Tuesday, December 30, 2008

In country

Well it has been about 24 hours that I have been here and finally had a chance to update my blog. I can't get too specific on things but I am in Kuwait and will be here a while before heading to Iraq. I can say we have been re-assigned to Baghdad, but not sure if that is even correct. The weather here isn't as hot as I remember, though 64 in late December isn't cold either. It was a little chilly last night but tonight it is nice. The internet access is spotty and slow, so not sure if I will update or not until I get to Iraq. Our trip here from Kansas was long and tiring, and took us through 4 cities and 3 countries before arriving here. We flew from Topeka, Kansas to Rockford, IL; then to Gander, Newfoundland, Canada; then to Keflavik, Iceland; Leipzig, Germany; and finally on to Kuwait City, Kuwait. They fed us quite well on the flight, and I eventually couldn't eat anymore. The last meal I didn't finish and the flight attendant asked me if I didn't like it and if I wanted the other meal and I said "I'm just full!" I still have some of the snacks from the plane as emergency. Tomorrow we start training (it's 8 hours ahead of EST here) so back to work finally. Well, keep an eye on the blog and I will try to update as I can.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The time is near

Well it's about a week and I will be back in Kansas. I hope we can get out of Kansas on the earliest date, 28 December. Would be nice to land in Kuwait before 1 Jan, that way December is tax free, and all the bennies associated with being there. Some good news is that we are supposed to return 15 December next year meaning I could conceivably not miss a Christmas, yet. I also talked to my branch manager and it looks like I will not meet the board in the zone this year, but oh well, I will not pin on Major for another year. Another penalty for switching, but then again I did get a $35,000 bonus for being a transportation officer, if only for about 2 months, plus I still get a $10,000 bonus for switching which can't be collected until I get to Iraq (that means it will be tax free). Anyway, this next year will be a chance to get bills paid off, and without me here spending it all we just might come out of Iraq debt free. I am not sure if I will have a chance to update before I go to Iraq, so you may not get another posting until late January or later, but I will try to update as I can.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Well we finally know what days we are leaving for Iraq, from 28-30 December. That means we have to return 26 December. Our biggest news is that our boss was relieved of duty due to pissing off the wrong person. We hope they will let him come back and join us, but that probably won't happen. We are still going as a 10 man team, with our senior Captain taking charge (technically that is me, but I don't feel comfortable since I have 10 months in the Army). A bit of turmoil, but we were told not to make waves or they would break up the rest of the team and put us all on different MTTs. Anyway, haven't updated for a while but there really hasn't been much to say until now. Will be updating more when I return home next week.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Training or lack thereof

It's become apparent that we are here not to train but to get used to being away from home, since today our training in whole consisted of about an hour and 15 minutes. Worthwhile, but still a whole day wasted for 75 minutes of training. We even missed lunch and had to eat MREs. If they had done two things, one, stagger start (or as they say in golf shotgun start) 4 teams (there were four stations) at 0830, then have the other 4 teams come an hour and a half later at 1000 and again stagger start, all could have been done by 1130, and we all could have made it back for lunch. And we could have done another half day of training this afternoon, as it was we did nothing. Tomorrow, we have half day plus and hour in the afternoon. So far in about 5 weeks, we have wasted 9-11 days according to the boss' tracker.

This weekend I will be headed to Oklahoma City again to see my son again, and hopefully spend some quality time with him. Next week, I am going to my mom's house in Illinois for Thanksgiving, which will be nice because she just moved so I get to see the new house. After Thanksgiving, it's only two weeks until we are done here. We still don't know when we'll be back, but we're thinking due to our downrange guys return date we won't fly out until after the first of the year. Well, that is all for now, will update when something exciting happens.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Relaxed Grooming Standards

Today we got called out by a 1 star General (who turned out to be the division commander) about our haircuts. My SF boss says "relaxed grooming standards" and the CG says "not in the 1st ID!" Interesting. Didn't ask how the training was, nor anything important, just that we needed haircuts. Long time since last update, the only thing I have to say is I saw my son Casey last weekend, great time as usual. I plan to see him in 2 weeks, between going home for Veteran's day weekend and going to my mom's for Thanksgiving. Could be my last chance to see him for a long while.

Today we picked up our vehicles and weapons, what we will use for training while we are here. We won't take any of it with us, just use it for training. The only thing we take is our small arms (M4 and M9).

