Sunday, March 07, 2004

The Castaway

The Castaway
Sunday, March 7, 2004
10:59:00 PM CST

7 Mar 2004

Lee's letter to me kind of cleared things up about the whole Taji issue. In summary, it sounds like snitch was enlisted to do someone else's bidding. I think that's about all I want to say about it. He is on his way to another site as soon as he returns from sick leave for his kidney stones.

We received another inbound about the same time from Anaconda in Balad. He is going to stay here at Victory and works in the switch on the IGX equipment. He decided that he didn't want to live in the tents, so he approached KBR about moving into the old guard tower that overlooks Coalition Village--our little tent slum that we call home. Guard towers dot the roadsides and tower over the Republican Palace grounds like stray cornstalks from last years corn crop tower over this years soy bean fields back home. (Now you know that I'm from DeKalb County!) Some other contractors are living in other guard towers around the base, so it isn't actually that odd of a request. They said that as long as he had a written letter from his supervisor that it was alright by them.

So he spent the afternoon yesterday cleaning up the old broken glass and such from the tower. Inside the preformed concrete structure, it is ony about 9 feet in diameter, octagonal with a spiral staircase going to the top. It has a small facility tucked under the stairs with a sink and a hole in the floor as a toilet. The hole in the floor has like a three inch indent into the floor with washboard type grates on either side of the hole. Has no running water, no A/C. KBR is getting electric restored, so he'll have 220V to it soon. It has just enough space at the top for a cot. Also has a nice 360 degree concrete balcony allowing a view in all directions. The tower took a hit at some time during the American attack. There is a chunk of concrete as big as your open hand missing and exposing wires and rebar near the roof

Last night when we were at Ishtar, I was telling a few of the ISG folks about the tower thing but I couldn't remember the guy's name. The first thing that popped into my head was that he looked just like Tom Hanks in Castaway with his six inch grey beard, long hair and lanky build. So I just called him "Castaway." Next thing you know, everyone is calling, "Wilson!, Wilson!"
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