Sunday, April 20, 2008

Iraq is my new home....

!Well ya'll, I finally made it to my final destination...Mosule, Iraq. Let me be the first to tell everyone that I'm safe. I'm not going to be running missions, leaving the base, or doing anything crazy. I have a VERY slim chance of even firing my weapon. Now, I would love to come home and tell some awsome stories of how me and some infantry guys kicked some ass....but my stories will be much much different...if they get told. Although I may not leave my 2 sq mile area, my group has a challenging year ahead of us. My job will be to get patients off the helicopter (the bird) and take them into the ER where they will receive treatment. That's about it. All the training on how to save lives, kick ass, and be a real Soldier more than likely will have to wait for another day. I'm sure most of you reading this are saying "good, too bad, but good." My roommate is a Navy mental health guy. He seems pretty cool so far. He plays guitar and I my first thought was of this skinny nerdy guy (flames on guitar) and it was gonna suck. But he has surprised me so far....not a skinny nerd but a married family man that seems to be pretty smart. Enough about him....

My trip from Kuwait was a REALLY interesting one! The first night in the airport area we were lucky enough to find ourselves on an a flight we didn't have to wait very long for (not usual at all-many delayed 2 days delayed). So here we are, on the plane, ready for takeoff...1830ish. Down the runway we go....we almost get to the point of lifting off the ground when the pilot taps the breaks...then SLAMS on the breaks...for the second time in my life, I thought I was going to die. The airforce guys were yelling to hold on, we were like "OH SHIT!!" I thought for sure we were going to run off the runway, nose dive into a fire ball....BUT we finally got stopped not far from the end of the runway. All over right? Not quiet....they opened the back hatch of the plane-cargo loading area- to get off and check the plane. Natually smoke from the breaks half filled the cargo/passenger compartment(C-130). Then the airforce guys get back on the plane...yelling "GET OFF!! GET OFF THE PLANE!!!" Oh shit!! I survived the stopping, now the damn thing is on's going to blow up now! GET OFF THE DAMN PLANE!! Luckily they opened the front door(crew door) and a handful of us went out the front.... so what happened? Supposedly engine 4 had a problem and when a light came on they had to stop. Then because of the speed and weight, the breaks got so hot hey basically melted on the runway...making it look like something may be on fire, or might catch fire. So after about an hour of standing between runways looking at the fire dept and the crew mess with the plane, we got on a bus. About 2 hours later we were finally released from the situation, got our bags, and found our temp home. A tent with 10 Soldiers in least this time we had a bunk and not a cot. So two days later, we left for Iraq. And now here I sit....tired, bored, and falling asleep.

I miss everone and hope all is well. I told my mom some things I would like and I'll share them on here as well: Crystal Light drink powders....Crystal Light really knows what they are doing. They are AWSOME! Any flavor basically. The OJ is prob the best. If you have friends that don't use baseball/softball gloves or balls that would be cool-they have a league here, chocolate is always a plus....I have a love for P-Nut M&M's.....Oh, and I realized that none of PX's here have the gel shaving cream....please please Gel Shaving Cream....moisture plus or sensitive skin is what I normally use.

Well, I'm done for today. I've been taking pictures and videos of stuff and will be sending them home soon...

I miss you all and can't wait to hear from you!

Viper Medics!

SGT Strader

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