September 29, 2004

Up Armour and life in a combat zone

I wanted to take this moment and tell you all a little bit about what my unit and the Army has been doing to protect us. I realized that this may be something you all don't hear about quite as much in the civilian world as we do in the military. Anyway, when we first got here, all of our vehicles were soft, that is to say, no armor of any kind and the doors were canvas. We also didn't have any gun trucks to mount our big guns on. Well, when we got to Iraq the first thing we did was start armouring our doors to provide us with some form of resistance against attacks. At first this was a temporary fix, using improvised items (Still very effective none the less), but we then started transitioning to the Army Issued Armour kits, which include doors, windows and side plating to give us the best possible defense against bad things that happen on the roads. We also recieved several gun trucks. That is just one example, there are many other things that have been revised, reworked, or redone to make us, the US forces out here, safer.
Being a student of History, I have read a good many books on the wars our country has been involved in, and I have read several first account stories of troops in WWII, and I am amazed at the struggle and the hardship that they had to face. It is amazing to see the progress that has been made and the way today's soldier has it soooooo much better off. I can not imagine having to run around with ALL of my gear on my back, living in a foxhole, or lying on the cold wet ground. I feel very lucky to be sitting in an office, relativly comfortable! Oh the things we take for granted these days. Just sit sometime and think about what life would be like with no TV, no Cells, no fast food, no cars. I for one don't ever want to think about life without my little baby car LOL:)
Oh, and for those who were curious, the Oakleys were mine, bought and paid for:) Our unit issues out the Wiley X's which make for wonderful goggles, but not so practical sunglasses:)

Broken sunglasses

I am a horrid klutz, prone to breaking things accidently. But this time I swear, it wasn't me LOL. My beloved Oakleys just snapped for no reason:( Bummer. Oh well, new excuse to do a little online browsing.
For those who are curious how I am able to keep this updated as often as I do, Internet cafes are all over the country, plus I am fortunate enough to be in a company that has to have computers capable of reaching the internet:) The internet is my best way of keeping in touch with friends and family, as phone time is rare, and snail mail, is just that. SLOW LOL. Not that I don't LOVE getting boxes from people I know, it just isn't an effective way of keeping in contact.
Lucy, email me:) I just posted my addy, and I would love to continue chatting over that with you.

September 28, 2004

Deployment #2

For those of you who were curious, this is deployment number 2 for me. I was in Kuwait during the war last year, returned in June 03, and was right back out the door 6 months later. I also have done a 1 year tour in Korea.
Yes, the food here is actually pretty damned good. It's NOT MRE's and for that we are glad, but for the most part, it isn't unreasonable. When I first got here, we were based out of Abu Ghraib (yes, THAT prison), and the food there was one step below inedible. But, it got better when a new company took over. It isn't a 5 star restaurant here, but, we aren't suffering, I tell you that:)
YES, I Really miss my heels. But to understand that, you have to know, I am 5'3". Short little thing. And while yes, my boots may be a sight more comfortable, I miss my heels:-D

Deployed Life as a Woman

The question was asked in one of the various comments that I have, and I am not to sure I am qualified to answer it fully. So I turned to one of my company mates who regularly goes out to different places with her team on her views. I forgot though, she is a lot like me in her attitude towards being deployed, in that it really doesn't matter one way or another, and she is also considered by many to be the female version of Stifler ROFL:-D Anyway, a few salient points: 1. The local nationals will stare, openly. Just their culture, plus we are American, Women, and in uniform, which is an unusual thing to them. It drives us a wee insane, but we learn to put up with it.
2. American men get doubly worse in their one liners, Ok I am (partially) joking on that one.
3. For the most part, it isn't much different then being in the states. Ok certain things are unavailable to us, but that is the same across the board. I think the one thing that gets most females I know is the loss of looks so to speak. One does get tired of wearing the same thing, or the same hairstyle day after day, and I know that some of the girls I know just long to feel pretty again, in their own clothing, with their own way of doing things. Hell, I feel the same way. I long for the feel of my outrageously high heels again LOL. But for now we do what we can in little ways, such as wearing makeup (Me and Sephora.com, hard to part ROFL), or perfume. And as ever, realize that this is what we signed up for, and occasionally sacrifices, however silly they may seem, must be made.

