sgtdub: June 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

30 June 2011,
Well, another day down in Afghanistan. I'm spreading myself thin (for a guy my size that's an accomplishment) with the two hats I wear here plus my school work. Luckily I haven't been under any great pressures yet. The weather was much nicer today, cooler today and we had less dust.
My admin SGT, SGT D, has taken over for the XO in getting me in shape. I've followed her to several different classes during the last couple of weeks and she finally found one that took everything I had and almost more. Kickboxing. Luckily we did drills and I didn't have to step in the center, even though a couple of guys stated they wanted to spar with me. I'm not crazy about the crazy guy looking me up and down. By the end of the class I was drenched and wondering if I could make it back to my room without assistance. I will have to go again because it's what I need, but I'm wondering if I should be concerned.
Ms. Dub had her second date with a new boy back home. I know, you're sitting there reading this and going "ah, that's so sweet". But in my head I'm saying "why am I here and not home where I can scare the hell out of that boy!" Yes, I've envisioned now for several years re-enacting the scene from Bad Boys II at the front door with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Making a clear statement to the young man what I expect out of him.
I'm thinking about my leave later in the deployment and possibly following the trail of the 45th Infantry Division as it made its way through Europe, seeing all the WWII memorials and sites. Just something I'm considering.
Be safe and have a great day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

28 June 2011,
Life is good, the sun was visible and by noon we could make out the mountains surrounding Bagram Airfield. The last 3 days have been solid dust, grounding rotor wing flights and coating everything. I've never liked Bagram for the simple fact it didn't have enough vegetation surrounding it to keep it less dusty ( not sure about grammar on that one).
My admin Sgt took myself and 2 other soldiers to the gym for a Body for Life workout, one hour of aerobics. Well, I'm transferring that Sgt to another base now, I ache everywhere. The good news is I'm loosing weight again. Since the beginning of this deployment I'm down 12 lbs. If I exercised I could be alot more or is that less? Things are running smoothly for now. We have taken over for the 2/34th out of Iowa and they will soon be heading home. They did a good job.
Mrs Dub is running her first ever 5k on 9 July, so I'm going to run one here too, there is an official 5k on 4 July so I might do that one. I received my first piece of mail today, I mailed to it myself but it contained my Scentsy warmer. Hey, my room smells better!
I'm going to have to shop for a new camera. Miss Dub gave me hers but alas, she took the memory card out and I can't find another one that size. Yes honey, I'm going to spend some money, but I'll keep it reasonable. Not much else to report.
Be safe and have a great day.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

23 June 2011,
Life in Bagram. When you have limited opportunities to do things and you have 30,000 + people living in a confined area, well, it makes life interesting. I know I need to go to the gym which is across the street from my office. However, just slightly larger than a single tennis court I estimate no less than 100 people attempting to get on the next piece of equipment at any given time of the day (that I'm up). I can only imagine that at 03:00 in the morning you will still find a large number of folks in there.
The sun gets up around 04:00 in the morning and sets around 8pm. I knew this from my previous deployments but am still amazed when you go to the showers at 05:00 in the morning and it looks like 10 am already.
I did manage to get started on homework, completing two assignments and turning one in. I hope to continue this trend and get caught up quickly. Still waiting on my other book.
I'm hoping to get cable news ran into our office so I can see what's going on. I spend about 15 minutes in the DFAC (dining facility) but the volume is off and it's not enough time to determine what's going on in the world. President Obama's speech does directly affect us but to what extent is hard to say. They, (you know, 'them') can no longer surprise me. I laugh at the comment I made a couple months ago to my soldiers about how I couldn't guarantee that we would even be going to Afghanistan let alone where in Afghanistan they would be and even before we left the states two of our Battalions were pulled for Operation New Dawn in Kuwait. I didn't have any inside information, just know how to read the tea leaves.
Not much else to report at the moment, I'm waiting on Mrs Dub so we can skype. Isn't it the coolest. Each deployment just improves on certain issues,(and dissolves on others).
Be safe and have a great day!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

22 June 2011,
It sounded like a good idea when I came up with it, take two more classes towards my bachelor's degree this summer while I was deployed. Well, I'm in to the third week of class and still waiting on one of my school books to catch up with me here in Afghanistan. I was finally able to make contact with the instructors and they are willing to work with me, that's good. We will see how it goes because I need to take 3 more classes this fall.
Just got off Skype with Mrs. Dub. She's ready for me to be home. I'm ready to be home. Taking 3-4 months to pre-mob wore me down. So many soldiers I've talked to would have rather spent more time in Afghanistan than what we did on train up. I know training is important, believe me, but with so many deployments so far, I think we are capable. I guess I'm just complaining some. Hey, it happens.
Well, I better try ready some of my homework and make a dent in it. Be safe and have a great day.

