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ABADays
07-12-2005, 03:55 AM
Just thought I would give you guys a quick update. Finally got to Iraq about 5 days ago. First few days are quite frustrating. You have to go to a Transition Camp and get processed. It is the most stark, dusty, hottest place I have ever been - plus the wind always blows because it's so open. I had to file for homesteading because I had so much dust in my eyes, lungs, nose and mouth I qualified as a land owner.

After a couple of days, I got transferred to Camp Slayer which was my assignment. Went through the whole processing thing and got to the last stop and they told me I had been reassigned. Great! Camp Slayer was like an oasis in the desert. Anyway, I was a bit pissed because ONCE AGAIN I had to deal with 165 pounds of luggage and equipment.

So back to the Transitional Camp for a day. My new assignment was the Green Zone right in the heart of Baghdad. This is basically a combination of 4 camps and I am now at Camp Prosperity. To get here, you have to ride what's called a Rhino bus - an amour plated bus. Plus, you are required to wear helmet and flack jacket. You know, like riding IndyGo to certain parts of Indy. All in all, it took 5 hours to go 50 miles.

The green zone was a pleasant surprise. A lot of palm trees and lakes. We use a lot of "bombed out" facilities. I kept looking around for General Patton. Some of the facilities we use look exactly like those in the film. For the most part, things have exceeded my expectations. The people I work with in MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) are really good people and the facilities are fine. Right now I kind of rove around to three different ones. Yesterday, one of my journeys was interesting in that a helicopter landed RIGHT behind us on the street.

A couple of friends have asked the question so I thought I would pass along the answers here. Is it really as hot as they say it is? Yes, it is. Average temperature is around 112 but I understand yesterday was 121. You can laugh if you want but dry heat does make a difference. The 112 with about 5% humidity isn't as bad as Indy at 95 with 95% humidity. Do you ever hear explosions? Well, I've only been in Iraq for a week but yes you do. You probably read about the guy who was a human bomb killing 42 people at a recruitment center. That happened about 900 yards away followed by massive gunfire. Do you feel safe? Yes - it's not been an issue with me from day one.

I should be getting my private living quarters within the next couple of weeks where I will have my own internet. Then I can start posting more. Until then - keep posting. Coming to the Digest makes me feel much closer to home.

kerosene
07-12-2005, 04:48 AM
Stay safe ABA.

Cactus Jax
07-12-2005, 05:23 AM
I understand what you go through with the heat. It's constantly 105-115 here during the summer, but since it's a dry heat, it doesn't feel as bad as even 95 degrees with a lot of humidity.

And please stay safe.

owl
07-12-2005, 08:17 AM
Thank you for serving our country. Thanks for the update. I believe you posting
about Iraq helps us all understand a little better what is going on over there.


owl

McClintic Sphere
07-12-2005, 09:19 AM
Your post is quite interesting and detailed. Thanks for providing that behind-the-scenes look at army life. Stay safe man. The Fieldhouse is calling you back.

indygeezer
07-12-2005, 09:31 AM
I have no idea what to say to you ABAdays. Pride? Fear for you? Yes, I suppose so, but I also know that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing right now. For whatever reason, you are there doing what was meant to be. Please keep us as informed as you can without endangering yourself or your buddies and get back here soon.

Gyron
07-12-2005, 10:14 AM
I look forward to hearing more updates from behind the lines. Thanks for the insight ABA and please keep yourself safe over there.

Doug
07-12-2005, 10:37 AM
Thank you, ABADays. Stay safe.

BigMac
07-12-2005, 11:05 AM
For sure, Be SAFE! I thank you for your service for the United States as well as the Iraqi people who want the freedoms we take for granted each and every day. Keep making the difference. That is what it is all about. You and every US citizen helping in Iraq with the military, et. al, are the true heroes. Thank you and God bless!

:thankyou:

Hicks
07-12-2005, 12:25 PM
Stay safe, ABADays. I can't imagine myself in your situation.

I must say I never thought there'd be a day ANYONE would access my site from Iraq. ;) :D

CableKC
07-12-2005, 01:37 PM
Stay safe and come home. By this time next year...you will have a Pacer NBA Championship to come home to.

Los Angeles
07-12-2005, 02:10 PM
I hope that:

1) Your work and travels are safe and happy.
2) You bring fun and happiness to the Americans you encounter through your work.
3) You are being well paid for the service you are providing. ;)

See you stateside.

Drewtone
07-12-2005, 10:10 PM
Great to hear from you, ABADays. Back in the day, my old band toured Korea through MWR... quality folks, all of them. I know that any taste of home is a big deal to those stationed abroad... happy to do my part.

Stay safe.

skyfire
07-12-2005, 10:35 PM
Good luck ABA, I hope you can stay safe.

I have heard that the US Army is under orders to block this (www.juancole.com/) (Juan Cole's blog) political website from net access to their soldiers in Iraq. Can you confirm this?

ABADays
07-13-2005, 09:38 AM
Stay safe, ABADays. I can't imagine myself in your situation.

I must say I never thought there'd be a day ANYONE would access my site from Iraq. ;) :D

Yes, well . . . I never really thought I would be posting from Iraq either :laugh:

Thanks for all the good well wishes guys!

indygeezer
07-14-2005, 12:23 PM
DIDN'T ABADays mention this as his location??

From todays USAToday

Blasts hit Green Zone; purported al-Qaeda members nabbed in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) Two suicide bombers struck a checkpoint near the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad Thursday, killing at least two policemen, but a third attacker was wounded and captured by U.S. and Iraqi security forces, officials said.

An Iraqi explosive detonation team disarms a suicide bomber vest attached to the body of an alleged attacker in Baghdad.
By U.S. Army/AP

The U.S. military, meanwhile, announced the arrests of two purportedly key members of Iraq's most-feared terror group, including one suspected in the kidnap-slaying of an Egyptian envoy and attacks on senior diplomats from Pakistan and Bahrain.

The coordinated attacks by a suicide car bomber and two men strapped with explosives on Thursday rocked the capital just one day after a horrific blast at a poor east Baghdad neighborhood that killed as many as 27 people, including a U.S. soldier and 18 youths who had swarmed around a U.S. Humvee to get candy and toys.

The car bomb exploded first at a checkpoint near the Green Zone, where the U.S. Embassy and Iraqi government offices are located, followed by two bombers on foot, according to the military.

"A suicide bomber detonated himself and the other suicide bomber tried to run away from the scene," the military said in a statement, adding that Iraqi police shot and wounded the surviving attacker and disarmed the explosives he had packed in a vest.

al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility in a Web posting, but its authenticity couldn't be verified.

Five policemen and four civilians were taken to Baghdad's Yarmouk Hospital for treatment, emergency room Dr. Muhanad Jawad said. Two of the policemen later died, he said.

Fool
07-14-2005, 12:26 PM
My new assignment was the Green Zone right in the heart of Baghdad.

Indeed he did. Let's hope he is alright.

3ptmiller
07-14-2005, 12:41 PM
My best wishes for you ABADays, i admire you !

Hicks
07-14-2005, 01:11 PM
Hopefully he responds soon

Peck
07-14-2005, 01:27 PM
Good luck ABA, I hope you can stay safe.

I have heard that the US Army is under orders to block this (www.juancole.com/) (Juan Cole's blog) political website from net access to their soldiers in Iraq. Can you confirm this?


This part has no place in this thread, just my opinion.

indygeezer
07-14-2005, 01:35 PM
Good luck ABA, I hope you can stay safe.

I have heard that the US Army is under orders to block this (www.juancole.com/) (Juan Cole's blog) political website from net access to their soldiers in Iraq. Can you confirm this?


This part has no place in this thread, just my opinion.

I agree 100%....can we get that post deleted?

Hicks
07-14-2005, 01:41 PM
No. That post doesn't violate any forum rules.

It was isolated and ignored by anyone to whom it didn't apply until people started to make a big deal out of it.

Skyfire is well within his privledge to ask his only known contact in the U.S. military a question that he couldn't ask anywhere else. Could it have been done in a PM? Sure. But so could 70% of the posts on this forum.

The continued and expected politicaliztion of the question, however, will be confined to the Politics forum.



Let's try to keep this thread as one of well wishes for one of the few true heros this country has.

Well said.

If anyone wants to talk about that more, start a thread on the Politics board; this is a focus on ABADays.

Lord Helmet
07-14-2005, 01:47 PM
Thank you, ABA. And, be careful.

Also, how long are you going to be there?

Hicks
07-14-2005, 01:56 PM
That's the 2nd post that suggests people didn't even read the article indygeezer posted; right now I just want to know if he's OK...

ChicagoJ
07-14-2005, 03:22 PM
I'm really looking forward to ABADays' next post. I hope you're okay, buddy.

Gyron
07-14-2005, 03:26 PM
/patiently awaits a response........

Hicks
07-14-2005, 03:26 PM
If we don't hear anything in the next 24-48 hours, is there anyone that can be contacted?

Mr. Pink
07-14-2005, 04:00 PM
I bet he's busy as **** right now. They are probally on a high alert system or something and can't really get to the forum.

I'm sure he's ok.


ABA...I hope you are ok.

