The clock is ticking!!! I have arrived in Kuwait and am now on day number 2 of my 350 day tour.
I woke up at 4am on Saturday to start the long and strange trip to the Middle East. I didn't really wake up as much as I just got up. I slept fitfully and not at all soundly.
Bag drag at 5am, chow, lots of waiting around, and then finally the short ride to the airport. Once we got there, we were surprised by a group of roughly 100 vets and volunteers who came to see us off. Perfect strangers taking time out of their busy lives to make sure we had a friendly face and a handshake or hug before we left the U.S. for the our journey oversees. This is just one example of why America is so great!
We boarded the plane and flew directly to Leipzig, Germany arriving about 8pm EST. We had about 2 hours to stretch our legs and fire up our computers. My time was a little bit shorter because I volunteered to have the first weapons watch on the plane.
I was able to call Jack quickly and fire up facebook for a bit. It's really amazing how restorative a quick conversation via FB can be. It lets you know that no matter where you are in the world, as my good friend Beth Klatwitter said, you really aren't alone.
Back on the plane, I knew I had to get some sleep or I would be in horrid shape once we got to Kuwait. I popped a tylenol pm and fell asleep almost immediatly. It wasn't straight through deep REM, but it was enough over the ensuing 6 hours to ensure that I wasn't entirely comatose when we finally landed in Kuwait at 4am EST.
Nearly 24 hours after I crawled out of bed at Camp McCready in South Carolina I stepped on to the tarmac in Kuwait City. It was like being on another planet. A surprisingly humid, bright and very dusty foreign land. (It became much MUCH drier as we traveled away from the airport which is very close to the coast.) We waited while our bags were unloaded and got on buses for the one hour drive up to Camp Virginia, my home for the next several days. The Navy puts us here so we can have a few days to acclimate to the temperatures and time zone. We have a few briefings to attend the first couple of days and some more training out in the desert at the end of the week, but for the most part no real responsibilities for the next 72 hours.
We are being housed in 60 man tents, but thankfully there are only 29 women in my group so we have a little bit of space. The hike to the Dining Facility, Starbucks, PX and Taco Bell area is about a half mile (I swear they put us as far away as possible on purpose)...there is no internet in the tent area, so anytime I want to fire up my web connection I have to make it out here. That's a blessing today as I am avoiding my cot like the plague. I really need to stay awake all day today so I can sleep through the night tonight.
Not much more to report here...here are a couple of new pictures: The first one is when I stepped off the plane in Kuwait...the second just goes to show that no matter where I am on this planet, I can find a little taste of home.