Sunday, March 23, 2008

T'was The Day Before Easter…

22 March 2008

T'was the day before Easter and who should we run into this morning in the chow hall, but Santa Claus!! So now you’re saying, “Yeah, right! And tomorrow the chow hall will probably have a special visit by the Easter Bunny?”!!!

But seriously, two weeks ago I ran into the big red guy back at Ali As Salem and he told me that he was headed back to Camp Victory. (Who would think that Santa would spend his summers in Baghdad, of all places!!!) It was a bit shocking, but as always a pleasant surprise to see him again…especially so soon and in the off-season.

So when I mentioned to the guys I was sitting with at the chow hall at breakfast that I just saw Santa walk into the chow hall, they were certain that I was pulling their legs or hallucinating. Once he got his breakfast and as he was walking toward the area where we were in the chow hall, I caught Santa's eye. Of course I waved to him (I'm still a little boy at heart when it comes to the big red-suited man!) and he came right over. (He was eating a little lighter these days)

“Hey Santa, good to see you again! These guys want to know what to do to get on your “Nice” list this year,” I told him.

“Just be good,” he replied with a smile and a wink. I then asked him to show them his ID card (because the guys I was with still had but a twinge of doubt about the true identity of the guy before us) which has him all decked out in full seasonal red regalia (minus the reindeer, of course!)

I am pretty sure they’re now convinced that he’s the real deal. I think Steve is still in shock at meeting Santa Claus and I know you skeptics out there are still doubting me, but that is your burden…I’m not taking any chances. ;)

But in all seriousness, I met Santa (Mike) back in 2004 when he worked for Antion and I worked for ITT. We worked for the 54th back then in the same building. With his pure white hair, white beard, cherry (and cheery) red cheeks, round "Santa" glasses and the round belly, someone had made the comment (more than once, I’m sure) that he looked just like…”Yeah, I know, I hear it all the time. In fact, I do the Santa thing every year no matter where I’m at.”

Going back to Ali As Salem on my way back here two weeks ago; just after I arrived in Kuwait, I got my tent assignment and was just exhausted and ready to get into the tent and catch a few zzzz's. I muscled my suitcase through the door and into tent Q6...and who "to my wondering eyes should I see, but Santa" sitting there right in the first bunk!

He looked at me and recognized me right away with a smile and I remembered him too. Funny how often we run into people here that come back or are still here making the rounds of the different stations in theater. There is always a feeling of family when you run into old acquaintances over here. So there you have it, my Easter Story for 2008.

Ho, Ho, Ho! A Merry Easter to all and to all a Good Night!
I enjoy reading your blog. I read when you were at the Palmer Station. Very interesting. And believe it or not, enjoyable. I have always dreamed of working in Anartica. I'm in the Army have been in Kuwait. I do public affairs work for the Army. I will be back there this year again, escorting media embeds to Iraq. Take care. I will write again. I'm at I also have a blog here too. See ya
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