Los Angeles
07-14-2005, 04:29 PM
What we're all feeling is probably just one sliver of one percent of what it feels like to have a spouse, child or sibling serving in combat areas.

On a related note, I found a box of cassette tapes that my dad recorded when he was in Vietnam. I got chills and tears, and I wasn't even alive when he was there. My mom likely got them weeks if not months after they were recorded. I talked to her about it and she said that the only thing she could do was stay positive and pray.

When you've got a friend in combat areas, no news can only be interpreted as good news until proven otherwise. Staying positive is the only way to stay sane.

ABA, thanks for your service to our country and our countrymen.

cramerica
07-14-2005, 04:39 PM
He's alright. He's a Pacers fan, so I'm sure what he's going through now is nothing compared to what he's had to deal with being a Pacers fan. j/k. Seriously, he seems like a guy that has his head on straight so I'm sure he's fine.

ABA, try to post whenever you can, just so we know what's going on.

Eindar
07-14-2005, 05:01 PM
Ugh, this is like when 9/11 happened and I had some gamer friends living in NY, and I didn't hear from them for a week after. For the next few months we always wondered if people who just "vanished" from the game we were playing had died or been a part of the terrorist attacks. In other words, post soon ABADays, we miss you! :)

able
07-14-2005, 05:41 PM
I can only say: if I hear harm has come to my friend, I will personally go over and kick some responsible arses.

On another note, before he left he told me that the powers that be did not look to kindly on notebook usage, and he would be mostly depe4ndant on dial-up connections, so patience is probably a virtue.

Lord Helmet
07-14-2005, 05:43 PM
That's the 2nd post that suggests people didn't even read the article indygeezer posted; right now I just want to know if he's OK...
You're not referring to my post, are you?

Yeah, I want to know if he is ok and I also want to know when he is coming home and will be safe.................

sweabs
07-14-2005, 05:55 PM
Hope to hear from ya soon, ABA. I sincerely wish everything is okay over there.

I have so much respect for you, and others in the forces / war vets.

MarionDeputy
07-14-2005, 06:04 PM
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

--George Orwell

Stay Safe ABA!!

Hicks
07-17-2005, 11:27 AM
I'm becoming slightly more concerned each day we don't hear from him. I'm hoping it's simply the attack caused them to have to shut down internet access.

Lord Helmet
07-17-2005, 11:40 AM
I'm becoming slightly more concerned each day we don't hear from him. I'm hoping it's simply the attack caused them to have to shut down internet access.
I'll second that.

able
07-17-2005, 11:54 AM
I have today emailed him and if I don't hear anyting by tomorrow night I will have to call someone in Indy to find out how he's doing via his family

Jose Slaughter
07-17-2005, 01:37 PM
I'll mention this cause it was brought up at the party lastnight.

With ABA being from the Indy area, if he had been hurt in anyway, it would have been all over the local news.

So far, I havn't seen anything.

I think in this case, no news is good news.

Our thoughts remain with you sir.

foretaz
07-17-2005, 03:48 PM
i see ABA is online right now....thats a great sight....should make alot of us feel a bit better....

ABADays
07-17-2005, 03:48 PM
Wow - I am tremendously touched by the concern showed here.

I am fine guys. It's really weird but you guys probably hear about this stuff before I do. Information distribution is not paramount here. I was surprised to see something happened in the Green Zone because you can't believe the security and fortification. I have had heard a couple of explosions in the Red Zone - those idiots killing the kids but haven't felt threatened yet.

Part of my communication problem is they were suppose to get me in a single "hootch" so I could get my sattelite hooked up. I spent a lot of money getting my computer ready for this venture because REGULAR communication is very, very important to me. Since that hasn't happened yet, I have to fight like everyone else trying to find an internet cafe to write. I didn't realize there was this concern until I got an email from Able. And . . . AOL sucks from here. It is very, very shaky.

I think in my last post I told mentioned feeling like I was in a Twilight Zone episode. Well, now make that black and white Twilight Zone episodes. Dust storms are very weird here. Apparently, they are somewhat furious crossing the desert. But here, all the dust has already risen in the air and it actually settles down on the city. A couple of days ago one blew in and completely blotted out the sun at 4p (and trust me, it's a blazing sun) and we didn't see it again for 24 hours. When it hits, there is no sky and no horizon. It looks very much like the scenes we saw from people right in the midst of the 9/11 stuff.

Anyway, it's almost midnight Baghdad time (almost 3p Indy time) Sunday night. I have to get to bed. Again, thanks for all the concern.

Oh and yeah . . . I'm glad Harrison's knee is "getting better". How is Benders? :3deadhors

able
07-17-2005, 04:03 PM
If you want a less "iffy" emali addie, let me know and I'll set you up, will work in client and on webmail.

Just glad to hear you're ok :)

cheers

Hicks
07-17-2005, 04:14 PM
Glad to hear from you, ABADays. :)

sweabs
07-17-2005, 04:16 PM
Ah - ABA! Great to hear from ya - I'm so glad you're doing alright!

And of course, it just wouldn't seem right if you forgot to put a nice little Bender joke in there ;)

Once again, it's great to hear from you.

dobermanpharaoh
07-19-2005, 01:50 PM
ABA,glad you are safe. I know you don't know me,but you are in my prayers nightly.You give up alot of your freedoms so the rest of us can keep ours.Stay safe,and watch your back.

Mr. Pink
07-19-2005, 02:01 PM
ABA!!!!!!!! Wonderin when we were gonna hear from ya. Keep on truckin'

Suaveness
07-19-2005, 02:19 PM
So good to hear from ya ABA!

CableKC
07-22-2005, 08:29 PM
ABA,

Despite the many things that may divide us Pacers fans ( especially when it comes to keeping or trading Artest ), we Pacer fans look out for our own ( especially when one of them is in a dangerous place like Iraq or the Palace ).

Take care of yourself.

Also....I would hope that there is someone in your family tha is a Pacer fan as well....maybe you can turn them onto posting on PD? This way maybe they can update us so that we can be sure that you are okay when you are out there taking down the "bad guys".

able
07-27-2005, 10:41 AM
I got an email from ABAdays lat night nad he asked me to relay to you all that he is in fine shape
He told me he was 15 minutes away from teh last balst nad it still shook the windows.
He also travelled to "Assassin's Gate" a few times, he wrote about that:
"In the past it was the site of many car bombings and snipers but has settled down quite a bit. They still make us wear a bulletproof vest and helmet when we go out there though."

in all he is doing fine and enjoys hearing from you all

CableKC
07-28-2005, 02:13 PM
Cool....its good to know that he's doing well.

BillS
07-28-2005, 02:20 PM
I've been concerned, thanks for the update!

Pacers#1Fan
07-28-2005, 05:12 PM
Stay safe.

ABADays
08-08-2005, 02:16 PM
Thanks btown. Denny's for sure.

Hi guys!!!!! Just a moment for a quick update. Things are going well. We had a really bad sandstorm here today. Like zero visibility. The problem with these storms is that after they pass - you have an awful mess to clean up in your quarters. Very, very fine dirt and it finds its way into everything.

Able reported that a couple of weeks ago there was a major car bomb about 15 minutes away. I went and saw the remains of the car the other day. Looks like it was compressed and fried.

Some recent firsts: August 4 - saw my first clouds in the sky since I've been here; August 6 my first visual of a car bomb and last night . . . well, last night experienced my first mortar round traveling over the camp. I heard the deep THUNK of the launch and heard it flying overhead before it exploded about 1/2 mile away. When I heard it in the air I resisted the urge to yell "Reggie For 3!!!!"

You'll also be happy to know, one of your own (yours truly) is organizing the 1st Annual Baghdad Buffett Fest for the soldiers September 17 and 18. What started out as kind of a small thing with me and my parrothead group has now gone national.

He he he! If they thinks thats big - just wait until Pacer training camp opens!
Stay well all and keep your head down.

Question: Have you ever seen an Iraqi cop direct traffic?
Answer: Neither have we.

:buddies:

pacerwaala
08-08-2005, 08:08 PM
ABA Days


Stay safe. I do not know how proud I am to be able communicate with someone who is making a lot of sacrifices for safeguarding our country. What you are doing is truly great.

Regards

Pacerwaala

The Toxic Avenger
08-09-2005, 01:30 AM
Hey ABA,

I'm sure you don't know me but given that you're where you are I've got to respect you and wish you the best.

And if there is no other reason... this quote is enough to make me want to chat with you more.




Question: Have you ever seen an Iraqi cop direct traffic?
Answer: Neither have we.

:buddies:

Doug
08-09-2005, 10:02 AM
You'll also be happy to know, one of your own (yours truly) is organizing the 1st Annual Baghdad Buffett Fest for the soldiers September 17 and 18. What started out as kind of a small thing with me and my parrothead group has now gone national.

That is just great. I can see the puzzled look on the Iraqis' faces as they watch a group of Americans with their hands together over their heads, singing "Fins to the left, fins to the right..."

CableKC
08-25-2005, 03:20 PM
Any word from ABADays lately?

Its been about 2 weeks since we got an update.

ABADays
08-26-2005, 05:51 AM
Wow - I hadn't realized it had been so long since I gave an update.

Things have been going pretty well. The troops stationed here and I have pretty much acclimated to the heat. July was very, very hot as I have told you but August (which is suppose to be the hottest month) is about 6-8 degrees cooler. So it's only between 104-112 now. Everyone has also benefitted from Jonathan Benders "Healthy for Life" program.

I have been very busy getting ready for Buffett Fest. Looks like we could have as many as 1,000 people. What started as something relatively small has grown nation wide with contributions to the party expected to reach between 600-1000 gifts. Even the man himself, gave a shout out to us during his concert in Cincy earlier this week.

On a serious note, the talks surrounding the ratification of the new constitution has stirred up some activity. About a week ago there were 4 explosions between 8:00a-8:30a. Three of them within 200 yards of my center and the other about 1/4 mile. Conflicting reports on whether they were car bombs or mortar shells. The troops at Camp Honor (my camp) and Union III down the road a bit have been doing a lot of readiness drills expecting more activity when the constitution is ratified. Rumor has it we will only be here until the 6th Squadron 8th US Cavalry return to Ft. Stuart in January. That is when this whole camp is to be transferred over to the Iraqis. A rather large contingent of their soldiers have already moved into camp which wasn't really popular.

I had two assistants transfer into my center. One guy has been in Iraq for 14 months and is nicknamed Radar. Certainly fits. One of the most resourceful guys I think I ever knew. I just don't want to be Col. Blake. The other didn't work out so good. She - uh - doesn't seem to want to fit in. Soooooo, they are transferring her. Remember the scandal involving the prison over here where the prisoners were mistreated? Uh huh - she is being transferred there. God awful place from what I understand.

All in all - things are going pretty well. I'm glad we are closing in on the Colts and Pacers season. I understand we get 7 games a Sunday for the NFL and they are usually repeated throughout the week on AFN (Armed Forces Network) TV. Don't know about the NBA yet.

Interesting coincidence about 10 days ago. A comedy group called "Comics on Duty" came through to do a show. One of them saw me with my Colts hat on and gravitated my way. So happens he went to Ball State - like me. Even signed "our wall" BSU to Baghdad. As the MWR guy I spent a lot of time with them. Pretty good time.

Well, gotta get back to work. Take care guys!

Hicks
08-26-2005, 07:01 AM
Thanks for the update, ABA!

Shade
08-26-2005, 01:33 PM
Glad things are going well, ABA. How long are you expected to be stationed there?

Btw, a friend of a friend who is a Marine is going to be going out there in a few days. What kind of communication is typically allowed out there? I know you get internet access from time to time (obviously), but I imagine that's a rarity. I'd imagine they don't allow much in terms out outside communication, but this whole thing is pretty foreign to me. They say he's expected to be out there a minimum of 7 months or so, so I'm just kinda curious.

Keep up the great work, man! :)

Raskolnikov
08-26-2005, 04:32 PM
When I heard it in the air I resisted the urge to yell "Reggie For 3!!!!"

:laugh:


stay safe, man

ABADays
08-27-2005, 06:56 AM
Glad things are going well, ABA. How long are you expected to be stationed there?

Btw, a friend of a friend who is a Marine is going to be going out there in a few days. What kind of communication is typically allowed out there? I know you get internet access from time to time (obviously), but I imagine that's a rarity. I'd imagine they don't allow much in terms out outside communication, but this whole thing is pretty foreign to me. They say he's expected to be out there a minimum of 7 months or so, so I'm just kinda curious.

Keep up the great work, man! :)

Communication is not as bad as you might think. Several different ways. You can get an IRAQNA cell phone. There are Satlink landlines using prepaid calling cards. MCI and AT & T have calling card trailers. It depends on where you are. In my center there are computers (tell him to establish a yahoo account because aol is literally unreachable on a consistent basis). We also have morale phones in the center which are very exclusive use. If he wants to get a cell phone in the States, make sure he gets one that will take a sim card. What that does is basically change the phone over for use here. This has to be a certainty. My Sprint phone, which I loved, had no place for a sim card.

My contract to stay here is for a year but I will be home for R & R in December, finish my year in July, come home again and probably back for another year.

ABADays
08-27-2005, 11:09 AM
One other thing. If he has a computer he might want to check out Vonage or Skype.

Shade
08-27-2005, 11:27 AM
Thanks a lot for the info. I'll be sure to pass it along.

Stay safe, man. :usa:

A-Train
09-10-2005, 11:42 AM
ABA, thank you for your service to our country and for these updates. It's quite amazing to get this type of information on a Pacer Forum. Is this a great country or what????

:cool:

cramerica
09-12-2005, 08:29 PM
Alright, now it's my turn. I leave tomorrow for Iraq and should be there on Friday. I don't know ABA's ability to get on a computer, but I should be able to post as usual since my job is to keep the network up and if I don't have computer access, then nobody else does and that's not a good thing.

I should be back in the states sometime around January/February.

Talk to you guys later.

Shade
09-12-2005, 09:02 PM
Alright, now it's my turn. I leave tomorrow for Iraq and should be there on Friday. I don't know ABA's ability to get on a computer, but I should be able to post as usual since my job is to keep the network up and if I don't have computer access, then nobody else does and that's not a good thing.

I should be back in the states sometime around January/February.

Talk to you guys later.

Stay safe, youse guys. :usa:

Hicks
09-12-2005, 09:28 PM
Good luck!

MagicRat
09-12-2005, 09:39 PM
Alright, now it's my turn. I leave tomorrow for Iraq and should be there on Friday. I don't know ABA's ability to get on a computer, but I should be able to post as usual since my job is to keep the network up and if I don't have computer access, then nobody else does and that's not a good thing.

I should be back in the states sometime around January/February.

Talk to you guys later.

Thanks and good luck........

Los Angeles
09-12-2005, 09:57 PM
Alright, now it's my turn. I leave tomorrow for Iraq and should be there on Friday. I don't know ABA's ability to get on a computer, but I should be able to post as usual since my job is to keep the network up and if I don't have computer access, then nobody else does and that's not a good thing.

I should be back in the states sometime around January/February.

Talk to you guys later.
Thank you, cramerica.

ABADays
09-13-2005, 12:05 AM
Does anyone know exactly where cramerica is going?

Cactus Jax
09-13-2005, 12:22 AM
Does anyone know exactly where cramerica is going?

TO THE MOON!!!!!

Sorry I don't know. I hope you guys get back safe, and Tucson will actually be cool by the time you come back cramerica.

Doug
09-13-2005, 02:16 PM
ABADays,

Good luck with BuffettFest. It sounds like it's going to be great! Try to relax and enjoy it a bit.

For those of you who didn't pick up on it, ABADay's little project has become positively monsterous, with donations, greetings, gifts, etc, coming from all over the country.

I'm very impressed. Thanks a lot for doing what you can to bring a little bit of "home" to our troops overseas.

Thanks again, and stay safe.

cramerica
09-14-2005, 07:37 PM
Right now I'm in Norfolf, VA waiting for our plane to leave so I stopped by the USO here.

ABA, I'll be in Kirkuk.

Thanks to everybody.

ABADays
09-14-2005, 11:17 PM
I see what's going on here. Strategically placed Pacer fans - possibly world domination on the horizon.

sweabs
09-14-2005, 11:24 PM
I see what's going on here. Strategically placed Pacer fans - possibly world domination on the horizon.

:laugh:

Stay safe, ABA! Glad to hear everything is going well. Good luck, cramerica!

ABADays
09-14-2005, 11:30 PM
Please keep everyone up on what's going on with you Cramerica. You are going to an interesting place in Kirkuk. Stay safe, especially next month during ramadan.

Gyron
09-15-2005, 08:12 AM
Stay safe Cramerica, please keep us up to date on your status. Would love to hear about your experiences there if you have the possibility to tell us about it.

ABA, so when's buffetfest?

ABADays
09-15-2005, 12:35 PM
Stay safe Cramerica, please keep us up to date on your status. Would love to hear about your experiences there if you have the possibility to tell us about it.

ABA, so when's buffetfest?

Buffett Fest will begin at 7a Indianapolis time September 16. Will probably be going on by the time you wake up.

Gyron
09-15-2005, 01:07 PM
Well then, please have a margarita for me, it's gotta be 5'oclock somewhere...:)

ABADays
09-28-2005, 05:47 AM
Nothing from cramerica? Has he posted in any of the threads that anyone knows about? We are about to enter Ramadan, which lasts through the month of October. All those around me are kind of holding their breath. I guess it's one of the least favorite times of year because activity seems to pick up. This year it's compounded because of the elections and Saddam's trial both in the middle of the month.

We had a contolled detonation of a suspicious car right outside our gate the other night. Followed the next night by 6 mortars rounds coming into one of our sister camps maybe 3 miles down the road.

Could be some interesting writing ahead guys.

Gyron
09-28-2005, 08:57 AM
How did Buffetfest go ABA? Was it a resounding success?

ABADays
09-28-2005, 01:50 PM
Went well Gyron. Thanks for asking. We had about 700 show up. It was a great time.

Gyron
09-28-2005, 01:57 PM
Awesome. I'm glad you had something of a piece of home by holding this "fest" for the peeps there. 700 would be a pretty good turn out I would think:)

I hope you are doing well yourself. I wish I was going to be in INdy during your R&R at home. Would love to attend a minigathering and meet and thank you for your service in Iraq.

Keep safe my friend:D

cramerica
09-28-2005, 02:05 PM
Yo ABA, I'm here in Kirkuk. I've been here for about 2 weeks now and it's alot quiet here than what I thought it was going to be. We've only been attacked 3 or 4 times since I've been here. Glad to see your doing good.

I've been posting here, mostly on the Colts side, but I still have access here daily so it's like I never left. I'm going to dayshift tomorrow so I'm sure I won't be able to come as much.

Stay safe man.

ABADays
09-28-2005, 11:06 PM
Thanks Gyron!

Good to see you cramerica. Take care of yourself. You are right, having PD keeps you close to home doesn't it?

The Toxic Avenger
09-29-2005, 06:56 AM
Yo ABA, I'm here in Kirkuk... We've only been attacked 3 or 4 times since I've been here. I feel kind of bad that I found this funny... But not too bad. :)

Hope you guys STAY safe.

The Toxic Avenger
10-14-2005, 01:15 PM
Well, I know you guys have both been on here lately so we know your safe... Tell us some more of the goings on. Were either one of you able to watch, or attend, the Bush questioning?

If so... what are you opinions on Cheesecake. Personally, I love it.

Discuss

cramerica
11-02-2005, 10:20 AM
A little update, although nothing exciting.

I've been here for about a month and a half. It's getting to that point where everyday feels like groundhog day. Wake up, go to work, eat chow, go to sleep. That's pretty much my day. I'm not really home-sick, I never have gotten home-sick, but I just miss my wife. The people I work with are pretty easy to get along with, so that helps, but nothing can replace what you have with your spouse if you're in a happy relationship. And of course it's multiplied 20x more when you're away from them for a long period of time.

No excitement as far as any attacks. We don't have any aircraft here, except for a lot of helicopters and they are contastantly on the move. We're embedded with the Army and the 116th just left and the 101st replaced them. From what I understand the 101st are the same guys who fought at the Battle of the Bulge. Of course it's not the SAME guys, but it's the same batallion or brigade or whatever they're called who fought that battle. The 116th were a bunch of reservist and guardsmen who were a little bit on the older and subdued crowd. The 101st however, are mostly Active Duty and are very young and a little bit more wild. Whoever they are, they are busting there asses and are constantly going out on convoy's and I have much respect for them.

As far as sports are concerned, I couldn't of asked for a better hook-up. Being in the communications squadron, we get all kinds of benefits. AFN (Armed Forces Network) shows all the big games (they show atleast 7 NFL games a week and numerous NBA games including the Pacers and Heat game that's coming up). I also have LAN access in my room and they have a moral drive that has tons of movies and TV Shows (I've already watched 1 1/2 seasons of the Soprano's) and a music drive that has every song you can think of.

So it's not so bad here. And that stuff definitely helps pass the time.

Anyways, I just wanted to update you guys as I know myself and ABA haven't posted in a while with the exception of a couple of GTS contest and some Colts post.

Take care.

CableKC
11-02-2005, 07:36 PM
Good to hear from your Cramerica....I'm glad that you're okay. Keep your head down and stay safe.

ABADays
11-03-2005, 08:41 PM
Every day seems like the last :laugh: boy, don't I know that feeling. Good to see you are doing well. It's the chow that makes every day worth it!

CableKC
11-04-2005, 01:54 PM
Every day seems like the last :laugh: boy, don't I know that feeling. Good to see you are doing well. It's the chow that makes every day worth it!
Were you able to at least catch the Pacers/Heat game yesterday?

I would hope that if you were on duty or something.....someone there would have slapped a video tape into a VCR to record the game for you guys.

I'm guessing you and Cramerica are representing the Pacer contingency over there in Iraq.

ABADays
11-04-2005, 02:07 PM
Yes - I did get to see it - although it was VERRRRRRRRY early in the morning.

CableKC
11-04-2005, 05:12 PM
I'm guessing that based off of where you are....any taste of home....even if its at 4am in the morning is well worth getting up for.....especially if its watching the Pacers beat up on the Heat.

cramerica
11-05-2005, 01:03 AM
I have scheduled my time off around football. I have Monday morning off and Tuesday morning off just so I can make sure I can catch the Colts games on Sunday night (Monday morning here) and Monday night (Tuesday morning here). I woke up at 4am to catch the Pacers and Heat game and I have to wake up around 5am to watch the Colts/Patriots game.

You gotta do whatcha gotta do.

ABADays
11-05-2005, 10:41 AM
Yes, it's tough to get up so early for these "night games". We started something here called Tuesday Morning Football. It's actually the Monday Night Football game but very early Tuesday. We have the D-Fac give us some breakfast food for the guys when they come in.

cramerica
11-06-2005, 01:10 AM
Yes, it's tough to get up so early for these "night games". We started something here called Tuesday Morning Football. It's actually the Monday Night Football game but very early Tuesday. We have the D-Fac give us some breakfast food for the guys when they come in.
Hmm, maybe that's something we can try. The DFAC should be open around that time. I'll have to look into it.

heywoode
12-29-2005, 06:49 PM
Happy birthday Cramerica!!

ABADays
12-29-2005, 07:16 PM
Wow - Christmas, birthday and New Years all in Iraq! Have a good one buddy!

cramerica
12-30-2005, 12:13 AM
Thanks gents. Also had my anniversary over here. Good times.

But I've only got around 25 days left or something like that. Trying not to count.

Frank Slade
12-30-2005, 09:23 PM
Thanks gents. Also had my anniversary over here. Good times.

But I've only got around 25 days left or something like that. Trying not to count.

Good to hear.. will be glad to have you back soon...

CableKC
12-31-2005, 11:52 PM
Thanks gents. Also had my anniversary over here. Good times.

But I've only got around 25 days left or something like that. Trying not to count.
Make it back safe....and Happy New Year.

I bet you that you make it back home before we trade Artest. :laugh:

indygeezer
01-07-2006, 01:44 PM
Sat. 7th

Isn't ABADays headed back over today.......or did he postpone it a day to attend tonight's shindig?

Peck
01-09-2006, 05:30 AM
Hey Cramerica we had a quesiton come up at the party.

ABA said he thought you were a civillian contractor working in Iraq & I said I thought you were active Air force.

He then said maybe you were Air force reserve, to which I replied nah he is active duty.

ABA then pulled a gun on me & made me drop the entire subject.;)

Either way, which is it?

Are you active military or are you a contractor?

cramerica
01-10-2006, 07:02 AM
Hey Cramerica we had a quesiton come up at the party.

ABA said he thought you were a civillian contractor working in Iraq & I said I thought you were active Air force.

He then said maybe you were Air force reserve, to which I replied nah he is active duty.

ABA then pulled a gun on me & made me drop the entire subject.;)

Either way, which is it?

Are you active military or are you a contractor?
Peck, I am active duty Air Force usually stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ.

I wish I was a civilian contractor...those guys get paid alot more than we do. Might have to look into that after I get out.

Less than 16 days and I'll be home!

ABADays
01-10-2006, 10:54 AM
My bad. On my way back tomorrow.

sweabs
01-10-2006, 01:56 PM
My bad. On my way back tomorrow.

Good luck, and stay safe.

ABADays
01-11-2006, 12:53 PM
OK guys - headed out to the airport. Have enjoyed the PD banter and the forum parties. See you in a few days.

CableKC
01-11-2006, 02:35 PM
Talk to you in a couple of days.

Shade
01-11-2006, 05:37 PM
OK guys - headed out to the airport. Have enjoyed the PD banter and the forum parties. See you in a few days.

Take care. :wave:

When are you scheduled to return?

Believe_in_blue
01-13-2006, 04:00 PM
OK guys - headed out to the airport. Have enjoyed the PD banter and the forum parties. See you in a few days.

Stay safe and keep us updated.

Stryder
01-13-2006, 09:22 PM
Both of you, ABADays and Cramerica, stay safe and keep your heads up. You're doing a good thing over there. Always remember that and don't let anyone else tell you any different.

- Stryder

Peck
01-14-2006, 03:30 PM
I'm not going to make this a political post, we have a whole forum for that, but ABA days had pics. at the last party from Iraq.

It was nothing & I mean absolutely nothing like what they show on the news.

indygeezer
01-17-2006, 08:17 AM
I'm not going to make this a political post, we have a whole forum for that, but ABA days had pics. at the last party from Iraq.

It was nothing & I mean absolutely nothing like what they show on the news.


If possible could ABA see his way clear to giving us a link to a few? I'd really be interested in seeing them.

cramerica
01-24-2006, 07:25 AM
Update here - I'm still in Kirkuk, but I should be flying home in the next couple of days. I've already turned over my work and shop to the new crew and I am just waiting for the call to say "Let's Go".

Next post will be back in the states hopefully. Thanks to everyone for their support.

Matt

Hicks
01-24-2006, 09:43 AM
Congratulations!

able
01-24-2006, 12:21 PM
Make sure you get home safe before you start celebrating!

Stay safe

Peck
01-24-2006, 02:01 PM
Update here - I'm still in Kirkuk, but I should be flying home in the next couple of days. I've already turned over my work and shop to the new crew and I am just waiting for the call to say "Let's Go".

Next post will be back in the states hopefully. Thanks to everyone for their support.

Matt


Thank you for your service, now enjoy your time at home.

That's an order.:D ;)

Gyron
01-24-2006, 03:19 PM
We Welcome Home Cramerica!

CableKC
01-26-2006, 03:35 AM
Is Cramerica back in the US?

When did he get back?

I posted earlier that he wouldn't be back before Artest got traded.

cramerica
01-27-2006, 04:59 AM
Another update -

Right now I'm sitting in Al-Udeid, which is in Qutar. My flight leaves tonight (it's noon here right now on Friday) and I should be back in Tucson Saturday night. I've had sometime to kill so I jumped in here to their Cyber Cafe and thought I would post. CableKC, looks like you were right. I was actually getting my iternary yesterday when I looked at the TV and saw that he was traded.

I'll post probably on Sunday.

Shade
01-29-2006, 12:20 AM
Have a safe trip back.

Shade
01-29-2006, 12:21 AM
I'm not going to make this a political post, we have a whole forum for that, but ABA days had pics. at the last party from Iraq.

It was nothing & I mean absolutely nothing like what they show on the news.

Those were some amazing pics. Some areas looked a lot more modernized than I imagined.

cramerica
01-30-2006, 09:31 AM
I'm back in Tucson finally. Got here Saturday night. Those flights are killers. Went from Qutar, to Kuwait then a 7 hour flight to Shannon, Ireland. After that it was almost another 7 hour flight to Baltimore, on to San Antonio...Dallas...Tucson. Long day of flying.

But it was all worth it.

able
01-30-2006, 10:16 AM
Welcome home.

Glad you made it safely, hope to see you posting again soon but for now enjoy the family!

Hicks
01-30-2006, 11:42 AM
Welcome back!

Gyron
01-30-2006, 01:24 PM
Welcome Back!!!!

ABA, Hope you made over there ok. Let us know how you are doing.

cramerica
02-23-2006, 12:29 PM
ABA, how's everything going? Haven't heard from you in awhile.

Raskolnikov
03-28-2006, 10:30 AM
Anyone heard anything from ABA?

Gyron
03-28-2006, 01:25 PM
Yeah it has been a while since I've seen him post. Hope everything is OK.

It says he visited the forum yesterday though. Maybe just not posting much.

Stryder
03-28-2006, 04:37 PM
Again, keep your head up out there, ABADays...Be safe...

btowncolt
03-28-2006, 04:38 PM
:usa:

Hicks
04-24-2006, 12:17 AM
ABA, are you out there?

Los Angeles
04-26-2006, 01:52 PM
ABA, are you out there?
Last post: April 6.
Last activity: April 17.

ABADays
05-01-2006, 02:18 PM
Well guys - it looks like I might be able to start posting on a regular basis now that I am settled into my new camp. I am now at LSA Anaconda in Balad, Iraq. It is about 26 miles NW of where I was in Baghdad. The difference are HUGE though. Where I was there were about 2,500 soldiers - here there are 25,000. There maybe 300-500 visit to the recreation center each day - here between 5 and 6 thousand. There no aircraft sightings at all - here something is in the air every day since it's an air base. In Baghdad total area was about 14 square miles for 3 camps - here 27 square miles for one. There, distance from my hootch (home) to the recreation center was about 200 yards - here it's 8 miles. I will say I have never seen such MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) Centers like here. We have a recreation area about the size of Conseco Fieldhouse which includes 8 large screen televisions with cable, a movie theatre, internet room/call center a number of pool tables and ping pong tables. Then, a seperate full court basketball court, an indoor pool and an Olympic size outdoor pool. A small stadium that has an outdoor tartan track with a soccer/football field in the middle. Pretty amazing!

Incidentally, the nickname for Anaconda is "Mortaritaville". The perimeter gets hit just about every day but they never hit anything. Not really different from Baghdad except mortars instead of car bombs.

I think I will probably be here the rest of my year. Believe it or not, we have a staff of 36 for MWR alone.

Couple of big drawbacks here though. Cell phones don't work and hootches aren't wired. That pissed me off because I am hooked up to Slingbox so I could get my cable channels on my computer. The only internet connection I can get is at the rec center. Soooo - AH HA - I put myself on the night shift (11a-11p Indy time) which helps make up for the 8 hour time difference and keeps more in real time with Indy.

I've read a lot of the posts on the Pacers. They could be doing a lot more to help "my morale". I will be posting a lot more now that I'm settled.

That's about it for now.

Gyron
05-01-2006, 02:22 PM
Great to hear from you ABA, I was getting worried since we haven't seen you post in a while.

Glad to hear you have some nicer accomodations there. Let us know if you need a care package or something.....I could always have my wife bake some cookies or something.....

Edit: Although since she's pregnant you never know what her craving for the day might be, so you could be getting pickle cookies or something......

sweabs
05-01-2006, 02:31 PM
It's nice to hear from you, ABA. Glad everything is okay, and I wish you and your comrades safety and good fortune.

btowncolt
05-01-2006, 02:37 PM
Between the Pacers becoming prohibitive title favorites to me impregnating Gyron's wife, you've missed a lot.

Good to hear from you again.

ABADays
05-01-2006, 02:42 PM
I forgot to mention they fly the drones out of here. First time I ever saw one of them.

And btown . . . I thought matters were taken care of to prevent your procreation.

Gyron
05-01-2006, 04:07 PM
I wondered why the condom and the male birth control patch we were using didn't work.....Damn it Btown.....

I wonder if I can get any child support out of the money you collect on the street corners.......Are you actually getting paid these days, or are you still exchanging "favors" for food?

RWB
05-02-2006, 04:27 PM
Are you actually getting paid these days, or are you still exchanging "favors" for food?

I thought he was selling plasma and living under a park bench?

317Kim
05-10-2006, 06:29 AM
Happy Birthday ABA! :)

ABADays
05-10-2006, 12:10 PM
Awww - thanks. Beautiful sunset here in Iraq today!

This might a good place to try and post a link to some of the photos I've taken. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Peck made some comments about the photos I took in Baghdad. Wait till he sees these.

If this doesn't show up as a link, maybe someone could help convert it.

http://ph.groups.yahoo/group/jjiniraq/photos

btowncolt
05-10-2006, 12:15 PM
Happy Birthday, Grandpa.

ABADays
05-10-2006, 12:30 PM
Happy Birthday, Grandpa.

I won't even acknowledge that with an FU :-p

Robertmto
05-13-2006, 02:35 AM
I won't even acknowledge that with an FU :-p

You want me to do it for you?

Stryder
05-16-2006, 11:12 AM
I won't even acknowledge that with an FU :-p

Felix Unger?

vapacersfan
07-08-2006, 06:03 PM
You still in Iraq ABA?

heywoode
07-09-2006, 10:34 AM
Awww - thanks. Beautiful sunset here in Iraq today!

This might a good place to try and post a link to some of the photos I've taken. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Peck made some comments about the photos I took in Baghdad. Wait till he sees these.

If this doesn't show up as a link, maybe someone could help convert it.

http://ph.groups.yahoo/group/jjiniraq/photos

I manually navigated to your page by going to yahoo.com first, and then groups, and then I searched for 'jjiniraq'.

This link works for me every time....http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jjiniraq/

EDIT: I had to sign up for a yahoo ID and join that group to see the photos...

EDIT2: There are a lot of nice shots posted, ABA! Thanks for all the work it took to post them. Offers a great insight to what you fine gentlemen (and ladies) are experiencing over there....

Gyron
07-10-2006, 09:43 AM
ABA, When is your second Buffett Fest?

ABADays
07-10-2006, 01:32 PM
It's going to be September 3. Last year we had about 700 in attendance in Baghdad - this year we are expecting about 3,000.

Gyron
07-10-2006, 02:20 PM
If I can scare some up, would you take donations of some things to help you out? Like some party Lei's? I believe my wife has like 75 of the really nice ones she bought for a party and these were the left overs And we are now cleaning out for the baby's arrival. You were actually the first one I thought of when I saw that bag of Lei's. Might have a couple other small items to add to your nicely decorated room as well:)

What do you think? Do you need donated goods?

ABADays
07-10-2006, 03:45 PM
If I can scare some up, would you take donations of some things to help you out? Like some party Lei's? I believe my wife has like 75 of the really nice ones she bought for a party and these were the left overs And we are now cleaning out for the baby's arrival. You were actually the first one I thought of when I saw that bag of Lei's. Might have a couple other small items to add to your nicely decorated room as well:)

What do you think? Do you need donated goods?

Oh yeah - that would be awesome. This whole project is volunteer based so items like this are more than welcome. Thanks for thinking of it.

Gyron
07-10-2006, 03:52 PM
Oh yeah - that would be awesome. This whole project is volunteer based so items like this are more than welcome. Thanks for thinking of it.

I know its not much, but its the least I can do to help out for you guys over there doing all the work while we sit on our lazy butts at home and enjoy the freedom you defend.

Could you PM an address to send a care package to?

Thanks:)

And I hope the troops enjoy:D

btowncolt
07-10-2006, 03:57 PM
I know its not much, but its the least I can do to help out for you guys over there doing all the work while we sit on our lazy butts at home and enjoy the freedom you defend.

Could you PM an address to send a care package to?

Thanks:)

And I hope the troops enjoy:D

You're helping 75 troops get leid. You think they won't enjoy that?

Gyron
07-10-2006, 04:15 PM
You're helping 75 troops get leid. You think they won't enjoy that?

Does that make me a pimp, or just an NBA groupie?:-o

ABADays
07-10-2006, 05:59 PM
We already beat you to it btown. One of the intra-service competitions is called "Getting Leid". Team members have to race to get one of their teammates dressed in flip-flops, shorts, tropical shirt then covered from the neck to the top of their head in leis.

indygeezer
07-12-2006, 09:36 PM
It's going to be September 3. Last year we had about 700 in attendance in Baghdad - this year we are expecting about 3,000.


Jimmy Buffett on my Birthday!! What more could I ask for (the obvious notwithstanding)???

Perhaps I should enlist and volunteer for Bad-city duty!?

ABADays
08-24-2006, 03:03 PM
It's been a while since I posted. As I've settled in things have
become more routine so this update will be more random thoughts than
anything.

Mortaritaville. Yes, there is a reason for Anaconda's nickname. At
last count there have been something like 35 rounds come in over the
past 4 days. To the best of my knowledge nothing has been hit.

PX Complaint Department. I have to post this here because they
don't have one - which is a good idea on their part. The other day
I was in there and noticed a row about 25 feet long and 4 shelves
high of nothing but Oreo cookies. Well, nothing except at the end
where there was some spreadable "cheese food". Mm mm - Oreo cookies
and cheese food!

Driving test. Had the privilege of taking a 3 1/2 hour defensive
driving course - during my work shift. You'll all be happy to know
I am now an expert at how to make turns at a busy city intersections
and how to navigate getting on the freeway safely. Yeah! My
thoughts exactly.

Soldiers questions. I have gotten to know a small group of soldiers
pretty well who regularly come into my MWR during my shift. One
night they were just sitting around talking in our comfy zone (plush
couches and chairs). I decided I would just listen in without
making comment. I just don't share political or combat views with
them because it's not my job. I was surprised at some of their
comments and awareness. There is a real concern about the number of
civilian casualties they hear about daily. More and more the word
civil war pops up and challenges their belief o what they are here
for. Before, it was us against the insurgents. Now, to them, it
seems to be us chasing the insurgents who are targeting the
civilians. Before, it was defined - saving the country from
Saddam. Now they aren't clear and how they can possibly save the
people from themselves.

One comment was particularly astute, at least in my mind. A nearly
20-year guy wondered about how many billions it took to basically
remove Hitler on a global level as opposed to the billions removing
Saddam.

As I said, these are not my thuoght but I thought they were
interesting to pass along.

Speaking of soldiers. One night I was outside the MWR and it struck
me - where else but a military camp could you be in total darkness,
see a shadowy figure approaching you, know they had a weapon and not
be scared witless? Actually witless was a politically correct
term :)

BuffettFest. This will probably be the topic of the next update.
My second one will be September 3. It amazes and humbles me what
Parrot Heads can do. Right now they have raised over $45,000 in
material donations - $40,000 of which is merchandise to be
distributed directly to the soldiers. At last count there were 112
boxes with more still to come. And, as last year, Buffett produced
a DVD video concert exclusively for the event.

Robertmto
08-24-2006, 03:07 PM
It's great to hear that ur still ok

burnzone
08-24-2006, 03:09 PM
Nice post, ABADays, thank you for what you're doing, and also for giving an idea of what it's like over there right now.

Stay safe, and hopefully you can return home soon.

Believe_in_blue
08-29-2006, 11:26 PM
Good to hear from ya! Stay safe!

vapacersfan
09-30-2006, 11:11 PM
What's good, AbaDays?

Havent heard from you in a while.

Pacesetter
10-10-2006, 10:42 PM
Hey ABA .... THANKS for what you're doin in the sandbox!!!! :cool:

ABADays
10-10-2006, 11:12 PM
The sandbox had 9 mortars come in close tonight between 2a-3a. Two of them shot right out of the sky.

Knucklehead Warrior
10-13-2006, 09:55 AM
If this is opening a can of worms or you'd rather not go there, I understand, just ignore me. We appreciate you being there.

It's nearing election time here. Not that the war hasn't been a political hot potato, but more so now of course.
I don't want to turn this into a political discussion, but how are we doing over there? Things have changed haven't they, i.e. more fighting amongst themselves and less us vs. insurgency? We've also been hearing that a majority of Iraqis now want us to leave.
Are we still making a difference over there? Is it a god difference? Are we still repairing and developing infrastructure or spending more time fighting now? You mentioned earlier there was some confusion on what exactly we're doing now. Thanks.

ABADays
10-16-2006, 04:26 PM
If this is opening a can of worms or you'd rather not go there, I understand, just ignore me. We appreciate you being there.

It's nearing election time here. Not that the war hasn't been a political hot potato, but more so now of course.
I don't want to turn this into a political discussion, but how are we doing over there? Things have changed haven't they, i.e. more fighting amongst themselves and less us vs. insurgency? We've also been hearing that a majority of Iraqis now want us to leave.
Are we still making a difference over there? Is it a god difference? Are we still repairing and developing infrastructure or spending more time fighting now? You mentioned earlier there was some confusion on what exactly we're doing now. Thanks.

It's not really a good idea to express my political opinion. Over here I don't at all and on this board I try to keep it relative to the team. It's my getaway. I will say this though, there are A LOT of questions.

Knucklehead Warrior
10-16-2006, 05:17 PM
I understand. Thanks for responding.

How is infrastructure rebuilding going?

ABADays
10-16-2006, 06:30 PM
I understand. Thanks for responding.

How is infrastructure rebuilding going?

Not anywhere near where it should be. I know the locals in Baghdad are still only getting between 1-3 hours of electricity a day.

Jose Slaughter
10-18-2006, 12:27 AM
Any chance you'll be back to visit your family for the holidays?

ABADays
10-18-2006, 09:31 AM
Any chance you'll be back to visit your family for the holidays?

No. I actually volunteered to stay back so others could make it back for the holidays. I am taking a short vacation to Egypt in about 3 weeks. Staying in a hotel right by the Sphinx and the Pyramids. Then next February I am going to Rome to see the Coliseum. Ahhh . . . the good old ABA days. What? Huh? Wrong Coliseum? Damnit!

I've been to Italy several times but never to Rome or Egypt and they have been on my to-do list for a very long time.

Gyron
10-18-2006, 11:30 AM
ABA, how long is your tour overthere?

Does your company have a standard tour or is it, until a contract runs out?

ABADays
10-18-2006, 01:28 PM
ABA, how long is your tour overthere?

Does your company have a standard tour or is it, until a contract runs out?

Usually a year - but it's more like an employee option if they want to continue.

Gyron
10-18-2006, 02:42 PM
Cool, I was just curious. I know my Brother is getting ready to go over to Iraq. And he is expecting about 18 month tour, but I didn't know if you had standard tours similar. I knew you had been over there for a while.

Again as I have told you before, I am very thankful for your time, effort, and service for the troops over there. Espeically because I was one, and my brother will soon be there with you.

Stay safe my friend.

ABADays
10-18-2006, 05:29 PM
Cool, I was just curious. I know my Brother is getting ready to go over to Iraq. And he is expecting about 18 month tour, but I didn't know if you had standard tours similar. I knew you had been over there for a while.

Again as I have told you before, I am very thankful for your time, effort, and service for the troops over there. Espeically because I was one, and my brother will soon be there with you.

Stay safe my friend.

Thanks. Wow - 18 months is a long deployment. Does he have any idea where he is going?

Gyron
10-19-2006, 12:10 AM
He said he's been told a couple places, but the last I heard, somewhere near the Iranian border.

He's in a Stryker unit. He's happy to finally be going because he feels like its his turn since everyone around him has been and he hasn't, but he doesn't really like the idea of where he's going.

indygeezer
11-01-2006, 03:06 PM
Not to inject politics into this, just a curious question.

Did a certain politicians comments make it over there and is there any kind of responsefrom the GI's?

ABADays
11-01-2006, 04:08 PM
If you are talking about Kerry's comments I'm not even the info has even caught up with a lot of the soldiers yet. There seems to be a few days lag. Bush and Rumsfeld get a lot of comments.

indygeezer
11-01-2006, 04:35 PM
If you are talking about Kerry's comments I'm not even the info has even caught up with a lot of the soldiers yet. There seems to be a few days lag. Bush and Rumsfeld get a lot of comments.

not favorable I'm betting
(not to infer anything about my personal politics)

btowncolt
11-01-2006, 07:45 PM
Go Patriots!

ABADays
11-01-2006, 08:17 PM
Go Patriots!

Yeah whatever you smugass Bostonian!

vapacersfan
12-24-2006, 09:56 PM
Merry X-Mas ABA.

ABADays
12-24-2006, 10:34 PM
Merry X-Mas ABA.

Thanks VA - back at ya! :D

Gyron
12-24-2006, 10:47 PM
Merry Christmas ABA. May you have some tatse of home today. Stay safe my friend.

