Friday, March 25, 2005


Trying to Relax

I know this is supposed to be a relaxing time away, but I don't think I like this whole "Pass" thing.

Some of it is being older. For the younger men and women, this is a great chance to unwind, to get out of uniform, get away from details, get into their hip hoppy groove and check out the action. (Or whatever, I'm completely out of touch.)

There's a great gym area, a pool, plenty of club type stuff and they even have a three beer allotment (strictly enforced), which after the months away from alcohol can get them pretty silly. I don't know, I want to be back "home," back on the FOB.

Maybe it's because I'm spoiled. We are assigned to the nicest Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Iraq, our unit has been assigned several of the nicest buildings (Palaces?) on the FOB, and I myself as one of the leaders have my own room, with Internet and a laptop and all kinds of privacy.

We come here, we have ten in our room, we're a bus ride or long walk in the desert (not too hot yet really) to the USO with computers, phones, movies, gym, DFAC, pool, and even a Chilis restaurant, although scaled down menu wise. Usually, Qatar is a great place to visit, with trips to the beach and ocean, a great mall, downtown, safaris, all kinds of excursions. The base is locked down this week due to a recent suicide bombing, and we are all stuck on base.

But that's not really what's wrong. I miss my "combat rhythm," as our BN XO (Battalion Executive Officer) calls it. I miss my room, my creaky spring bed, my army pillow, my music, even the dust.

I even miss the crazy stuff somehow, the ride to the DFAC, the morning walk out to the KBR leaky, saggy, toilet trailers that need to be replaced, forget being fixed. I miss the walk into the dayroom in the morning for coffee, not being able to open my eyes quite right, saying hello as I waddle past to the Charge of Quarters (CQ, soldier assigned for the night to watch the phones and radio and make sure everythng is alright).

But I guess I'll make the best of it. From what I hear from a lot of the men and women here, some of our troops have it really rough, and this is great for them. It reminds me of how truly thankful I need to be about where we are and what we're being asked to do. Thank God!

Who knows? Maybe by this time tomorrow I'll have relaxed enough to actually like it here. But then again, maybe I hope I'll keep missing the FOB, because then I won't mind going back.

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