Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Last Trip to Camp Doha

01 June 2005

I must say that my layover in London was much more relaxing having had a good sleep, a hot shower and a Big Mac prior to my flight from London to Kuwait City. Had my last beer at the airport and boarded with no problems. Another full flight, but still a very pleasant experience. I’ve found my flights on British Airways to be much more accommodating than any flights I’ve had recently on United or American.

Had a surprise as I was boarding. As I’m putting my stuff up into the overhead, I hear, “Dave Gallas!” As I look back I see Will from Red Switch two seats back. He was returning from a debauched leave which included Prague, Amsterdam and Ibiza, Spain. He didn’t waste too much time filling me in on the recent events at Victory. I’d already heard that Basil’s Haji Stand was busted. Apparently, Basil was gathering a bit of info about the camp and drawing maps and supplying the insurgents with all kinds of valuable info. Along with the profits from the pirated videos sold to the soldiers, he was providing money to the insurgents. Innocent vendor by day, insurgent sympathizer by midnight. What a scumbag!

Then I heard about two civilians busted for drinking. I had already received that news by email from friends while still at home, but it is always interesting to see how the stories change over time as they pass from one person to the next. I guess that one case was quietly noted and dealt with while the other gained a bit of attention because the guy passed out in a ditch and was believed to be a heat casualty! Well, they took a blood sample and found the only heat this guy o/d’d from was out of a bottle. They didn’t waste too much time dismissing him.

Yesterday, I had sent off a message to the T3 cell and Tony was at the airport to meet and greet us. I had been so busy trying to pull myself together on the Monday holiday, I had forgotten to send them my information. I was able to send off a message to them from London, but really wasn’t sure whether they would be there or not. Normally, they require a 48 hour notice, so I was fortunate that they were there. Will hadn’t sent email and just expected to pick up the military bus back to Doha, so that saved him some time.

We got back to Camp Doha and picked up Kevelar and vest then manifested to try to get on a flight to Baghdad. So, here I am at Camp Doha for the absolute last time. Everywhere you go on base you see buildings posted with printed signs warning of the impending event. “Effective 30 Jun 2005, this facility will be closed permanently.” The U.S. Army has officially been invited to leave the warehouse complex occupied here since the first Gulf War and the subsequent Liberation of Kuwait from the clutches of Iraq. The shelves in the PX here are getting pretty bare.

Resources have been shifting around for some time now, so it isn’t too much of a surprise. I just wonder how smooth the next trip through Kuwait from Alli As Salem will be when I pass thorough in November. I remember what a mess it was when they closed down Camp Wolverine and shifted everything through Camp Doha.

With any luck, we will get out tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. We got manifested this morning, but didn’t make the 12 pm roll call or the 2 pm roll call.
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