September 27, 2004

Waterloo, and inspiration

Waterloo came up in conversation last night with my best friend, as we were talking about our various interests, mine being a great love of history. To my shame I neither knew what year the battle of Waterloo took place (1815) nor whom the great general had been. Ok granted my view of Napoleon was that of a dictator so I didn't think of him militarily, but nor could I remember the British Duke that conquered him. (Wellington) So, I got myself trumped on Military History, but that's ok, I redeemed myself with my personal fav, King Henry the 8th and his 6 wives:-D I could practically write a thesis on him. (Ok slight exaggeration there hehehe) Currently though, I am reading a Jeff Shaara book, "Gone For Soldiers" about the Mexican American war 1846-1848. it is interesting reading, particularily to see a young Robert E Lee, and his influences.
On a new note, I (Yes little ole ME!) have inspired someone to start a blog of her own. Way cool!!!!!!!!!!!!! See Lucy5cents @ http://hornsoftheunicorn.blogspot.com A seriously cool name in my opinion, and I love the reference to Peanuts, one of my all time favourite comics.
My other favourite comic for those wondering is For Better For Worse. I have pratically grown up with that strip and it has always been fun to read and see what new mischeifs have been thought up. There have been times when it is almost as though they are describing my family, such as one strip I remember, when the younger sister April was writing Elizabeth about various things and ends with "The best part is, I can wear your clothes now" ROFL> As I now have 3 (Mommy, 2 sisters) other people in the family to steal my clothes (I steal theirs too Mwahahaha) I know the feeling:-D
Update on the office, I am now sitting in a fully AC office, with tables, and electricity, and lights. So now we have a workspace to work out of, with any luck, work will start coming our way:)

September 26, 2004

The Foot

Sidenote here, for all those who were wondering about the foot, referenced earlier: It's fine. Healed rapidly but boy did it hurt like all living hell. Still feeling a mite foolish for how it happened though.

Comments And Other Bloggers Like Me

It is Sunday here, and although it is my day off, I am sitting in my office more or less babysitting the workers putting finishing touches on our office. So I have had a good deal of time to go through my blog and read all of the comments. It is always interesting to see what other people think. For the record, while I am not in a college dorm room, I know it seems that way because I write of the frivolous things here, but yes, I am indeed in the big bad war zone LOL. Just in a more protected area then most I guess. But that same poster did have some very insightful questions, most of which I really can't answer fully. But I will try to answer as I can.

Do you and others have what you need to fight and win this war? Maybe, maybe not, I know that the Army as a whole is doing what it can to ensure our maximum safety, e.g. Armoured Humvees, vests, so on and so forth.
Heck are we winning or losing? Over all, I would say winning. Not all of Iraq is a bad place, not all Iraqi's are insurgents. Those are a minority, a very small minority although I know it does not seem as such. I have heard time and time again from the Iraqi people I do come into contact with that they are glad we are here, that things are getting better. Things just take time and patience.
Is it as rosy and Bush paints it? No, this place isn't rosy, but it certainly isn't a blistering firepit of hell either.
Is it as nasty as I think it it? No, not at all.
Do the Iraqis see the US as Occupier's or Liberators? Most, Liberators.
Even from my very sheltered standpoint I can see the good, and the bad. I was listening to the radio yesterday, listening to the Corps of Engineers describe working on a power plant here in Baghdad and then turning it over to the Iraqi's. They ensured that the plant was up and running, and providing power, and also ensured that the Iraqi's had the proper equipment and training to keep the plant functioning. Things like this show the good that we are doing here, we are improving things all over this country little by little. Do I like being here? No, not really. But it is what I signed up to do, and I will do so willingly.

