Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Yip Yip

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday was very windy and sand was blowing everywhere. When I went outside our tent big clouds of sand were rolling around the base and the wind was probably 35 or 40 miles an hour. When we got back to our tents our hair was full of sand.

Some of the people in my unit have been seeing a couple of little desert foxes that come and eat leftover Kentucky Fried Chicken out of our trash cans. I haven't seen them yet, but I have been following their tracks in the sand hoping that I can find where their burrow is. These little foxes are light brown, a little bigger than a large cat and have huge ears. The other soldiers said that they are very cute!

We had some fun training the other day called Rollover training. We got in machines that look like the big armored trucks that people ride in Iraq now called MRAPS, except these are attached to a big round wheel on both ends so the whole thing can spin around. We strapped ourselves in then they flipped the whole thing upside down. I was hanging from the ceiling by my seat belt. We had to undo the seat belt and flip over. After getting out of the seat we had to get out of the truck through a hatch to pretend we were getting out of a real truck that had flipped over.

I should be going up to Iraq in a few days and get settled in. Right now we are still waiting for all our training to be done. We have some free time, so I saw a couple movies (Transformers 2 and Star Trek) and today I played Tiger Woods golf on the Wii.

Monday, September 28, 2009

In the Sandbox Now

Hi Guys,
We left Texas on Saturday afternoon and just got to Kuwait a few hours ago. The plane was very cramped and it was hard to fit in the seats with all our gear. Before we left we had to get weighed on a scale attached to a computer to make sure the plane could carry all the weight and so the ground crew could put the right amount of fuel in the plane.

We took off from Fort Hood and headed east toward Mississippi where we picked up another big group of soldiers. On our way I saw a lot of little oil wells on the flat brown land of East Texas. After about an hour I saw the Mississippi River below us winding like a brown ribbon towards the Gulf of Mexico. We then turned south and landed about half an hour later in the city of Gulfport, Mississippi. We had to get out of the plane so they could refuel. While we were doing that all the lights went out on the plane. It ended up taking 5 hours to fix the plane. We all sat in a big building and talked, making fun of how crappy our plane was. Later we ordered some pizza. Some people slept on the pavement outside the building.

Finally when our plane was fixed our unit had to pack into the back rows to make room for the other unit. The Leiutenant and I didn't want anyone sitting in the seat between us so we piled up a lot of blankets and put a pillow with a picture of tinkerbell as the head. When the sergeant asked if anyone was sitting there, we held up Tinkerbell. We were lucky that they put one of the skinniest guys in the unit between us.

I was surprised when they told me we were going to fly to Maine before we crossed the atlantic. It took around 3 hours to go from Mississippi to Maine. In fact, around 3:30 AM on Sunday morning our plane flew back over Connecticut on the way to Maine. We landed at Bangor, Maine early in the morning before sunrise. Auntie Katherine went to college in the next town over and used to sometimes fly out of there. There were people to greet us and we stayed in the airport for a few hours. Because our plane was delayed, we got to see an extra Sunrise over the United States before we left and one in New England to boot.

As we took off I could see a lot of the trees turning red for autumn. We flew up over Canada and over Newfoundland. We crossed the Atlantic and over Ireland and England. In the English Channel I saw lots of ships and Oil rigs. We then flew over the Netherlands where there were hundreds of huge windmills. Finally we landed in Germany and got out of the plane as the sun was setting.

Our final part of the trip we flew over quite a few countries on our way to Kuwait. The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey and down over Iraq where I could see the fires where the oil workers were burning natural gas off the oil wells. Our whole trip took almost 2 days.

We are all very tired because our bodies are used to Texas time which is 8 hours behind Kuwait. So now its around 3 PM here, everyone in Texas is just having breakfast. I'm 7 hours ahead of you in Marlborough, so if you get up at 6 in the morning, I'm already done with lunch and when you are going to bed at 9pm its 4 in the morning here. It usually takes a few days to get over our bodies wanting to sleep in the middle of the day here, so we spend the first few days relaxing and getting used to the heat.

I love you guys, I write soon.
Love Daddy.

Friday, September 25, 2009

More pictures

Here's a few pictures from Frisco

Hi kids,

Here's my new blog just for you! This should help us stay in touch. You can write comments on this site. I'll put up some pictures and write about what I'm doing.

The picture above with the cow and the cowboy is from a park in the town where the Uncle Jim, Aunt Ann and the cousins live. Its called Central Park and it is dedicated to the cattle drives where cowboys herded Texas Longhorns in big groups up from Texas to Kansas or Nebraska. There are a lot of cowboy sayings on the steps. After the civil war the ranchers thought all their cattle would have died because the men were off fighting. When they came home to Texas, they found that there were tons of cattle gone wild, which they called Mavericks, because they didn't have any brands. That meant that anyone who could gather them up could keep them. Cattle are big here in Texas. There is one ranch here called King Ranch that is bigger than the state of Rhode Island.

In the park I visited there was also a tree with the biggest acorns I have ever seen. Some were about the size of a chicken egg. The picture is of one of the acorns.

I love you all and miss you so much. Platy says hi.