Friday, September 17, 2004

Finally Back in Baghdad

Finally Back in Baghdad
15 September 2004

Why someone would be relieved to be back in Baghdad is beyond me. It only took five days for a 1-1/2 hour flight. No mishaps and even the landing and approach into Baghdad was smooth. Maybe I was just too tired to notice if anything was amiss.

The ride back to Camp Victory was enlightening. The highway to (Saddam) Baghdad International Airport is now open, so we have a different route back to Victory. We are behind the walled section, so I didn't feel like it was dangerous, but this is the first time that we have had to clear Iraqi checkpoints. Two Iraqi checkpoints and an American checkpoint. Now the roads lead us to Camp Slayer (ISG) and then to the tunnel under the highway from Slayer to Victory. I had known there was a tunnel, but never realized how big it was. It's like a three lane viaduct and all nicely paven and lit up.

Almost all of our ITT vehicles have been taken away now and given to the multinational support people that work for ITT here in Iraq. So that means no more laundry trips to ISG, no trips to that nice big PX on North Victory unless by bus or bike. The washer is also gone from bldg 7, so now KBR will be doing my laundry. Say good bye to any whites that I had--it will all be light gray after two washings by KBR.

I'm finding out now that the probable reason for no flights out to Baghdad on the 11th was a barrage of incoming mortars. My roommate said that he heard 11 or 12 mortars whoosh overhead about 0530 on Sunday. He slept with his battle gear on the bed next to him for the past few nights. Sounds like he wasn't alone in his thinking.

Heard a few mortars last night before I fell asleep. I ended up sleeping for some 15 hours when I got back and didn't hear too much of anything once I was out. At least I'm sleeping soundly again. Still kind of catching up with life here. I've slowed down and am too relaxed still from the vacation. Also getting back into the mids schedule. So I guess it's a sort of jet lag or maybe culture-lag. Trying to get back into the Camp Victory mindset is taking me some time.
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