On another topic, here are a few of the other Bloggers who have either posted to my Blog, or that I have found elsewhere and that I thought were neat. Take a few moments and check them out:
Seth over at
http://silonius.blogspot.com is alot of fun to read, also is trying to raise money to buy a 2004 Lotus. Grand dreams:-D
Navy Doc, @
http://corpsmanup.blogspot.com is a Navy guy in the states, recently posted about enjoying a Keg, lucky guy.
Sean @
http://docinthebox.blogspot.com just went back to the states from here (Lucky him), his mom has a restaurant in AZ to sell, wish I could buy it. I miss AZ at times.
CPT Myers,
http://frankmyers.blogspot.com I loved reading his posts about the Green Zone and the flights into BIAP.
Rosemary,
http://mynewznideas.blogspot.com reminds me of my dearest Grandma, she is just as nice:)

For those of you reading this, I have just redone my settings and now all may comment, whether a registered Blogspot user or not, so feel free to click the link and type away. I want to know, what would you all like to know about here?



September 25, 2004

How well do people know me?

Of the 5 people I sent the quiz too, 3 have taken it, and the average score is 81%, so not too bad. But what really made me giggle, was that my dear, beloved mother, missed 2 questions, and scored 88%:-D Ok granted, she thought I was a perfect angel and that my favourite season was fall, so maybe she can be forgiven:-D Anyway, these little quizzes are causing some amusement amongst my group of friends, as I have been now quizzed by 2 of my oldest friends. Scored low on one (oops), and high on the other (He thinks I'm dumb). Tickle.com, an amusing place let me tell you.
Anyway, thus far, my day hasn't been bad, haven't really done anything other than type up a memo, (love typing memos). But I have to say, getting tired of the not doing anything bit. My whole goal, my whole purpose in life is to make a difference in other peoples lives. After all, that's what the US is doing here isn't it? Making a change for the better for these people? Yet here I am sitting quite comfortably in an office with a fan (No, no AC for me), Safe (Being a relative term around here), and with a good number of amenities (Showers, chow hall, PX). Yep, living the good life while deployed. And no, I am not exactly grateful. I'd much rather be out there, helping, assisting in any way that I could. I read the blogs, the stories, and the newspaper, there are people out there everyday, doing. And here I am, sitting. Blah isn't life good ROFL. Ok I swear, enough with the griping from me.
I have to say though, that I am remarkably blessed, lucky, however you would want to put it. I have a great family, a better then average relationship with my mother (My best friend in the whole wide world), friends who make everything just THAT much better to my day, and as ever, my perpetual life won't get me down attitude. I know you all can't really see that last online, but I swear, I try hard to make it so:)

September 23, 2004

Help

Ok, thought I knew alot about computers, apparently I don't LOL. I am trying to create one of those cool little sidebars that you all have on your blogs. I think I am missing something in my settings and not sure how to do this. I would very much like to link all my new blog buddies, but coming up short. Any guidance? Thanks:-D

Karaoke and green sock puppets

I go to karaoke night once a week at the local MWR facility, I call it my weekly therabpy session. Things can get quite funny there, especially last night when one gentlemen decided to put on a puppet show, singing "Rainbow Connection" with a green sock puppet. Gotta give him kudos for that, it was most original and hilarious.
My best friend came back from leave, and so now I have someone to talk to again. I am ecstatic about that, so few people around here are really worth talking to, (and others I would rather run from) So all in all, what started as a bad week is turning better by the day:-D

September 22, 2004

Commentary

HI everyone:-D I am not too sure how to respond to comments posted, so I thought I would just write a blog to all those of you who read this:) When I started this blog, I intended it to be another means for close family and friends to keep up with what I am doing. I get quite the kick out of knowing that other people outside that circle are reading too. First of all, Thanks for ALL the encouragment, it is so great. There are somedays I need it too@@.
Someone asked what I do: In short I work Force Protection issues, helping to keep troops safe. Not really all that complicated:-D Anyway, thanks for everything,
Elizabeth AKA SGT Lizzie

Day 0

This morning has been good thus far, I woke up in time for PT this morning bright and early, and got a good ride in. Then I had 2 hours to get ready and eat breatkfast before being at work. This morning's formation was rather funny for my company, as there were only 2 of us there. We looked kinda goofy.
It promises to be a busy fulfilling day and I look forward to it with glee:-D

September 21, 2004

One of those weeks

Where nothing wants to go right. Bleah. Monday I was late for work, Tuesday was just screwy, and I slept far too late this morning. Yesterday we had the adventure of trying to move a big generator around to put it where we wanted it. That Didn't happen LOL. I am not used to driving a big truck with something attached to the back, and my TC couldn'd ground guide a trailer to save his life. It just ended up with us dropping the generator and then getting someone else to move it today.I took a sleepipng pill last night, and that's the last time I will do it a night before I have to work. I slept until 0840 this morning, right through my 0630 alarm. Not good. Still got to work on time and now we are just waiting for the electrician to come wire our building so that we have power and thus will have AC! Yay.

September 20, 2004

I was busy!!!!!!!!!

Yay for me, I do so prefer being busy to doing absolutly nothing. I spent the afternoon working hard, and it made the time just fly by. Good thing too cause I woke up at 0800 this morning. I was supposed to have been out at the motor pool for maintainence at 0800. Oops. I made it out there by 0810 though:)
Nothing much else has been really going on here, I got and watched Will and Grace, Season 3. I love that show:)

September 18, 2004

10 Ways NOT to relieve the boredom

10. Mortars
9. Ok I can't think of 9-2 but I do know #1: DO NOT drop M4 carbine on foot. OUCH!! I just spent most of the afternoon bouncing between TMC's here and on Victory just so they could say, "no it isn't broken" Well Duh I knew that LOL. I only went to the TMC because the cut was deeper then I was capable to handle. Nothing to worry about though folks, yours truley is just a major klutz:) I will be fine. I just feel really dumb right now:-D
Nothing else much happening here, just trying not to be bored and lose my sanity, or what little sanity I have:)

September 16, 2004

Inhalers, and other silly things

Well, for the next few days, in an effort to clear up what ever is bothering me, I have to use an inhaler. According to the doctor, the main side affects are jitteriness and jumpiness. Yay, so no worse off then I usually am ROFL:) It tastes bad too bleah.
I got my box today from one of my orders:-D I had ordered some au natural soaps and lotions from a website called Susan's Soaps. They came so prettily wrapped that I felt like I was opening presents;) They all smelled soooo good:)
I am going out tonight, trying to alleviate the extreme funk that has settled over me recently. We shall see how this goes:)

September 15, 2004

Mediocre

"of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance." Apparently this describes me right now. What does it take for people to see that I really do want to be the best, that I do put myself out there. I am not the sort of person who is content to sit back and do nothing. I prefer to do something, anything. Just keep me busy doing something that has an effect on someone or something and I am happy. I try to improve myself, but it's hard when there is nothing around here to do!!

2 things I should never touch

My Tweezermans, and eyebrow wax. Thankfully, my eyebrows don't look TOO bad, but that's just me. Oops:) Ah the things we women do to ourselves in the name of beauty and vanity. I am not a vain woman by any terms, but I do take a certain pride in NOT having the infamous unibrow that is hereditary in my family. Hence the adventures last night LOL. They will grow in again, for now, they are just a wee bit on the skinny side.
There is nothing really new here, the threat levels have gone down again and thus we are allowed back outside without our party gear on:) Nice not having to carry around 40 extra pounds around.

September 13, 2004

Gossip, good or bad?

This, believe it or not, was a question given during a recent class. The question was given in reference to a scene in “Band Of Brothers” in which 3 or 4 enlisted men were standing around discussing a LT who was rumoured to have shot 20 German POW’s. The question being, was this sort of gossip good, or was it bad. One opinion put forth that while some gossip is bad, gossip of this sort is good, because it causes the soldiers to fear that LT. It is my belief, that gossip, no matter which kind, is always bad. In the scenario given, the soldiers feared the LT yes, but in that context were afraid of him. Why would anyone, looking to gain respect, want their soldiers afraid? To fear a person is one thing, but to be afraid is another matter. I should mention here though, that the word fear does have 2 meanings: 1. to be in reverential awe of, and 2. to be afraid of.
Today seems to be starting off alright, hopefully it stays that way. I recieved an email from a very good friend of mine who recently had the opportunity to go see the president in a rally, at which my friend was also recognized as being a soldier serving in Iraq. Pretty cool experience for him:) Life is interesting in the curve balls it throws us. Some good, some bad, but every now and again we can indeed hit the ball out of the ball park:)

