Wednesday, January 18, 2006

take off, eh? great white north!

so i just got back from a three day trip up to northern iraq. just what the doctor ordered. risky as it is, sometimes you've just got to go out on the roads around here. i got invited by one of our... not quite sister. maybe ugly cousin units to go on a trip with them. they were taking their big boss and i have a piece of electronic equipment that helps make things a tiny bit safer and they wanted the extra trigger pullers along on the ride. and apparently they trust me enough to assume that my weapon will be pointed in the right direction (actually, it was a great professional compliment). so anyways, we left on sunday, drove up to a base a couple hours from here where we've got a team. so we left them for the night and hung out with our team. great time. some of those guys i've only seen a total of 4 or 5 hours in the last 8 months that we've been here in country. nice to just sit and chill with no agenda. and then one of the old headquarters guys got sent up there a couple months ago. so it was great to catch up with him. for alooooooong time there we were one another's safety valve. we'd take off to lunch or dinner and bitch and moan about how stupid everyone else was. that venting kept us sane and kept us from being unprofessional. well. kept us from being MORE unprofessional. he wasn't prepared for the move and it was rough on him (long story and i'm not going to go into the details because it's his story to tell, not mine), so it was just great to see that he's okay and fitting in well up there. and as much as i miss having him around down here, it really is a better environment up there for him. so i'm happy for him.

the next day we drove up to AS Suleymaniyah. that was awesome. there was snow on the mountains and slush on the roads. reminded me so much of colorado or utah. it felt great to feel the temperature drop as we drove. and when we got there, we got to drop our guard a little. interact with the locals, eat in a local restaurant, shop in the bazaars. really gave us hope for the future of the country. it's kind of sad though. so many of the factions here go around acting like they are special and don't need to do any work to improve their lot in life. but that someone owes them something. that the u.s. or the world or someone should come in and make things better for them. up north they aren't waiting. they're taking their future in their own hands and building something that they are proud of. the different factions there are putting differences aside, and improving life for everyone. it's awesome. if only the rest of the country would get it.

after a couple hours of that, we had to go back to the base where our team was. great to spend another night with the guys. the next morning we saddled up and came home. about the only downside was i broke my electronic gizmo. still have to figured out what i did. i thought i had it fixed today but it was only a partial solution.

today was pretty uneventful. slept awful, woke up aching in 100 different spots. just got back into the swing of things. ran my normal errands around the base, tried to get my gizmo fixed, put out a couple fires, went for a run this afternoon. THAT was definately not something to write about. but we're getting better. shaved 30 seconds off of our 3 mile time from last week. we're getting back into shape.

well, that's all the news that is fit to print.


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