This weekend I get to go home for the first time since 26 September, and that will be very nice. Other than that, not much else to talk about. Will probably not update until next week after I get back.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Combat Life Saver

The term is used in reference to how we all become certified to help save lives by knowing a bit more than just basic CPR. We learned to put in a Nasalpharyngeal tube (goes in the nose), apply tourniquets & bandages, cover a sucking chest wound, relieve an over inflating lung (pneumothorax something or other) by plunking a needle in their chest, and the finale of giving and receiving an IV. I thought I wouldn't be able to put a needle in, but did well, the CW2 (chief warrant officer) who I stuck said it was painless. Anyway, it was an interesting day and though tomorrow is Saturday, we have to train one more half day. Good news is we are going to test before lunch and be done, so I can get going to Oklahoma city to see my son. I can't wait to see him, this will be the 5th time this year I will see him, and I hope to get a few more visits in before I leave Kansas. Well, that's about all I have for now, will update maybe next week after our specialized training.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Settling In

Well a week's gone by and we've survived the worst part, classroom training. It's always amazing how they can cram 3 days worth of information into 5 and a half days. We did get Saturday off since we covered everything by 2pm Friday, even after taking hour and fifteen to hour and a half lunches everyday (including Friday), and leaving before 3:45 everyday (class is supposed to be 8am to 5pm). Needless to say it was mostly worthless information especially since our boss is an expert in the subject. This week is driver's training and combat life saver, and advanced Arabic in the evenings (optional but we opted for the advanced training). The instructor for Arabic is funny and quotes Team America all the time, referring to Arabic as the "Derka Derka" language. Not sure what we are tracking to do next week, our schedule got a little screwed up with something that didn't happen, so I will have to wait until probably Saturday before we find out about next week. All for now.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Camp Funston

The best way to describe the Funston experience is to say it's trailer living. The temporary like buildings are big trailers, with 6 rooms each sleeping 6 people, two latrines with 2 stalls, one urinal, 6 sinks, and three showers each. So far not so bad but I think when training gets going, it's going to be a little hectic. The rooms are about 12' X 20', 3 bunk beds and 6 wall lockers. No privacy really but we don't spend much time in here to worry about that. We start full up training on Monday and it's culture all week and language. I'm a little up on the language and trying to help the guys out on the team. I'm the only one (I think) that can read and write it. Anyway, we are all getting along good so far, eat together, work out together, but know when it's time to have alone time. Our team is marching to a different beat, our team leader is a guy who doesn't like the formal BS that they throw at you, and even pissed off the Sergeant Major in record time (he rolls his cuffs and wears his sunglasses on his head). The good thing is our boss knows what he is doing, it's been his job as SF for the past 10 years. Well, that's all for know, hope to update this week as training starts.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Going Back to Signals

I found out this morning that I was selected for FA 24, Telecom Systems Engineer, so after my tour in Iraq, I won't be a Transportation/Logistics officer anymore. Exciting news, but this may affect my tour to Europe post Iraq, not sure yet hope to have an answer by Friday. I have to go to Ft Gordon for 8 months of FA school (FA is Functional Area), then airborne or air assault school is encouraged. At 40 (or 43), that may not happen. This was very good news, FA 24 only has about 200 officers, so it is a small fraternity of officers. I get to go back to being a geek! We move out to Camp Funston Thursday and I can hardly wait for all the fun to begin.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Blue invasion

Today, the USAF invaded Ft Riley, KS. The DFAC (chow hall, dining facility) was overflowing with AF people. After 20 years of being one of them, I know now how annoying they are. Nonetheless, we all have to get along, so be it. Tomorrow we get our RFI, and that appears to be it. We'll probably have a team meeting tomorrow night, and hopefully I'll have something interesting to post. Anyway, didn't do much today except have a nice video chat with my wife and daughter, hope to keep that up while in Iraq. I also assembled the IBA (Body armor) and it's very uncomfortable but I guess if you don't wear it, then you are a walking target. The only problem I have is the crotch cover is a little short, so my boys are exposed. I was joking with my roomate that I will have to crouch down the whole time to protect myself. Well, that's about all I have, just finished watching Fringe, and I am sort of hooked, so I hope it gets canceled so I won't miss it this year I'll be gone.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Team Forming

There are dynamics to a team, and last night we went out on the town (called Aggieville here in Kansas State Country). It was interesting for me since I hadn't hit the college bar scene in 13 years. I didn't drink but one good beer at the restaurant we ate in, the Little Apple Brewing Company (get it, Manhattan, KS is the "little apple"). After my sinus drainage this week, I just didn't feel like drinking and glad I didn't. I've been cooped up in my room most the day watching shows online, as I did get the high speed hook up yesterday. I thought I watched a lot, but without a TV you really miss things. Don't think I'm going anywhere tonight, just too sick to want to go anywhere. May get out tomorrow, but not sure now. We don't have anything until about 9am Monday, so should be an easy day. Though there are apparently 250 or so Air Force and Navy people coming in tomorrow, should make it interesting around here. I hate being a dorm rat, but beyond the strip clubs there isn't much to do in Junction City, and Manhattan is about a 15 minute ride that I just don't feel like making right now. I will update hopefully Monday and let you know what happened when the AF guys showed up.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Arrival at Riley