Roaming Gnome
12-25-2006, 02:15 PM
Merry Christmas, friend.

My family will prey for your continued safety.

Hicks
12-25-2006, 02:49 PM
Merry Christmas!

ABADays
12-25-2006, 03:07 PM
Merry Christmas ABA. May you have some tatse of home today. Stay safe my friend.

Merry Christmas to you, the family and the new baby!!!!!!

ABADays
12-25-2006, 03:08 PM
Same to you Gnome and Hicks. Think about me sitting next to you at the next Pacer adventure.

Robobtowncolt
12-27-2006, 05:25 PM
Merry December 27th, ABA!

ABADays
12-27-2006, 09:12 PM
Merry December 27th, ABA!

Same to you counselor!

esabyrn333
01-19-2007, 06:43 PM
I made it to Iraq ok. If I go to Ballad I will look you up

ABADays
01-19-2007, 07:51 PM
I made it to Iraq ok. If I go to Ballad I will look you up

OMG - I didn't even know anybody was coming over. Sheesh - I sound like the Welcome Wagon.

Please, if you do come to Balad I am at the East Rec Center. If you are in Baghdad - stay safe man. It is a lot worse than when I was there. Seriously, take care of yourself no matter where you are.

CableKC
01-19-2007, 07:52 PM
I made it to Iraq ok. If I go to Ballad I will look you up

I am guessing that ABADays has some place to go to where he can catch the game. Is there anywhere you can go to catch the game?

or

Are you like me....the only way to catch up on Pacer games is to go on the Internet and continually refresh the Game-Threads?

ABADays
01-19-2007, 08:28 PM
I am guessing that ABADays has some place to go to where he can catch the game. Is there anywhere you can go to catch the game?

or

Are you like me....the only way to catch up on Pacer games is to go on the Internet and continually refresh the Game-Threads?

AFN will carry the game. I'm sure wherever he is the MWR will be showing the game. Over here I do the NBA audio pass for Pacers games and WOWO radio for the Colts games through the internet. Oh and WQKL for IU games.

Jose Slaughter
02-22-2007, 04:28 AM
Did you make it to Egypt & Rome?

When ya coming home?

Gyron
02-22-2007, 10:53 AM
ABA< make sure you tell them about your peanut butter incident. I quite enjoyed that story.....

ABADays
02-22-2007, 01:07 PM
Jose - yes I did make to Egypt. A pretty awesome experience - humbling to stand by the Pyramids and Sphinx. Rome is scheduled for the fall. You know, the Fall of Rome

Gyron - wow, an encore huh? :)

OK . . . so I'm with my ride after my shift headng back to my hootch.
The AFN news is on and I'm listening to all the latest stories -
especially those from home. And then I hear the announcement of the
numbers. It gives me pause and make the mental note to check on
something when I go back for my shift. It would be the first time
I've ever had anything numerical in perfect sequence. Twelve hourse
later I'm back at my shift and I open the desk drawer - and there it
is, the black numbers on the yellow lid. 2111. Yes the 2111 batch of
possibly Salmonella contaminated Peter Pan peanut butter made it all
the way to Iraq.

Now who would have possibly thought, living in a compound called
"Mortaritaville", that Peter Pan may have sent me to Neverneverland
with peanut butter.

See, dangers lurk in every corner - even the PX.

cramerica
03-20-2007, 07:00 PM
How's it going ABA? Long time no talk. Mainly just lurk on here. I should find out in the next couple of weeks if I'm going back. Some in my squadron have already found out but so far I haven't heard. I'll let you know if I do hear anything.

ABADays
03-20-2007, 11:09 PM
How's it going ABA? Long time no talk. Mainly just lurk on here. I should find out in the next couple of weeks if I'm going back. Some in my squadron have already found out but so far I haven't heard. I'll let you know if I do hear anything.

Wow - already?

ABADays
04-06-2007, 06:58 AM
cramerica just advised me he is on his way back here in a month for another deployment. So now there will be 3 of us board members over here.

Gyron
04-06-2007, 09:04 AM
My Brother left last Wednesday for Iraq as well. He's been on the board reading under my account in the past, but not registered himself, so I guess you could say that makes 4.

ABA I told him that if he makes it to balad to let me know and I'd have him look you up.

He's in a Stryker unit. He thinks they are headed to Baghdad, but he's not sure,

ABADays
04-06-2007, 01:23 PM
That would be my guess as well. Interesting - as I write we are under a red alert for mortars.

cramerica
05-13-2007, 11:26 PM
Hey guys, in Qutar right now. Flying out to Iraq in a few days. I'll let you know when I get into Kirkuk.

Later.

Gyron
05-14-2007, 01:57 PM
Be safe Cramerica.

Keep us up to date. Let us know if you need anything.

esabyrn333
05-15-2007, 09:21 PM
cramerica are you army or AF? I'm about to leave kirkuk in a few weeks. Maybe your my replacement. A new requirement I heard is to have on PD member at Kirkuk at all times. Maybe I will see you around.

ABADays
05-15-2007, 09:52 PM
cramerica are you army or AF? I'm about to leave kirkuk in a few weeks. Maybe your my replacement. A new requirement I heard is to have on PD member at Kirkuk at all times. Maybe I will see you around.

:laugh:

cramerica
05-16-2007, 05:05 PM
cramerica are you army or AF? I'm about to leave kirkuk in a few weeks. Maybe your my replacement. A new requirement I heard is to have on PD member at Kirkuk at all times. Maybe I will see you around.
I'm in the AF. In comm actually. You?

esabyrn333
05-16-2007, 09:33 PM
I'm in the AF. In comm actually. You?


I am CE an Electrician. Here I have been doing FP Escort duty. Been a long 4 months. Can't wait to get out of here.

esabyrn333
05-29-2007, 02:26 PM
Well guys I just made it home last night. So I guess you can take my name off of this thread. All I can say is it feels damn good to be back home

Gyron
05-29-2007, 04:44 PM
Welcome back Esabyrn333. Glad you made it home Safe.

ABADays
05-29-2007, 10:15 PM
Well guys I just made it home last night. So I guess you can take my name off of this thread. All I can say is it feels damn good to be back home

Hm - Iraq always reminds me of the Gulf Coast :)

Was this your last deployment? If so, great for you!

cramerica
05-31-2007, 07:07 AM
Good to hear you made it back. I still have around 3 1/2 months left or something like that.

ABA, I got a couple of comm guys over in Balad with you. Let me know if you are familiar with comm over there (not really sure how the base is set up).

TripleThreat
06-02-2007, 03:46 AM
My cousin's husband is in the 82nd Airborne. in the 60 months after 9/11, he spent 49 of them in Afghanistan. He came home a year ago, and was promised that they would be home for 2 years, and most likely 3.

A few weeks ago, they were sent back over there, this time to Iraq.

You guys have my utmost gratitude. I was on station for the end of Desert Storm, and remained on station for the start of Operation Southern Watch. Spent 2 additional tours over there after OSW, and I wouldn't want to go back. Those 2 Ops were cakewalks compared to what's going on over there now.

My thoughts and prayers are with you both. When I was there, we didn't have the internet (thanks, Al) or e-mail to keep in touch. I'm glad that we can be here for you guys to have some real conversations with people back in the world.

Take care, and God Bless.

esabyrn333
06-03-2007, 02:25 PM
Hm - Iraq always reminds me of the Gulf Coast :)

Was this your last deployment? If so, great for you!

No I am supposed to be getting orders out of here (Biloxi) soon. Being CE I will be going back over there many more times. I got 10 years left before I retire. Maybe next time I will get Balad. I heard the MWR program there was very nice. Most likly because of you. But everyone I meet at Qutar said it was really nice there all things considering.

ABADays
06-03-2007, 08:49 PM
No I am supposed to be getting orders out of here (Biloxi) soon. Being CE I will be going back over there many more times. I got 10 years left before I retire. Maybe next time I will get Balad. I heard the MWR program there was very nice. Most likly because of you. But everyone I meet at Qutar said it was really nice there all things considering.

Thanks TT

Ahhh - 10 years, so you are a lifer!

Yep - (long puffy sigh) - :o I am totally responsible for the MWR being what it is. I'm the man. I'm the guy. :hmm:

Actually, since I was at a FOB before in Baghdad, I looked at this the place the first time I got here and thought "holy moly - this is a military Club Med". Guys here have it really good and no clue. The 33nd Expeditionary Wing is here - does that hold true though all of Iraq?

esabyrn333
06-03-2007, 09:48 PM
I think so I am not sure. I know Balad is the main base that was in my chain. Everyone said it was a club med. Plenty of Alarm Reds and the typical stuff. But I heard you had everything that Quatar had. Movie theater and everything. Really nice gyms. Kirkuk ain't bad its kinda small but I liked it better than Cutter really.

