So the deployment starts, first I am asked by my unit to go to a course at Fort Huachuca Arizona to become an Electronic Wafare Officer. Cant say too much about this as it is a classifed job. The simple answer is that I spent a few weeks in sunny Sierra Vista, Arizona learning how to protect our convoys and troops from IED's. You know, those bad things you hear about on TV that blows up and has killed most of our troops in Iraq. For me it was a very interesting course, I actually enjoyed it. Anyway few weeks went by, I finished the class, and got to return home for a few days before it was time to leave.
This was the hardest part prior to leaving as me and my wife knew this was the last few days for almost a year we would get to see each other. It made it especially hard that we had only been married for 4 months. We spent as much time together as we could and then off to Fort Benning to prep for Iraq.
I showed up to benning on Feb 7th. I had gotten lucky as the rest of my unit was forced to endure six weeks of training where they were on lockdown, long hours, middle of no-where and basically no amenities. All this time I was in Arizona and now Fort Benning. We did have long hours, however once we were done we were allowed to do pretty much what we wanted. Most just hung out, watched tv or hung in their room. However I had managed to get my wife to come down and stay in a hotel off post and was able to keep seeing her for the majority of the week. The last time that I got to see my wife this year was the day after Valentines day. Feb 15th. Later that week I flew onto Kuwait.
I ended up in Kuwait for a few weeks also. Mandatory training, supply issued items, and other medial things holding me back. It wasnt too bad, most of my day was spent adjusting to the time and climate. The PX (similiar to a Wal-mart) was huge, we had a great gym, and small movie theater. I got to call my wife about everyday at the AT&T calling centers. Just a few weeks there and time to move to Iraq.
**Well not a very interesting blog for the day but you get an idea on what it takes to get to Iraq. This tour for me was not to bad . . if you ever get a chance ask a guard or reservist what it is normally like. It is horrible, 6-8 weeks, lock-down, poor food, very long hours. In most cases they will tell you that "PRE-Mobilization is worse than the tour all together."
Thats all I have time for today, tomorrow I will talk about the initial impression of Iraq on this tour.