Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Recent Travels

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I have spent the last five days traveling a bit around Iraq visiting some of our units on other FOB's (Forward Operating Bases). My Chaplain Assistant and I, along with 3 other officers of our battalion, left Friday night aboard a CH-47 Chinook headed for Tallil. Mike is former Infantry, reclassed as a 56M. We are a team, and his job on this mission was to provide security and help me with ministry duties. He's been in Iraq before, and knows his job well. For those of you unfamiliar with Tallil, it is the home of the ancient and famous Ziggarut. In biblical times it was known as Ur, the birthplace of Abraham.

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Several days after we arrived we made a round robin tour of Diwaniyah and Al Kut. Diwaniyah had something quite pleasant to behold: trees! The LT pictured with me is one of our Battle Captains and a pilot; one of the three other officers I mentioned above.

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One of the highlights of the trip was being able to fly the American flag pictured below in the MEDEVAC helicopter we used to get around. Soon the flag, certificate, and picture will be in a schoolroom in Colorado.

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Another plus on the trip was the fact that the Tallil FOB is home to a large contingent of Italian Soldiers and Airmen who have their own restaurant. So, each evening we were able to enjoy something other than mess hall food, and Cuban cigars.

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The trip was not without a great deal of work and a few nervous moments. One of those moments occurred on Monday when two of our Soldiers we were visiting were struck by lightning. The good news is that they are doing well and were released from the hospital before we left Tallil. They will be under observation and on light duty for several days, but they should make complete recoveries. After that it was a C-130 flight home to Balad.


At 8:06 AM, Blogger Jack Nida said...

Hi Jim,

Enjoy your post and look forward to reading them. I was unable to enlarge your photos on your latest post. Earlier ones worked fine.
Were you really up after 3:00a.m.??? Keep 'em coming.



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