Hi there everyone,
I am back from my mission and going again in the morning. Like I said in the last email the 2nd convoy was uneventful, but this last one had lot of excitement. As I told you, we were going to haul more than just ice this time, it was food, produce and milk. There were 16 ex-pat and 9 TCN’s in the convoy. We had 2 trucks break down before we got out of Kuwait City and our CC, Mike left me to lead them to NAVSTAR while he stayed with the guys that broke down. That was fun and scary at the same time. On all of my convoys I have been lucky enough to have Mike as my CC. He is really good and really takes care of his people. He is just a KBR employee, not and ex military guy. When the first truck broke down he radioed me and told me to lead them. I know where NAVSTAR is and it is an easy ride. But having the responsibility of all those people, is a really big thing. Even though Kuwait is a friendly country, things can happen. We had 2 other people in the group that are also CC’s, but they were not in charge, and were toward the end of the ex-pat. part of the convoy. He told me to not get freaked out that I knew what I was doing, I had been helping him out for the last 2 weeks and he knew I could handle the pressure. Then the second truck broke down. See, we have no way to talk to each other. There are no CB’s in the trucks. We can buy little 2 ways radios, but CB’s are not allowed. Luckily one guy in the convoy had my cell number and the guy broke down had his. So the messages were passed along and I called Mike to let him know about it. He told me to leave him sitting there that he was on his way. The wrecker was there to get the guy he was with. So I led them on to NAVSTAR. Mike and Roy showed up about 45 min after we got there. I was really glad to see them. Nobody that has been here any length of time wants to run in a convoy lead by either of the other people qualified to be CC. There are just some unsafe people that are CC’s. And I haven’t been here long enough, or know enough, to head the convoy as CC yet. So I was very glad to see him get back with us.
This mission was a very important one. We have been hauling only ice till this mission and it was a test run. Course, as with lots of things, this was the mission from hell. When we got to Cedar II the guys tried to take our trailers again, but the military wouldn’t let them. We had 2 5-ton truck with 50-cals mounted one them as well as MP’s on this run. the military doesn’t want these trailers dropped for fear of the food being tampered with. So they told the bossed at Cedar II that it just wasn’t going to be OK with them for us to drop the trailers, even if the other guys were sitting right there to get them. That was good for us, cause that meant we got more hours and got to go farther and stay out of Kuwait longer. (Kuwait is to full of want-to-be bosses)
We spent the night in Cedar II after changing out a flat tire in the dark ourselves. that was fun and dirty. But as all of ya’ll know, and know me, I was right there helping hold the flash light. LOL!
Then the next morning we tried to have a better day, but as our luck would have it on this mission, we had a truck break down right outside the gate. He lost his transmission. As we sat on the side of the road the 50-cal went off and shot a BIG hole in the last trailer. I didn’t hear it go off. I was to far up front and with the reefer banging in my ear, I was doing good to hear myself think. But I did see people take off running and everyone get real excited. I radioed Mike and he told me the guy running the 50 had just shot Jerry’s trailer. Jerry was fine and they were looking for the exit wound on the trailer. They never found it. Someone will have a little surprise in their dinner one day. Course safety had to come out and we were held up for 2 hours out there.
Then there was the IED that they shut the road down for. It was just south of Baghdad. We sat in the middle of the road for 2 hours waiting for them to explode it so that we could move on. That was kind of cool to watch. Well, I didn’t get to see it explode, but I did see the dust fly from it. But we finally made it to BIAP and went to the staging area.
Then after dark I had someone try to get into my truck. They shook the whole truck trying to open the passenger side door, but I had it locked. As soon as I looked out and didn’t see anyone, I put it in gear and drove to where several of our guys were standing outside and talking. They looked for who-ever it was, but didn’t find anyone. So, some of the guys moved their trucks and parked all around mine so that if it happened again, they would be right there.
We ended up sitting there for 2 days. While I was there I went shopping for Adgnon. I bought him some socks and shoes. As well as him and his brother a couple of shirts. Ya’ll should have seen his face when I gave him the bag. He teared up and wouldn’t stay long. I have had several people ask me if it is worth it, being here with all that is going on.? I have to say YES!!! YES it is worth it. If in some small we can make a difference in these peoples lives, to make it better for them, then hell yes, it is worth it all. I do my part for our guys and gals serving in our military. But I can’t ignore the children I see in the streets. We are here for them. Our military is here for them. To be able to see kids be kids and not trying to sell ya stuff, just because they like you is…. it is great and the most heart warming thing you could ever feel. And these kids never try to sell me anything. They just want to talk to me, they just want my attention.
Now the older boys try to sell stuff and ask for things that I wont repeat here. But every time these people show up Adgnon ask me to get in my truck. He and his brother are very protective of me, and that is so very cool. If, in the giving of a what is a simple pair of shoes to us, can help a child live a little bit easier, then we should all be buying shoes. Maybe one of these days, when Adgnon is all grown up, and some one says that those Americans are mean and are bad, he will remember that there is one American that isn’t so bad. And if there is one, there could be more. And maybe he and his brother wont hate all Americans. It matters not weather he remembers my name, just that he remembers that an American Misses showed him kindness and compassion.
Well, guys and gals, with that I really need to get to bad. I have to be up in a few hours to go do some more “Desert Chicken Truckin”! Everyone, be happy you have what you have, no matter how much or how little. We live in a great country with great people, others are not so lucky. And the next time you see some one down on there luck, don’t hesitate to see if there is some small thing that you can do for them , not out of pity, but out of love. If one person shows one person love, kindness and compassion, maybe we could stay at home and not have to be here. Stop the hate!
Love to you all,