipment home. The two events could not have been better timed. We spent two hours packing up before drinking our celebratory beer, which honestly felt more like a celebration of our own milestone than that of the Marine Corps....

By Bert Stover | December 14, 2006; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (12)

Celebrating the Marine Corps Birthday

(written while observing the 'cease' order) On November 10, the U.S. Marine Corps celebrated its 231st birthday. Since we work directly with Marines, we were included in the celebration, which included ceremonies and even an Iraq version of the Marine Corps Marathon, held at Al Asad. Additionally, the Marine Corps allowed two beers for each member in the command, but as an aviation unit we had to defer the beer until a later date (more on the that in a coming post). Though we were employed throughout the birthday, a result of falling under the Marine Corps chain of command, we were able to celebrate our brethren....

By Bert Stover | December 10, 2006; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (5)

Leave Rotations End

Most in the unit have returned to Iraq after their two-week leave, a hiatus granted to each soldier, spread out over the year to maximize productivity. Some chose to go home to family, while others vacationed in foreign countries. All agreed that the leave provided a needed break from the conditions here in Iraq. Most also thought they were the shortest two weeks of this deployment -- they wished their lives away in anticipation of leave, and prayed time would stop during it....

By Bert Stover | December 8, 2006; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

Thanksgiving Deployed

On the eve of Thanksgiving, some of us decided we should gather together for dinner. Normally, we eat in day and night shifts, but we wanted to try to combine both for the holiday. Getting everyone to feast on turkey with stuffing at the same hour was virtually impossible, but we set a time anyway -- 14:15 -- recognizing that some would still have to work. It would be a late meal for the day crew and an early one for the night crew. It promised to be better than foregoing the meal altogether: At least we were doing something to celebrate....

By Bert Stover | December 4, 2006; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (6)


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