Monday, June 20, 2011

20 June 2011,
Last night I got to sleep on my new mattress! Now I know that's not always an exciting event, but the one I had in my b-hut was spring based and wrapped around me like a hammock. When I rolled over the entire b-hut knew it. The new ones are said to only last about 3 months but it's a memory foam style and very firm. We have six rooms in our b-hut with each soldier getting about 70 sq ft of floor space. Soldiers are allowed to do what they want with their room, such as many make their bed into a bunk bed and put a desk under it. My bed sits about 40 inches off the ground so I'm not that high up and I still have plenty of storage room underneath. I lucked out in having a homemade shelf unit and clothes rack. It was entertaining to watch the soldiers get their rooms. Much like a pot luck dinner or dirty Santa. The billeting manager would take the lock off the door and what ever was inside is what the soldier got. One room had two light switches hard mounted connecting to a string of Christmas lights strung on the ceiling. Some had fans, extension cords, shelving, rugs. Our A/C isn't working as well as it could but it's not bad. What I hate the most about Bagram is the dust. There is very little vegetation surrounding Bagram so the dust just blows everywhere. I also hate the gravel.
Mrs Dub said this deployment I could actually take a trip during my R&R leave to where ever I wanted. Based on my position my leave will be either too close to now or too close to the end of our rotation and the emotional roller coaster we go thru on saying hello/goodbye can be exhausting. I can't talk her and Miss Dub into meeting me anywhere as she really doesn't want to fly across the ocean without me. So if you had a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world where would you go? At 45 am I too old to backpack across Europe? Maybe visit my cousin in Alaska? New Zealand? Two weeks in Ireland? The decisions are tough. Going home would be the easiest but this is an excellent opportunity.
Well, give me some suggestions
Be safe and have a great day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

18 June 2011,
Well, after two weeks, I'm finally in Afghanistan again and finally have an Internet connection of my own. We are at Bagram Airfield and in the 120 days of wind. Now Bagram is in a basin surrounded by mountains and due to the lack of irrigation there is very little vegetation to help keep down the dust. I've seen the Kentucky Agriculture Team here on base and I'm pretty certain Oklahoma has a team or had a team here too. Time to get them busy on growing grass or shrubs or something to get this dust down. Of course, who wants to plant grass in one of the most mined countries in the world?
Our schedule is naturally hectic as 2-34th is ready to get out of here and we need them to stay long enough to a proper hand-off. My unit has brought with us a volunteer group from 1-34th out of Minnesota so we are getting some good treatment having fellow Red Bulls with us. I actually have a couple of my organic soldiers who have deployed with the Red Bulls in the past. It is a small world. I actually came across one soldier today who was organic to 2-34 but had a Oregon National Guard combat patch also. I found out he deployed with Oregon on the same mission I did back in 2006.
Mrs Dub is doing well and is in training for that 5k run coming up. Her trainer/friend/pain coordinator has also signed her up for a half marathon. Good luck honey! I haven't gotten into a routine yet for exercising but I'm walking everywhere and Bagram is a big base!
Once I figure out my camera situation I'll start posting pictures.
Be safe and have a great day!
P.S. It was 20 years ago today that Mrs Dub and I had our very first date. I was 2o minutes late but brought her a rose. I miss you babe, and I love you.

Monday, June 06, 2011

6 June 2011, Well, on this date the world knows it as D-Day. For my company it's know as R&R day. We received a pass and I am in southern Mississippi with my family and some of my soldiers relaxing, enjoying being barefoot and a Coke.
We got back from the Joint Readiness Training Center at Ft. Polk last week. The training was good but the lack of cell phone and wireless support out in the sticks made it impossible to try to update anything. Although the environment was so much better than the last time I was here three weeks is a long time with "basic" services. My aircard for my internet was worthless. I was able to get outside the box a couple of times but never long enough to get anything written.
We were able to conclude training there just in the nick of time, having enjoyed fair weather and the himidity and heat didn't arrive the last two days. The last couple of days back in Camp Shelby certainly got hotter.
Mrs. and Ms. Dub are great and I'm enjoying having them near. Four days is going to go by fast but I will cerish every second of it.
Be safe and have a great day.