Well I checked into Ft Riley yesterday and had our first day of briefings. Our team met tonight and we talked about where we are going and what we are going to do. Our team chief is a Jim Carey (sp?) look-a-like, but seems pretty cool so far. We're supposed to be in the nice barracks for the next week or so, then move down to Funston next Thursday. I had to find a Panera to get logged in, so we only have a few minutes to surf. Anyway, we are apparently going to finish training in early December, then have about 3-4 weeks off before deploying, subject to change of course. I will update as I can, but it's a bit of a drive to Panera from base so if I can't get internet in my room, I may not update again until the weekend. More to come later.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Countdown to Riley

Well in one week I will go to Ft Riley. We just had a kitchen remodel done, and it looks great. I have so much more to do and time is slim, I have 4 more doors to put inside my home (replacements), a fence to fix, and some painting to do. Hopefully I have time to get it all done, the kitchen being done was a huge relief.

I of course, have to rant a bit on Obama/McCain. Obama is saying the current financial crisis is caused by the current administration, but reality is one of his closest cronies, er advisors, was the head of Fanny Mae and is partly responsible for cooking the books and causing the collapse. McCain isn't innocent in all of this, he voted in some regulations which started this whole fiasco, but Obama is taking financial advise from this guy who headed a collapsed financial institution. I just hope people wake up and realize how bad Obama's buddies are (Resko, et al). McCain may not be the best choice, but between Obama and McCain, McCain looks like a Godsend.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Riding the storm out

With apologies to REO Speedwagon, just sitting here in Virginia getting hit by Hanna. Got so much to do and so little time to do it. I get to Riley 3 weeks from tomorrow, and we have a buttload of home stuff to do. I have 6 doors to replace, cabinets to remove (we're re-doing the kitchen), and get my stuff ready since I won't be back before I go to Iraq, and my wife will sell when I am there. Today is a good day to get things done, so I thought I would post something I heard on Glenn Beck yesterday. He went over the radical group's mission, and ended with this statement "they have their tentacles into an organization that does good things but also teaches that heterosexism is a byproduct of capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and male dominated privilege." And he wants to use this group as a national program (costing an estimated $500 Billion) for youth to join, like a military organization (or in lieu of the military). It is admirable, but why don't they just join the military? We already fund it, and I think the skills you get in the military are just as good and may be radical also, but not any worse than Public Allies. Just one more little thing that I think will cost Obama the election. The media is trying its hardest to get him elected, but he has no substance, no experience, and no clue how to run a country.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sitting Around

I am now awaiting my trip to Ft Riley and thought I would comment on last night's speech by Sarah Palin. Wow. If you didn't fall in love with this woman already, last night she hammered Obama and that just made me love her all the more. I just got the Newsweek she and McCain are featured in and didn't really read it but now I would like to see what they bashed her about. Newsweek also said she wasn't qualified for the job. And Obama is? What city was he a mayor of? Oh, that's right, Nowhere, USA. And what state was he a governor in? Hawaii? Illinois? What do you mean he's never been a governor? Certainly he has some leadership job? Community event organizer you say? WTF is that? So someone who was block captain thinks he can run the country. Great. Dear God, if you have any sense of justice Obama will not win.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Well, I finally finished my school, CLC3. I am now officially a Logistics Officer in the Army. We are off to Orlando this week for vacation, then back to Ft Lee for a couple weeks until I leave for Ft Riley. Well, have to pack so this is short.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I did pass my final PFT here at the schoolhouse so I am good to go for now. I need a lot of improvement but that comes with losing weight, which I will do over the course of the next few months. Hopefully they keep me away from KBR in Iraq and I can whittle myself back to my Marine candidate weight of 197 (weighed 233 last Wednesday).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Special Forces

Looks like my team leader will be a Special Forces Major who specializes in counterinsurgency ops. This could be an interesting year while we help an Iraqi Battalion. I am not looking forward to the 15 months away from the family but it looks to be a great learning opportunity. We're getting ready to run another PFT tomorrow and Friday we graduate. Next week I'm taking my family to Florida so my daughter can experience DisneyWorld before we head off to Europe after I get back. Yes, there is EuroDisney but it isn't the same, plus we'd have to go to France. Anyway, just sitting in the hotel outside the base and thought I'd post an update.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Almost Done

Well I am nearly finished with my training here in Virginia which means I will soon be leaving my family for 15 months. I have yet to get my MTT assignment but know I am leaving early January for Kuwait. Glad to get going but not so glad I will be gone for so long, while I will be in Kansas and probably will be able to come home for Christmas, for the most part I am gone for 15 months. Anyway, not sure if anyone reads this but if so, thanks, I hope to have more frequent updates when I am at Riley and in Iraq, but you never know.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pres. Barack Hussein Obama