Really great blogs

Ok, I had these 2 really great blogs typed up this afternoon, and what do you know they are on my flash disk in my room. Yeah, the blonde is coming out again:)
Nothing of any great import happened today, I managed FINALLY to get over to Brigade and say hi to my friends Joe and He knows who he is! Hi guys:-D That was cool. Also was really cool, one of my buddies that I haven't seen since May came walking up behind me while I was waiting to have my truck checked. We had a good conversation, while it lasted, but he had to run due to missions. I used to have a MILD crush on the guy, but no more he is just a really cool person to talk too:) So that was my day and its highlights. I just finished watching "Ella Enchanted". Cute. Ok, I admit it, I LOVE kids/teen movies. It's a weakness, but you gotta admit, most of them are better then the stuff put out for adults in my "age group"
Well, off for now. Love you ALL:) (Ok I am feeling a wee goofy tonight)

September 12, 2004

Days Off

So I got to sleep in, nice and long this morning after having been awoken at 06 because of an attack. Always nice. Then around lunch time, I took my shower and not more than 5 minutes after getting out, I got called into work for a few minutes. Oh well, I had planned on coming into the office eventually anyway, I just came in sooner:)
My sister turns 4 today, shocking how fast they grow! I remember coming home from basic and AIT to this little tiny 2 month old baby, then a year later returning from Korea, and scaring the little one because she didn't know who I was. We quickly bonded though, and now when you ask her who her favourite sister is, she says "Lizzie, and Becca, and Rachel, and Sarah, and Gracie, and Mummy" LOL. I miss my babies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

September 11, 2004

Life since 01

3 years ago today, our lives changed immeasurably. For my bit of remembering, I am going to include the diary entry I wrote about a week after the events of 9-11.

18 September 2001
17:20
Where should I start? I think that if I eventually ever print this out I will enclose news clippings to save me the trouble and heartache about what happened to my beloved country last Tuesday. In short: We were hit and hit hard. 2 planes crashed into the World Trade Center in NYC, 1 into the Pentagon where Uncle Dean used to work and then one on it’s way to Washington crashed in PN. It is said that the passengers would not allow the terrorists to hurt the country further and sacrificed their lives in exchange for the lives of so many more whom might have been killed. The horror of it all was and still is unimaginable. So far we over here have not been harmed physically but for those of us with family and friends in NYC we were emotionally wrecked. I was a wreck for 4 days straight and I know my friend and coworker Adamo is hurting as he still has not heard from 2 of his friends who worked in the WTC. It is a very rough time for all and when it is all said and done there will be no smiles when we look back on where we were at 0900 on September 11, 2001. But as this country has always done we will survive. We have come together in our pain as no other time before and we will pick up the pieces of our shattered lives, shattered dreams and especially our shattered sense of security and we will go on.

September 10, 2004

Torture

My room mate and her significant other now have a new torture device. Ok, well maybe not intentionally, but as they are both stationed here on camp, they spend a good bit of time together and I seriously envy them! Lonliness is not something I battle continualy, but it is hard when I see the 2 of them happy together. Oh Woe is me.
Ok enough whining from me. I have been thinking all day on something deep, or witty for today's update, and.........nothing. We left work early today, so I went and soaked in some rays at the pool, and then hung out in my room the rest of the evening. I got bored, so I decided to come play online:)

September 09, 2004

Insanity is creeping up slowly

Ok, due to a lack of missions for my team, we are spending a lot of time doing nothing in our rooms! Aaaaaack. I have just about finished SG-1, Season 4, and I just got it 2/3 days ago!!!! Eeeek. Too much time to think on my hands. My usual companion is currently on leave, so I have been on my own for a little while. My room mate came home last night to break up my peace and quiet, but oh well. Yep, nothing really has changed around here. I have even pretty much stopped writing in my journal as I have nothing to write about! This is bad, this is really bad.