ABADays
06-04-2007, 12:07 PM
Yeah - we have about an average of 17 indirect fire attackes a week. I haven't been to Qatar so I can't compare. This place has an indoor pool, Olympic size outdoor pool, 3 gyms, 3 recreation centers with phone and computer banks, indoor and outdoor basketball and volleyball courts and a full size movie theatre. Not much for guys here to complain about.

cramerica
06-04-2007, 01:18 PM
Being this is my second time in Kirkuk...I gotta say it's not all that bad. It is small as was pointed out, but everything is in walking distance. Qutar...I don't know about that place either. Everytime I go through there, I can't wait to leave. It just doesn't do anything for me. But people who go there seem to like but I don't care for it. Kirkuk has a pool, but it's not olympic size or anything. The gyms here are small, but they have nice equipment (or atleast equipment that isn't all worn down). They are building a new DFAC right now but that probably won't be done by the time I leave.

But like I said...I'd rather be here than in Qutar.

cramerica
06-04-2007, 01:20 PM
Also...speaking of being at the 10 year mark. I hit my 10 year mark in about 5 days and I'm actually thinking about getting out. I'm in the IT career, so there are alot of opportunities for me out there right now...including some contractor positions over here and Afganistan.

TSgt results come out in 2 weeks. If I make it...then I will probably stay in. If I don't, then I'm probably getting out. It's my 4th time taking that damn thing, so hopefully I get it because I'm not sure if I really want to get out or not.

ABADays
06-04-2007, 01:41 PM
Also...speaking of being at the 10 year mark. I hit my 10 year mark in about 5 days and I'm actually thinking about getting out. I'm in the IT career, so there are alot of opportunities for me out there right now...including some contractor positions over here and Afganistan.

TSgt results come out in 2 weeks. If I make it...then I will probably stay in. If I don't, then I'm probably getting out. It's my 4th time taking that damn thing, so hopefully I get it because I'm not sure if I really want to get out or not.

A lot of good opportunities for you as a contractor in IT - not to mention the money. Afganistan though - hmmmmmmm - I don't know about that.

able
06-06-2007, 07:11 AM
ABA, email me about some of thise IT contracts? I might be interested :)

Gyron
06-06-2007, 10:39 AM
Well, I heard from my brother today. He was there for one of the deadly insurgent attacks this week. His stryker was damaged pretty bad by an IED, but everyone in his Stryker is ok. He lost 2 guys under his command however when their stryker got hit at the same time. Very bad week all around for him. Just glad to hear he's ok.

He said his stryker was repaired and they were back out on missions in 2 days. They gave them the day off today to have a ceremony for the guys who died in the attack, but they go right back out tomorrow.

He's really down. ABA, Cramerica, Esabryn what do you say to the guys to help them through the tough times like that? I wish I knew whatt o say other than keep your head up and that I am proud of him.

ABADays
06-06-2007, 01:14 PM
Well, I heard from my brother today. He was there for one of the deadly insurgent attacks this week. His stryker was damaged pretty bad by an IED, but everyone in his Stryker is ok. He lost 2 guys under his command however when their stryker got hit at the same time. Very bad week all around for him. Just glad to hear he's ok.

He said his stryker was repaired and they were back out on missions in 2 days. They gave them the day off today to have a ceremony for the guys who died in the attack, but they go right back out tomorrow.

He's really down. ABA, Cramerica, Esabryn what do you say to the guys to help them through the tough times like that? I wish I knew whatt o say other than keep your head up and that I am proud of him.

Gyron

Where is he? Speicher, Liberty or Slayer. I know you said he was out by the airport (BIAP). There isn't a lot that can be said in a situation like this. What you said to him is probably the best thing he could have heard. I've been reading about how tough it's been for their units.

They all have our thoughts and prayers.

Gyron
06-06-2007, 01:33 PM
He's at Camp Liberty. He said the camp itself is actually pretty nice for them.

He's always been a tough kid. He is a platoon leader, so he has 30-40 guys under him. I know he's taking it personally when he loses anyone, blaming himself. I keep telling him that he can't blame himself when something like that happens.

Being in the Stryker units, I know he is put into a lot of the toughest situations. Thats what he was trained for. He's really good at what he does. I just hope he makes it home safe and doesn't have too many close calls like that.

cramerica
06-13-2007, 02:17 PM
Hey, just found out I made TSgt. Looks like I'll be staying in.

Gyron
06-13-2007, 02:19 PM
Congrats Cramerica

ABADays
06-13-2007, 03:57 PM
Hey, just found out I made TSgt. Looks like I'll be staying in.

Congrats man!

cramerica
09-18-2007, 11:53 AM
I'm in Al-Udeid, Qatar right now...should be home in a few days. I'll let you guys know.

ABADays
09-18-2007, 12:34 PM
I'm in Al-Udeid, Qatar right now...should be home in a few days. I'll let you guys know.

You Air Force guys - such an easy gig! :p

Hicks
09-18-2007, 12:51 PM
I haven't commented lately that I respect and appreciate what all of you are doing. Thanks guys. :)

Jose Slaughter
09-19-2007, 02:55 AM
Agreed

I hope we can get you guys back here soon.

My thoughts are with you guys each day. I should try to tell you that a little more.

cramerica
09-19-2007, 05:27 PM
You Air Force guys - such an easy gig! :p
Haha...Well I'd much rather be a contractor than be in any of the services. $$

Thanks for the comments.

ABADays
09-19-2007, 07:35 PM
Haha...Well I'd much rather be a contractor than be in any of the services. $$

Thanks for the comments.

Always on your side :D Enjoy being home.

Hey - how did you like the books?

cramerica
09-22-2007, 03:33 PM
Well, ABA...looks like you are flying solo in Iraq now. I'm back in Tucson. Got in This morning (120am tucson time).

I can't wait until the day when Hicks can unsticky this thread (meaning that you are back). Take it easy man.

And the books were great. Didn't get through all of them (slow reader) but thanks again. They are in Kirkuk and hopefully we are spreading the word a little about the greatest game and state ever.

ABADays
09-22-2007, 04:13 PM
Well, ABA...looks like you are flying solo in Iraq now. I'm back in Tucson. Got in This morning (120am tucson time).

I can't wait until the day when Hicks can unsticky this thread (meaning that you are back). Take it easy man.

And the books were great. Didn't get through all of them (slow reader) but thanks again. They are in Kirkuk and hopefully we are spreading the word a little about the greatest game and state ever.

I'm glad you are home and, hopefully, no more deployments. You've put in your time and I appreciate all you did. I salute you Sir!

CableKC
09-23-2007, 01:38 PM
Well, ABA...looks like you are flying solo in Iraq now. I'm back in Tucson. Got in This morning (120am tucson time).

I can't wait until the day when Hicks can unsticky this thread (meaning that you are back). Take it easy man.

And the books were great. Didn't get through all of them (slow reader) but thanks again. They are in Kirkuk and hopefully we are spreading the word a little about the greatest game and state ever.
It's great to hear that you are back home for now.

Are you back for ( what I guess civilians refer to as ) "shoreleave" and then heading back later?

or

Are you back forever?

cramerica
09-26-2007, 03:49 AM
I'm back until my next rotation which will probably be Jan 09 timeframe.

ABADays
09-26-2007, 04:09 PM
I'm back until my next rotation which will probably be Jan 09 timeframe.

By that time you should be a General. You can do whatever you want.

cramerica
09-27-2007, 05:01 AM
By that time you should be a General. You can do whatever you want.
You sound like my dad.

Los Angeles
09-27-2007, 02:09 PM
Welcome home!

I got you a present:

http://www.web-l.com/jessica-simpson-pictures/Jessica-Simpson-on-GQ-cover-in-American-flag-bikini-DBU-pants-and-soldier-dog-tags.jpg

ABADays
09-27-2007, 03:55 PM
Welcome home!

I got you a present:

http://www.web-l.com/jessica-simpson-pictures/Jessica-Simpson-on-GQ-cover-in-American-flag-bikini-DBU-pants-and-soldier-dog-tags.jpg

Wow - wait till he's General Cramerica!!!!

cramerica
09-28-2007, 04:12 AM
Wow, if that's what I get for being over there for 8 months total...I wonder what ABA will get.

btowncolt
09-28-2007, 07:49 AM
Wow, if that's what I get for being over there for 8 months total...I wonder what ABA will get.

http://badexample.mu.nu/archives/ugly%20dog.jpg

ABADays
09-28-2007, 11:22 AM
http://badexample.mu.nu/archives/ugly%20dog.jpg

Gee - thanks

Gyron
09-28-2007, 11:53 AM
She'll love you with all her heart though ABA. You never have to worry about her leaving your side.

Los Angeles
09-28-2007, 12:10 PM
:laugh:

Maybe ABA will get more than a picture of a celeb. :eyebrow:

BobbyMac
12-04-2007, 03:54 PM
Just realized that I had never mentioned on this thread that I support and admire all the troops in Iraq and Afganistan.

Also I want to wish all of the troops serving in other lands a Merry Christmas!!

indygeezer
03-27-2008, 03:36 PM
ABADays......sound off, you ok son?

ABADays
03-27-2008, 05:07 PM
Just Dandy! Meeting all the new Hoosiers in camp with the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Cool troops and I'm so happy to have some (a gross understatement) neighbors with me.

cramerica
03-28-2008, 11:57 PM
ABA, guess what? I'm going to Qatar next month for a 365'r. I've been there before and I couldn't stand it for the short few days I was there. Don't know how I'm going to deal with it for a friggin' year.

But I'm sure I'll manage.

Glad you are doing good.