I guess since the media has fallen in love with Hussein there's no need to have an election. Why don't people realize the only reason he's even a senator is because it was bought and paid for by the Chicago democrat machine? People should know how dangerous this man is. But with the media fawning all over his world tour, people are seeing a side of a man that didn't really exist a year ago and won't be the man we elect. Anyway, I'm still in training and live at home for the next couple of weeks. Nice to sleep in my own bed every night. I've heard from the people in my class that I may not have internet in Iraq, so if that's the case this blog will get no updates for a while. Well, I just don't have much interesting things to write now, but I thought I would drop a link to one of my favorite sites, Platewire. You can write up someone who pisses you off on the road. Keep checking back for updates.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I can't comment on politics in uniform, so pretend I am a civilian now. Something I heard today really irked me. Sen Obama (my senator as I am an Illinois resident) has said repeatedly that he would pull us out of Iraq, so I volunteered to go on the hope that once he's inaugurated he'd pull us right out, making my tour last about a month. Now, he says that he's going to "win this war and finish it, and then pull our troops out while I am President." What? That's just a way to weasel out of his promise he knew he couldn't keep. Does anyone realize we are still in Japan, Korea, Germany, Bosnia, etc, and have been for years and will be for years? I'll be an old man if we ever leave Iraq, or for that matter Germany and Japan. Sen. Obama knows Iraq is long term and regardless of who you vote for, we'll be in Iraq for many years to come.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sorry no updates for a while but I really haven't been doing much. Just surviving the last week of classes at Ft Lee before I head to Ft Eustis. While at Eustis I get to live at home since I live only 20 miles away. Anyway, nice to see some fellow Lost bashers on the posts, thanks for stopping by.

I'm still waiting to hear from my team leader for Iraq, some others have heard what they'll be doing. I expect to hear before too long, especially before I depart for Ft Riley in September.

Another issue is I have apparently lost internet access at my Petersburg apartment so I won't be able to update during the week, but I only have one more week there anyway. I may just suck it up and head to Panera Bread to get online. Since there are no more tests this week my nights are fairly free.

I've been thinking maybe I'll start writing about current events, but I don't keep up with much except Baseball. This weekend the Cubs play my beloved Cardinals in St Louis, and I miss my hometown and the rivalry that is Cubs-Cardinals. I am a tad concerned about the flooding, 15 years ago I was an Air National Guardsman on duty in South St Louis due to the flooding so it brings back some bad memories of that. Anwyay, not much more to write about, will update when I can.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Basic Training photo

Just wanted to put a link in here, though not sure if it's legal. It's a picture of me in basic training back in December, 1987, though the photo says 29 Jan 88, that was our graduation day and the photo was taken right before Christmas 1987. Anwyway, I have a test tomorrow so I don't have time to add much more. I am the one in the back row, middle (5th from left or right). Enjoy!

Airman Preevyet

Monday, June 23, 2008

Going to Iraq

Hello, I am new to the "blog" so forgive me if I buck convention and protocol. I created this spot to detail my upcoming year in Iraq as a member of the US Army. I am an Army Captain in the Transportation Corps soon to be departing for Fort Riley to train for my assignment as a Military Transition Team member. I've read many Blogs detailing soldier's time in Iraq, so I thought I would bring my perspective. I am excited at the opportunity and can't wait to get there. Yes, our mission is dangerous and we are near the top of the list of wanted US personnel. But that is the challenge and I look forward to completing my mission successfully. A little background on me, I spent just over 20 years in the Air Force before being forced (actually force shaped) to join the Army. I started out a bomb loader on F-16 and F-4G aircraft and spent 4 1/2 months in Bahrain during Desert Shield/Storm. I got off active duty in 1991, joined the Air National Guard as a communications specialist, then switched to the AF Reserves, all the while I attended college, and finally in May 2000 I graduated with a degree in Mathematics and was commissioned into the Air Force as a communications officer. Last year, the AF thought it would be a great idea in the middle of a war to get rid of about 1,800 officers, and I was one of 306 that was involuntarily let go. Yes, I was fired. So I transferred into the Army and have quickly embraced my new Army brethren. I have been stationed in Las Vegas (Nellis AFB), South Korea (Kunsan AB), Southern California (George AFB), Clearfield, Utah (Hill AFB), San Antonio, Texas (Lackland AFB), Quantico, Virginia (Marine Base Quantico), Norfolk, Virginia (Norfolk NSA), and now in Petersburg, Virginia (Ft Lee). Well, I hope you enjoy reading this, I am certainly no English Major and my thought process isn't the best, but it will be a raw, unfiltered (or as best I can allow) look at Iraq.