Monday, June 04, 2007

So, um, it's been awhile...

Wow, I just checked out my blog for the first time in weeks and see that my last post was 4 April. 4 April?!? Sheesh. Didn't realize I'd been away that long. I could spin a long story trying to make an excuse for why I haven't updated, but I don't see a need for that. Bottom line is that I've been busy preparing for our imminent departure from the sandbox and life has been hectic. I'm a few short weeks away from returning to Lincoln, and morale is very high, both for myself and the troopers in our unit. I'm sure most all of you know by now, but in case you hadn't heard our Squadron received a bundle of good news in that we're coming home to Nebraska about a month earlier than planned. My new goal is to be home by the 4th of July, and as it stands right now that should be doable. I can't discuss any hard dates with you all due to OPSEC, but rest assured that as soon as I can you all will know.

Life here at Anaconda just seems to keep chugging away. We've been busy getting our replacments set up for success, and now that they are here we're trying to show them the ropes and make a clean hand off of our operations. So far the process has been smooth and efficient. I'll share with you all a couple pictures, just to prove that I'm alive.

Receiving my end of tour award from our Squadron Commander, Lieutant Colonel Apprich.
Chief Regan gave each of the soldiers in his section a cavalry saber as a thanks for all our hard work over the past 22 months. Thanks to Mr. Regan for his gift!
Posing in front of our t-wall. Tradition mandates each unit to paint a t-wall concete barrier to mark the time they spent in Iraq. I think ours turned out just fine.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Grandma knows best

Wanted to take a moment to thank my Grandma Nancy for the huge care package she sent my way. Her box of goodies arrived a couple days ago, and my co-workers and I were impressed with the magnitude of her giving. Here is a picture of me standing next to some of the loot, which was proudly displayed for co-workers and guests to share in. Thanks Grandma!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I'm back from my spring break trip to Doha, Qatar. I had quite a fun time, with plenty of relaxation and sun and a few beers mixed in as well. I was fortuante enough to take 3 different trips while I was in Qatar, including visits to a 4 story mall called the City Center (complete with ice skating rink and bowling alley), a trip to the Persian Gulf for an afternoon of sand and food by the ocean, drove SUVs through the sand dunes, ate lunch at an Iranian restraunt in downtown Doha, toured local shops and malls in Doha, enjoyed plenty of good food and slept in every day. All in all a very productive trip and a nice break from Iraq. I'll post a couple pictures for you all here, and I'll also include a link to my Facebook page which has about 60 additional pictures from my trip on it. Enjoy.

Feeding camels in Doha.
Enjoying a few cold ones with the guys.
This pearl is some big tourist attraction in Doha, so here is my touristy picture with the pearl.

Check here for a ton of other pictures from my trip.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Spring Break

March is a common time for colleges around the U.S. to give their students a mid-semester break to relax their minds and get away from classes for awhile. This time is usually referred to as spring break. For example, my girlfriend Nicki took a trip to Colorado last week, to spend time with her friends and get away from lovely Nebraska for awhile. You wouldn't think that I would be enjoying a spring break trip this year, knowing my current location and situation, but alas, you would be wrong. I'm leaving Iraq a few short days from now for my own spring break trip to exotic Qatar. The Army has this slick little pass program set up for soldiers in Iraq who need a few days away from it all. Soldiers are flown to an Army base in the country of Qatar for a 4 day pass. Soldiers are allowed to wear civilian clothes, sleep in, swim at the pool, take trips to tour the local countryside, and even drink real beer (limited to 3 drinks per night). Our Brigade wasn't planing on sending Soldiers on pass during our time in Iraq for various reasons, but after the news of the extension hit, they decided it might be a good idea to give some soldiers a break. Especially those who took their RR leave during the early months of the deployment. So long story short, my chance to take pass is here, and just happens to fall during the spring break time period, so I guess when everyone is remembering their trips to Cancun or Vegas or wherever, I can drop in that I flew to Qatar. Should be a good time. Hopefully I take lots of pictures while I'm gone, and I'll be sure to update you all upon my return.

