Date Published: 06 July 2004
Made it to Kuwait. Flight time was 5 hrs to Maine, 2 on the ground, 7 hrs to Frankfurt, Germany, 2 on the ground, 5 hours to Kuwait = 21 hours. Kuwait is strangely only an hour ahead of Germany, or 7 hours ahead of east coast USA. We arrived at about 1930 (7:30pm) and it was already dark. Sunrise/sunset are both very early here - I think the sun rose before 5am today. Right now it is very hot in Kuwait. Getting off the plane I think it was about 100-105 degrees out. We had an hour bus ride to camp, then some accountability formations and a briefing with no new information in it. After that we needed to meet with a liaison/sponsor to determine where we were going and pick up more gear. Chris and I went to get gear first and found out that the Army, in a rare moment of making sense, has surveyed a bunch of soldiers to see what they're buying for duty in Iraq and bought it for us to issue to us. So we got a bunch of nice gear, including 2 more pairs of (nice) boots (we were issued 3 pair at Ft Bliss), a bunch of nice polyester and silk outdoor gear, some gloves, a camelbak, body armor, got fitted for but did not yet receive a nice new style of kevlar helmet, a rigger bdu belt, a bunch of polyester wicking brown t-shirts, 4 pr socks, and yet another duffel bag. So, 99% of this stuff everyone has already bought and we now have duplicates of, but it is a good thought and we get to keep all of it but the kevlar. If you are an IRR soldier getting ready to deploy, I recommend you not buy most of the stuff on this list. You're going to have a LOT of stuff to lug from the states as it is, and the PX here is well-stocked, so anything you forget you can get here. They're not out of anything that I could tell. Plenty of bug spray and all the other things that I kept hearing were in short supply here.
Anyway, I'm here. It's hot. I'm fine. I don't yet know exactly where I'm going or when I'm leaving or when I'll be coming home. I'll write more later. One of my IRR buddies, a field artillery captain, was interviewed by CNN last week (I almost was as well at the same time) and will air tonight at like 7 or 730pm EST, so if you're in the IRR you may want to watch that.
Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.