I am on my way back to Kuwait. I have a driver on this trip. My knee is getting better but it is a slow healing. I kind of over did it a day or 2 and am back on light duty for 7 days. I only have a few days of that left. That is unless they make me go see another doctor when I get to Kuwait. I will see when we get there.
Anyway, I thought I would fill ya’ll in on what’s been going on the last few days. I took 2 straight trucks of ice out to Camp O’Ryan. We filled the ground unit they had out there and still had 4 pallets if ice left over. This camp has never had ice to give out to the troops. So, the guys and I decided that we were not going back with the ice if we could help it. I told several soldiers that as soon as we got things done loading the ground unit that we would be over at the MWR and giving out ice. We had several soldiers come up while we were trans-loading and ask for ice. We had a blast with the guys out there. Ted, my driver, and I went to the MWR and filled their freezer. I told all the guys in there that we had ice. They got bright eyed and all smiles.
One came up to me and said that they were getting their freezer hooked up that day, could they go ahead and fill it. I told him to lead the way. They could have all the ice they wanted. So he lead us to the maintenance shop. A few guys were working on an engine for a tank and others were working on various other things.
Several of them stopped and came over to help us unload some ice. While we were there several other solders came up and asked if we would come around to the bunkers that they were sleeping in. We told them that we would just make a round of the whole camp and give everyone ice if they wanted it. Now there are a small amount of troops on this camp. But that is a lot of troops when you are climbing in and out of a cab over with a bad knee. But Ted and I hit all the bunkers, medical units, hooch’s, and tents that the camp had. We had a blast handing out ice to the guys. Days like that are what make this job worth all the bad that there is here. A simple thing as ice is such an important thing to these guys. To see their faces light up and the smile come across it, and to know that you are making a difference in a few solders lives is a GREAT feeling. I would go thru all this again for days like that one. It is so hard for me to tell you in words how I felt that day. Lets just say a few soldiers had a few days that they had ice that they could eat. Imagine it is 105 degrees and you can’t eat what little ice that you have, because it is made with local water that is not fit for consumption.
Then, 2 days after that we went to Taji, Iraq. There are about 12,000 troops there if I remember right. They have one trailer for ice that KBR dropped a few weeks ago. That trailer was nearly empty and they were being very careful with who they handed it out. The soldiers are issued one small bag of ice a day right now. As it gets hotter, they will get more per day, but right now it is just the one. Now, Taji is in one of the hotter spots for IED’s. Convoys are getting hit there all the time. It is only about a 20 min. ride down there from Anaconda as long as you don’t have to stop for IED’s. That day it took us 1 ½ hours to get there. We got stopped in MSR Tampa because of an IED that day. But as always, I had another mission that went smooth and without and incident. But we also had another day that was vary fulfilling. They gave away the last of the ice they had as we were pulling up. And once again, as we were unloading the ice we brought of into the storage trailer the soldiers started showing up. Most of them had been without ice for 4 days. We dropped them another trailer and refilled the one they had. We didn’t have any left over this time, so we didn’t get to hand it out like we did at O’Ryan, but we did get to hand some out to the guys that showed up while we were trans-loading. Then we had a nice quiet ride back to Anaconda.
I will tell ya’ll about my trip from Anaconda back to Kuwait in another email tomorrow. I am at the Villa now and have seen the medic again on my knee. I have tomorrow off and may have a few days off to let the knee rest and try to heal. I send my love to all the family and friends, both in the states and here in Kuwait. Ta ta for now.