Saturday, July 4, 2009

Be kind to your web-footed friends...

...for a duck may be somebody's mother..!
First and foremost, let me say today (Saturday) is hazed over by yet another blanket of dust. The dusty days are outnumbering the clear days. There are Soldiers who left for R & R three days ago who are either a) still sitting at BIAP; or b) have come back to Liberty after being told "come back tomorrow". There is little or no air movement at all. But for us today, that's a good thing. It's only 93 degrees outside and we're enjoying the "break" in the heat.
Second, the A/C in my quarters went out AGAIN last night. This makes the third time. First it was frozen in "High" and my room was freezing. I tried to go to sleep under two blankets and a quilt but I was shivering and miserable. So, I got up and turned it off for about 20 minutes. Big froze in "air" mode, meaning it was lightly blowing air, but not chilled air. It wasn't too bad through the night but when I was getting ready to go to work this morning I thought I was going to get heat exhaustion. Hopefully KBR maintenance will have fixed it by the time I get there tonight.
Third, Happy 4th of July! Unfortunately for us, it's just another day at the office. Or out on patrol, or pushing paperwork, whatever. The military can be notorious for having holidays and extra days off...if a federal holiday falls on a Monday then we usually help ourselves to the previous Friday off as well. However, if mission dictates that Soldiers work, then we happily go to work. I spent almost 3 years as staff Public Affairs Officer at the 88th RRC in Minneapolis. I got a few holidays off here and there and I loved those 4-day weekends. But for the most part, I was usually participating in a ceremony somewhere that often required me to travel. I went to 4th of July ceremonies in Illinois, unit welcome home ceremonies on Christmas Day in Wisconsin, and unit briefings on New Year's Day in Ohio.
But that's what I do and, for the most part, it's a small price to pay for the priviledge of serving in the US Army. While my job can be frustrating, draining, exhausting, and sometimes bordering on mutiny, I do enjoy Army Public Affairs. And working on holidays is just part of that job.
That's not to say that Camp Liberty isn't celebrating our nation's independence. The 1st Cavalry Division band is giving a big concert tonight at the Al-Faw Palace over on Camp Victory. There is also a naturalization ceremony at the Palace as well...Soldiers who are serving the country that they finally get the claim citizenship. The DFAC is all decked out in red, white, and blue tablecloths and other decorations. They'll probably have some form of BBQ for lunch or dinner. Maybe the camp's fire teams will fire off the Phalanx sometimes looks like fireworks if they shoot it off at night.
I am also facilitating a live interview with a Soldier from one of those fire teams and the Cincinnati Reds tonight. We will hook him up via satellite to the stadium and he'll be able to talk with his family and the spectators in the stadium. Unfortunately, he won't see any of that (we don't have the ability to receive satellite feed) but he will hear them.
So, enjoy your time off, your BBQ, your beer, and your fireworks! It's a great day and a time to remember that freedom isn't free.

No comments: