Well folks, Monday Number Two is in the books...the last week went by in a blur, believe me.
Last Tuesday, I was sitting in the USO in Kuwait having just finished my training evolution for the day when I got an email from LT Tom Gordy, the officer I am relieving. He needed me to call him ASAP as they were moving me out of Kuwait early. After speaking with him and some of the Navy admin folks in Kuwait I rushed back to my tent and had exactly 12 minutes to pack my gear to rush to the military airport so I could report in to Baghdad.
That 12 minute goat rodeo turn in to 20 hours of hell. I got to the airport only to be told that I had been bumped off the flight that I was slated to be on. MILAIR is not like calling the reservations desk at American Airlines. There is a lot of waiting around, and quite frankly the moving of equipment and supplies often trumps the ability to move bodies.
I 'slept' in a chair that night because I kept being told that I needed to be there for roll call every couple of hours just in case I was able to get on a manifest. I was Little Miss Grumpy...full on! Finally, at 9:30 in the morning I was able to secure a seat.
About 90 or so minutes later, I was sitting on a military plane with my back pack on my lap, my IBA and helmet on, ear plugs in....waiting to take off for Baghdad. And waiting. And waiting. Let me tell you folks, it was hot and stuffy on that plane sitting out there on the tarmac. The air is stuffy and smells of jet exhaust and that back pack was just getting heavier and heavier by the second.
We finally took off and aside from the incredibly steep descent in to the airfield, it was uneventful.
Tom met me at the airport and drove me straight to Camp Victory where I will be spending the better part of the next year. Plans changed a bit, so while I will travel in and out of the International Zone, I'll really be based elsewhere.
The first day was a blur, I was tired and for Christ's sake....everything is tan, so it all looks the same! I love khaki as much as the next preppy, but enough is enough, People.
I was placed in a temporary housing trailer, got a few hours sleep that first night and hit the ground running Thursday morning.
As I mentioned earlier, I am the Legislative Affairs Officer for the Commanding General. This means that I will track legislation on the Hill and act as the escort for Congressional, Staff and Governor delegations (for GEN Odierno) when the delegations are here. I am slowly learning the job and I think that I will really enjoy it. I feel a bit like Forrest Gump. I am sitting in meetings with world leaders. I am certainly witnessing history, and in a very small way I am a part of it. Pretty heady stuff.
GEN O is amazing. I've spoken with him a couple of times this week (my desk is about 15 feet from his office)....he is even bigger in person than he seems on TV.
Okay...I have to get some sleep...I'll write more later this week. Can't wait to tell you all about the food and my permanent housing situation.