Those are the vehicles I rode in today.... nuts.
So this trip is INSANE. I am apologizing now. a. I am incredibly jet lagged. b. I can't for the life of me upload photos. So patience please. But they will be worth it. I promise.
Monday started off with us headed to Mac Dill AFB to visit Central Command, wherer they run the war in the Middle East. We pretty much got to ask some of the KEY LEADERS any question we wanted. crazy. people were very frank and it was impressive to be surrounded by all of these 3 star generals.
After that we headed off to the flight line to head on over. there waiting for us was a C-17. This is kinda what the inside of the plane on the inside and (all photos will be from past JCOC's till I can get my pics up.)
We flew for about 10 hours until we arrived in Germany at an airbase as the sun was rising, just in time for breakfast. (it was midnight on the East coast.) Then they brought us out to a flight line to look at F16's and meet pilots. NEWSFLASH - Tom Cruise is an excellent actor cause these pilots were right out of top gun, down to the cocky smacking of their gum. They one guy I talked to was a year younger than me and headed for Iraq later this spring. Im serious though. This guy's name should have been Maverick.
Then off to the Middle East....I crashed out on the wonderful cots along the side of the airplane. I swear this was the best flight of my life, I went up to the cockpit twice, you could walk laps, sleep on cots or sit in your seat which had TONS of leg room. Apparantly we really rode in style. No one ever gets cots. But they should do it all the time. Michelle- can we rent C17's for crew travel? the trailer would fit in cargo bay....
Upon landing in a country still not to be named but you will find out soon, (I know you kan't wait) there were black hawks and MRsomething somethings waiting for us to take us to an Army base. The loader saw my camera and purposefully let me load last. I got the best seat in the house along with the DOD photog. We sat in the back of the chopper looking out of the back (which never closed all the way so the large GUN could manuver) THe footage is soooo cool. We went over the desert and there were goat herds, horses running, people living in tents in the middle of no where. UNREAL!!! It truly is the beach with no ocean (I promise that I am trying to protect the camera as much as possible Lanie! it is dusty and in my lungs right now)
Once arriving on base I start chatting with some of the soldiers there to greet us while we wait for the other group who had to turn back cause their engine had problems (yikes). Turns out he dated my roomate in college who is currently stationed in Baghdad. Nutso-
then we hopped in Hum-vee trainers that turned us upside down and let us feel what it was like to tip over. SCARY. I would never want that to happen to me. apparantly it has happened a bunch before.
after a brief from the general here, it was off to dinner at the mess hall (the food was certainly not what I eat everyday, very college-ish). I sat next to this kid Mike from NOLA. he sorts the mail here. Let me tell you. This place was in the middle of NOWHERE. There are building just plopped ontop of the sand. there is obviously no grass....everything is SAND!
I had to use the ladies room and this gal escorted us to the nice ones next to the barracks. she let us peep in and see had the chicas live. Looks like a Kappa Delta sleep room to me. I was surprised to see they all had their own sheets and blankets. Soldiers were also walking around in civilian clothes some even dressed up).
They are never allowed off base...unless it is a group trip which rarely happens. I can't imagine living there for a year. they say in the summer it is 140 degrees. Today it was HOT and it was a cool 94 degrees.
Tommorrow is going to be a long day of tank training, close quarter combat training and live fire. (shooting guns). So with that I am hitting the hay!
Love to all. thanks for all the sweet comments.
Key phrase for the day - "I HAD NO IDEA"
I had no idea how these people live on base, and I had no idea how many generals were in charge. This shit is crazier and more of a large scale operation than fathomable. I had a feeling as such...but these guys are spelling it out. It's mind boggling.....I just keep muttering "holy shit" under my breath.