Monday, October 09, 2006

The Return of the First Team

UPDATE - I took the photo out. have to as Big Brother doesnot like it.
One of the rare times I post a picture of myself but I know a lot of people will want to see it considering the cast of characters here. Here are three of the OIF II survivors from Taji. Chris (L), myself (C), and Vic (R) are three of the first people to sleep in blown out, camel spider infested, sand flea ridden, piss smelling buildings at Taji. I blurred the names on the ACUs on purpose as well as mine on my CAC ID.
I knew they were coming back and made a trip out to one of the Kuwait bases to see them today and to have lunch. These are true warriors and real heroes. Sports figures, movie stars, magazine models mean nothing. These are the men you want you sons to be like when they grow up. I know that I want my son to be like them.

When you see a soldier notice where the unit patches are. The patch on the left sleeve denotes the unit they serve in. These are 1st Cavalry Division Troopers. That is important but the one that means the most is the one on the right shoulder under the flag. That is the Combat Patch. These men are veterans who have been in a combat zone for a minimum of 6 months. This means something to them and to me. They wear the big yellow patch (subdued for deplyment) on this sleeve as they were both here in 2004 with me in Taji.

It was a bad year to be in Iraq but even though it was filled with difficulty and fear it was a time I will always remember as the time we all went through a crucible together. I dodged mortars with these men, ate countless meals with them, sat through droning endless planning meetings, played poker with AFEES pogs, drank near beer with them, and got up at 03:00 to watch College Football with them. We talked about our families, friends, experiences, wants, needs, desires, and future plans.

We talked about how we all agreed that even though it was hard on us individually, it was in the best interest of the country for us all to use our own special sets of skill, experience, and education to make Iraq a better place so that none of our sons have to return unless they come as tourists.

Watch out Haji.The First Team is back and you know what that means. You are about to get your a$$ kicked again like you did in 2004. You learned the hard way that the most dangerous job in the world was shooting mortars and rockets at Taji. The garrison mentality soldiers are gone. Fire and move is again the order of the day. Welcome back to Iraq Troopers. You were sorely missed by us.
BIG LOU is waiting for you!


Blogger Captain Nemo said...

Hey James - Marc here.

You gotta check out the air museum at Duxford - it is HUGE. They have an SR-71 in there, P-51 Mustang, several hangars where you can watch resstorations of Spitfires and Hurricanes etc., in progress, there's a B-52 and tons of others.

You'll like the commemoration wall to the 8th Air Force/B-17 bomber squadrons which is to the side/back of the American Air Museum.

There's an Army museum with Tanks and stuff, as well as a inter-war biplane that takes passengers up.

You can get up from London on the train and then get a bus - all onthe website on transport information - in about an hour.

I went there on the day they had an air display with air worthy Spits etc plus a B-17 and it was just fantastic to be right on the flight line when she turned round before taxi out and we got that prop-wash from the Wright-Cyclones.

I'm in Bordeaux on business Mon-Wed on an audit for a prior joint venture. Nice change. Seaside resort on the Atlantic.

More later on the blog when I get five.

Chat later,


7:44 PM  
Blogger Captain Nemo said...

Hey James, you got to check out the Duxford air museum.

They've got an SR-71,P-51, Me109's Spits,plus a B-52 and lots of others.

There's an American air museum and you'll appreicate the commemoration wall for the U.S. 8th airforce to the right and slightly behind.

It's easy to get to from London - takes about an hour - see transport info on the website.

They've got flights in an inter-war biplane.

Theres also an Army museum with WW2 tanks etc., and some of the hangars have Spits and Hurricanes etc being restored and you can walk right up and have a look. There's even a PT boat in there from memory.

Well worth it.

Chat to you later.


7:49 PM  

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