Well, over a year ago i was placed on a roster to go to Iraq. I spent several months training up getting ready to go, then was pulled off the roster last minute. having just completed Real Estate school I decided that since I was taken off of the roster I would hurry up and jump right in. I deposited all the money that was needed, found a Broker, and off I went starting my Real Estate career. To much surprise on my first day in the office on my own I received a phone call from the Army telling me I was re-called to go to Iraq.
This time they was calling me up for a new job so I spent a month or so in Arizona training up some more on the new job. Next I was off to Fort Benning, GA to prepare for mobilization, followed by a week in Kuwait for follow on training, and then finally my destination, Baghdad, Iraq. I arrived in Baghdad in the beginning of March. The temperature was still moderately close to home. We was getting rain about once a week, and nothing about it seemed like a combat zone.
The accommodations were pretty nice. We had a huge gym close by, good dining facilities, our offices were typical of what you would see in the states. (Unfortunately I was stuck in an office this whole tour. (My wife loved the fact that I was shoved on a desk this tour however it made for a REALLY long year.) The living accommodations were nice too, we all lived in two man rooms. Each room was part of a trailer that had three rooms total, lined up so that they looked like the picture below.
We spent about two months there before we were told to move to Basra, Iraq. For those not familiar Basra is the third biggest city in Iraq and right on the gulf and Kuwait border. The area was owned by the British military just prior to arrival. It was obvious that the Brit's did not intend on staying there as long as the Americans. Most of the bases that is ran by the U.S. has been build up very nice with a solid perimeter, guard towers, and established security on the camp. Basra was no where near this stable. We pretty much had to build this base as we established ourselves.
The accomadations were less than adequate. We had a small gym on post that could hold about 30 people. We had a small store on post however it was always out of stock, it was about the size of a typical gas station convienience store. There was no places to eat except the dining facility which was limited at the start due to lack of supply runs, and lastly, we were all moved back into tents. The beds we were given were also "coffins" as the brits liked to call it. They took the bunks, and put barriers all around them to protect them from mortars and rockets while they slept. To be honest I liked that better than the Army's answer to jump at the sound of an alarm and run outside to a bunker.
We managed to keep a good routine for most of the year. Up by 0630, in the office by 0700-0730. Lunch (doubled with going to the gym) from 11 AM to 1 PM, and then finish the day in the office til 6 PM. This was the schedule EVERY DAY for most of the year. The only exception was the two weeks we were authorized in the states for leave.
Anyway the year was pretty much un-eventful. We had occasional incoming mortars and rockets. The guys going out on missions occasionally hit an IED, however most are un-successful, and most importantly we allcame back with all of our personnel and body parts.
Around mid November we finally got the word on the date that we was to return. December 8th was that lucky day for me. I wasn't quite finished on that day but it was the first step. I was able to get on that plane out of Iraq, and back into Kuwait. I waited around a few days then was on another plane back to Atlanta GA. Five days there and back home. I was back in my living room as of last Friday and just as I promised everyone, I am home just in time for Christmas . . . (Barely).
Now it is time for me to get my Real Estate shoes back on and finally get started (again) for my new career in Real Estate. In case no one noticed as well I finally did what I had been debating all year and changed companies. Nothing against my old brokerage, I will miss working with them, but I decided to move on.
This morning I had my interview with Keller Williams and was extatic and the information I received. I of course am still waiting on my license to get hung on the wall but it was one major step towards the rest of my career.
Thank you all for your support throughout this tour. I feel that from the support here on Active Rain I am ready to head into the world of Real Estate. The information I received this year from all of you has helped prepare me more than you could ever imagine. I will continue to keep in touch and look forward to raining with you all even more as I begin my career.
Thank you and god bless.