I am back in Baghdad for a few days. I have not been here for 6 months and that seems like a long time and a short time at the same time. People roll in and out of here so often that if you are not here on an almost constant basis you lose track of them. I saw a few that I know last night but there are a whole lot that are new faces to me.
We made a night landing at BIAP and while I have done that on numerous occasions in rotary wing aircraft this was in a fixed wing bird. I am used to the cork screw approach like that at no other commercial airport in the world but at night it is really weird.
I wont say that I was scared but I was tense. Being away in Kuwait has given me this different sense of day to day life. Even though it is part of the OIF effort the danger aspect is just so remote. Here it is real and in your face. A lot of things came right back to me. Dont hug the T-Walls, shrapnel spalls the cement. Look for the closest bunker, make an instant evaluation of the cover situation. Where are the low spots? that is where you go when there are no bunkers. Carry water at all times, if you get closed in a bunker you can't go out to get a bottle. Leave your pants and boots by the bed like a fireman so you can jump right in them in the event of incoming fire. And so on and so on. All those little lessons you learn after three years in a war zone. They come back in a snap.
I am going to hit the PX and bazaar while I am here to look for a new pocket camera. My SLR was too big to bring on this trip (weight restrictions on the flight) and I think my other camera has been stolen. I am bad about misplacing things but I have been looking for it for two weeks and can't find it. I think it took a walk from my office or vehicle. I hope not, I hope that I can trust those who do the cleaning and dispatching but human nature is what it is and if it were stolen due to my negligence I would not be surprised.