Iraq Monotony

Monotony, its a way of life here in Iraq.  12 hour days, seven days a week.  Its amazing how fast time flies when a work schedule is like this monotony, its a way of life here in Iraq.  12 hour days, seven days a week.  Its amazing how fast time flies when a work schedule is like this monotony, its a way of life here in Iraq.  12 hour days, seven days a week.  Its amazing how fast time flies when a work schedule is like this monotony, its a way of life here in Iraq.  12 hour days, seven days a week.  Its amazing how fast time flies when a work schedule is like this monotony, its a way of life here in Iraq.

Iraq

Curtis again. So Iraq… I’m here now and settled into my job. So far the people are great, the actual work is great, and the living conditions are better than the summer I worked at Boy Scout camp, and my dorm room in college. Speaking of Boy Scout camp, so far, this place is comparable to it outside of lacking any kids. There is quite a gender gap. I walk to work. I have limited electronics available at the hooch (military slang, a thatched hut, or any simple dwelling).

As far as work goes, I work roughly one-half of every day. I eat at least twice a day, and drink quite a bit of Mountain Dew. I also havn’t really seen signs of a war actually being present around me other than every uniformed military member carrying a weapon. Work is also quite fun. I am basically given tasks to do, problems to solve, and by the end of the day hopefully fix or make progess on solving them.

Additonally, while we are over here we are going to have to be intentially vague when talking about our jobs, location, day to day schedule, and other items. This is called OPSEC, or Operations Security. So if you wonder why I am being vague or leaving out some seemingly important details like my physical location in Iraq, its because of OPSEC. OPSEC is basically not allowing the enemy (I havn’t seen any yet.) the ability to learn things about the military through normal means. For instance, an individual could visit this page and deduce from posts and comments where I work, what I work on, and therefore could, at least in theory, target us or our deployed forces in some manner.

The Awesome Aussie

Last night Curtis and I went to dinner with a couple of friends I was in Iraq with – Nic and Mo, and his wife Teryn. We ate at the Austin Grill in old town Alexandria and shared drinks, food, and some memories from Iraq. Nic is from Australia and has been visiting here in the states for a few months now. And now shes preparing to leave on Monday. D*mn it! I selfishly don’t want her to leave.

While I won’t go into to many details about our very first encounter in the Baghdad, Iraq, 🙂 I would like to mention the Nic I met that day. She came across as a bit shy and quiet, among other subdued personality traits. I would later discover that she was outgoing, funny, deep, and a good friend. She was one of two female Aussies I was to spend the next 6 months working on and off with. *Nic did end up staying much longer then 6 months, voluntarily!* Over the course of these many months she influenced a number of us young soldiers with her experience, dedication, and hooah attitude. She participated in our push-up competitions, she worked more hours then I thought possible, and she shared quite a bit of cultural experience with those of us who had never even considered leaving our bubble. She even kept an incriminating quote book that I hope never gets published as she got us all out of context more then a few times. 😉

One of the things I find wonderful about my good friend is the fact that she decides to come to the U.S. and in doing so sees more of this great country then most of us who live our lifes here. In the span of a few months she has seen everything but the best parts of the mid-west (Wisconsin!). Shes been to the west coast, the south, and lately the east coast. Shes even seen a space shuttle launch, WTF!

Her staying on the east coast has been my favorite as she has brought a number of us (who were in Iraq) together that probably would not have thought to do it if it had not been for her presence. And for that – among other things – I am most grateful. We will miss you, Nic. Come back to us soon.