September 07, 2004

Distances

Whether you be 6619 miles, 6317 miles, or even 10 clicks apart, you know that no matter what, you are always in your loved ones hearts, and they in yours. Despite the distances between you physically, in mind and heart, you are not so far apart. At least that's what I think. I know that no matter where I am in the world, those I love and those who love me are never very far from a thought of me, nor are they ever far from mind. Well, enough depth from me tonight, I got the 4th season of Stargate SG-1 in the mail yesterday, and back to my addiction I go:-D

September 06, 2004

Ponderings

I spent the morning tromping around one of the damaged palaces here, and despite the damage you could still see the beauty that would have been had they completed it. It was an interesting contrast, between beauty and damage. Had alot of fun though:)
I watched an episode of CSI last night and something said struck me. It was an episode in which several airline passengers had killed another, believing themselves in danger. It came up that the man was suffering from an illness, that had someone just taken the time to ask, might have figured out. The point was made that while it took 5 to kill the man, it would have only taken 1 to save him. How true is this in everyday life? Oft times it only takes one person to make a difference, to effect a change.
I was being picked on earlier, because occasionally, due to a vivid imagination, I do sleep with a light on in my room. Sillyness I know, but I remarked that everyone is afraid of something, and if they are not, they are fools.

September 04, 2004

Big Booms!!!!!

Holy freakin A!!!!!! They discovered some UXO (Live rounds) in our backyard, so now they are blowing them up! One just went off and sheesh, I about came off of my seat it startled me so. Lots of fun really though. Explosions are coooool

September 03, 2004

Melancholy

Main Entry: melancholy
Function: adjective
1 a : suggestive or expressive of melancholy "sang in a melancholy voice"
b : causing or tending to cause sadness or depression of mind or spirit : a melancholy thought
2 a : depressed in spirits
Yep, that pretty much describes me right now. Don't know why, just feel like sing the blues today. Probably has more to do with the lack of sleep last night, and as soon as my blood gets flowing I will be back up and into a more cheery mood.
This morning promises to be productive, Yay. And then who knows:) Tomorrow is a day off, and as of yet I am not slated for a thing so I will get to sleep in. Sleeeeeeeeeep Such a nice thing:)

September 02, 2004

Days gone by

We have but a few more months in this woeful country, and it seems as though time couldn't drag by any slower for me these days. Especially since we really aren't particularily busy. In my former job, there was always something for me to do, something to keep me busy, often times late into the nights. But I was forever and always stressed. These days I have a lot less stress, but more time to be bored. I am not a fan of being bored. I'd much rather have my hands deep in something, but is it worth the stress? Which would I prefer? I don't know really.
I ran into someone yesterday from the group of persons to whom I am not speaking, and he noted that I hadn't been around. Being slighty bitchy, I remarked that I thought that he would have been overjoyed. When he turned around he seemed to be shocked to hear such a tone from me. I had to smile though, to take the sting away. As much as I really wish I were able to be a cold hearted bitch somedays, I guess it is just not in my personality to do so. Bummer:)

A Mite Sulky

I was a bit on the blue side today, as my best friend here left to go on leave. Of course I am happy for him, but I am feeling a wee selfish, as damnit, who am I going to talk to nowL J. It hasn’t been a bad day otherwise, we did manage finally to get lines into our office so we have access and do not have to wait for computers to be free elsewhere. I went out tonight, rarity of all rarities, to karaoke night. I had planned on singing one song, just for the fun of it, and so spent all day practicing, only to get there tonight and find that they didn’t have the song. Bummer, so I just substituted. Still had fun tonight, and was out much later than I should be. For shame. Eventually I suppose I will be able to get to sleep at a reasonable hour, but for now, well, I shall just have to subsist on the sleep I do get and just pray that I do not pass out in the middle of the after noon LOL.

September 01, 2004

FINALLY

Well, I finally have my mother on the line. ALWAYS a nice thing:) There are few things in this world I love better than that:)