(For more info on Qatar, check out here or here)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Quick movie update

I've been staying on top of the latest movies to roll through Anaconda, as usual, and figured I would give you all a quick update on what I've seen over the past few weeks.

300 - awesome film. Highly anticipated. Everyone in our section had been pumped about this movie for weeks, and 300 did not disapoint. Graphic, brutal, bloody, violent - everything a guy could ask for. Zach Snyder is the genius who puts this pretty picture together. Probably not the best date movie though. If you're a fan of epics like Braveheart, Gladiator, etc. you will love 300, for sure.

Blood Diamond - this movie was superb. Really opened my eyes to how diamonds come to be. My new favorite actor, DiCaprio, turns in an Oscar-caliber performance. Well cast film that keeps you enertained throughout. Highly reccomended.

Children of Men - a visual masterpiece. The movie itself is so-so, with decent acting and an intruiging storyline. The beauty of the film itself is what sets Children of Men apart. If you're a fan of movies as an art form, you will dig this film. Not for everyone though.

Apocalypto - wow. This movie blew me away. My brothers had seen this film over Christmas 2006, and came back impressed. I finally got my chance to check it out and left the theater telling anyone who would listen what an epic expierence it was. Mel Gibson presents a violent, sometimes touching film following the tale of an American native who is torn apart from his village in brutal fashion and is forced to deal with the captors who have killed his father and destroyed everything he knows. One of the best films I've seen in the past 6 months.

Friday, March 02, 2007

I'm still alive

First things first - I apologize for the month long void of any new posts. "The Man" is still keeping me down and isn't allowing me to access blogger at work, so my ability to update this here journal are severly limited. However, that is no excuse for a lack of posting. A sharp decrease in output, sure, but not a good reason to just quit updating you all. Anyways, now that we have that out of the way...

Life in Iraq is humming along at a decent pace. The shock, frustration and denial stages of the Iraq extension news have past, and we've all come to embrace the suck, as the folks over here would say. March is here, and this should be the toughest month to complete. Most of us can't help but be reminded every time we look at the calendar that we should be going home this month, so that's an obstacle that is tough to overcome. We're soldiers though, so we'll press on and do what we do. (That's the party line, at least). Anyways, nothing too new to report. I'm still working out and lifting weights 5 days a week. I've become more intimate with my PlayStation that I ever thought possible, and I'm currently neck deep in the planning stages of fall semester 2007 at UNL. It's been tough setting up college plans thousands of miles away from home, but the good people at UNL have been flexible so far and have shown a willingness to help me out, which is good. Hopefully it all works out well in th end.

That's about it from here. Hopefully everyone back in the rear is surviving the deluge of snow and what not. I'll try and update this thing once a week from here on out, if everything works according to plan. Maybe even throw some pictures up, if I can. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Throwing salt on an open wound

So news of our extension has most likely made the rounds back home, and I'm sure most all of you are aware of the extra 4 months of fun in the sun that I've been blessed with. One of the first thing that comes to mind after hearing such news is that we'll all be missing 4 more months worth of exciting and fun events, some of which we were really looking forward to. I, for example, will be missing my Dad's wedding, my brother Jacob's high school graduation (after missing brother James' graduation last year also) and another couple months of summer fun, all of which I'll never get back. To top it all off came news today that one of my favorite bands of all time, Rage Against the Machine, is planning on reuniting for a show at this summer's Coachella music festival in Indio, California. The performance will be the band's first gig together since September 2000. I can say with 99% certainty that I would be making the trip out West if I was going to be home. I could also parlay that into a visit with my cousin Amanda, who is attending college in San Diego. Instead, I'll be here in Iraq, doing good things for my country. The sacrifices of war - they are plenty. Thankfully I have this blog to vent to.