Sunday, February 27, 2005

Just Like Paradise

Another day, once again not much to report. Everyday we hear explosions but have pretty much been able to discern good from bad. So far they are not rattling me; I just hear them and do what needs to be done. We have installed an alarm system on post for mortars. so far it has only been used once.

The excitement in my day is when it ends, I sit in my cell (you could consider it close to prison) and do my daily grind. I set my priorities and then, “I need this, I need that”, I just relegate myself to getting done what I can.

Mail is running pretty good now, and sweetie, your package is on the way. I received another package from my beautiful wife; I got my P.J.’s and some toiletries. I can feel a little more like a human now. I cannot wait until Shelle gets her package. I packed the boys a DVD I bought here. You can buy pretty much any DVD movie here for five bucks, granted it may not be the best quality or a tapes theatre. But the upside is you can get up to four movies on one disc. So far I have been lucky and got some good ones, I should have a good movie collection by the time I get home.

The temperature is increasing daily and soon we’ll be cooking camel eggs on the sidewalk. With body armor and Kevlar on it gets hot pretty quick. Guess I don’t need to gripe about my office then, the guys outside are going to catch a little taste of Hades this summer. August in Mississippi will seem like a tropical paradise compared to here.

Have been trying to situate my living conditions a little more in the last few days. Trying to get all my things off the floor. So far we have caught two mice and have set traps for more. The mice don’t bother me; it’s the snakes they attract. Let’s see, there are the Asp and the Cobra. I really don’t want to wake up in the morning with a Cobra staring me in the face. Then there are scorpions, especially one little bugger called the red scorpion. This little guy is attracted to urine, and some of the guys have been treating this like Camp Shelby and using urine bottles. We do not allow anyone in our tent to do this; if we caught them we would empty the contents of their bottle on their bed. Just a deterrent.

Oh, and don’t forget the camel spider. I don’t even want to see one of these guys. I will probably unload every round I have for my 9mm. Safe to say I don’t like things with more than four legs or that slither.

Ok, enough of that. I feel like we have a good security system going on here. Every night I hear choppers lifting off and circling or the Bradley’s or Abrams shaking the ground as they make their nightly patrols. The Abrams (M1A2 Main battle tank) has an eerie whistle to it. It’s power plant is a gas driven turbine that can propel this behemoth of a machine around. There are some good stories of M1 tanks in battle during the first gulf war. Some of them I read in Tom Clancy’s Armored Cav.

There was one story of an M1 that got stuck in the desert, (Imagine that) and could not be pulled out. The platoon left the tank and crew there to continue on mission while a M88 (Tow truck tank) was en route to pull them out. While waiting, three T-72 Russian made tanks happened upon the stuck tank and opened fire. Out of three shots only one scared the shell of the M1. The guys in the tank opened fire and destroyed two of the opposing tanks while the third ran for cover. Now the M1 has thermal sites and can see pretty well at night. The gunner could see the exhaust plume of the T-72 (Their exhaust is vented upwards in the rear) come from behind a sand dune. The gunner then aimed canter mass of the dune and shot. The round went through the dune and destroyed the T-72. As we found out in that war, the turret of the T-72 blew off in one direction and the engine went another. Hey, the Abrams is pretty bad.

Oh well, enough babbling. Gonna finish work and go call my beautiful wife soon.

Take care all

Hey babe, I love you. And thank you for my PJs. Xoxoxoxo

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Need more caffeine

Another day has passed and I was actually able to get some work done.

First off I wish to thank everyone who has commented on my post, I enjoy reading each and every comment. I wish I had more time on the internet to respond to each and everyone. Unfortunately our service is not able to handle the load it absorbs.

last night I called home and spoke with Shelle, or tried to. The satellite phone system we use did not allow Shelle to hear half of my conversation. I could hear her fine but she was unable to make out most of my end of the conversation. I will try calling home again soon Babe once the phones get better, promise.xoxo

Anton started up his blog today,
The URL comes from T-shirts that some of the guys are recieving here from home. Sher, he did it so be proud of that little bald guy!!:)

Anton is trying to quit smoking, Cold Turkey. He has not been feeling very good either.There may be some fratricide here soon if he does not get over
the want for a square.

Another day down and another to go, will talk to everyone again soon.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Blah Blah Blah

Arrrgghhh, a boring day and I feel like I have accomplished nothin. Meetings, I want this, I want that. Oh well, another day has passed and it's one day closer to home.

Not much to say today, missing home and my wife, the boys and the comforts of the civilian world.

By the way, next time you want to nag about how the store does not have something you want or not the right size or color, think about not having it at all. Our PX will not be restocked until the end of the month, and it will still have nothing.

Oh well, enough of my ranting. Gonna make a early night and clean my bunk.

Take care all, talk to you soon.

Love you sweetie, have a great day.


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A View to a Kill

Upon my inital arrival to FOB Kalsu it was about 0400 hours, I came in on a mni Chinook helicoptor skimming above the palms and over the Euphrates river in pitch black. When we landed I could not see my hand in front of my face. When I say pitch I mean turn on the lights and the cockraoches scatter!!
But now this mysterious orb has invaded the night sky and blanketed the land with an eerie white light. It's almost bliinding, no need for a flashlight. You could almost get a tan! It is coming to the climax of the full moon and we are at 92% illumination at night. No need for Night vision googles!
It is almost like walking on the moon itself. You can almost see detalis of trees in the distance.
With the full moon we expected more mortar attacks but to our surprise they have been few if any. Apparently the insurgents are not too keen on the idea of mortaring us and turning around to see an AH-64 Apache hovering behind them looking straight down the barrell of a 30 mm gatlin gun!
Speaking of Apaches I am quite surprised that we have them here. And not only are they Apaches but they are Longbow Apaches!!
Ok Ok, for those of you not immersed in the world of military equipment, an Apache is an Army attack helicopter. This baby is a Lamborghini on steriods of helicopters. It has a tandem seat arrangement with the pilot in the back and the co-pilot gunner in the front. The gunner sits over the 30 mm gatlin gun which he can move in any direction by just meerly looking, sensors in his helmet position the weapon to the gunners view. The Apache also carries on two stubby wings Hellfire missles which can either be aimed by radar or laser. These little babies can destroy a tank without breaking a sweat. And then there are the 2.75 inch rockets which pack quite a punch once unleashed.
The gunner and CPG view a good bit of their insturmentation via two displays whch can be toggled through to show how many weapons they have , systems functions and maps and flight infromation. They also display images in either white hot or black hot thermal cameras or infrared from a camera package mounted on its nose (nacelle).

Now to the Longbow package. This is a Westinghouse millimeter wave radar which can track up to 250 some odd objects on the ground and classify them as to vehicle type or personnel. The system (with the pilots help) can then set up priority fire zones and dessimante that information to wingmen so that many Apaches can wreak havoc upon the unknowing poor souls in its sights.

Almost sounds like a bad dream if your a bad guy! Anywho, enough of the equipment.

Unlike the life of those truly blessed to scream through the skies in almost slient death machines, I am dispacthed to sit in my orifice (not a mispelling) and peck away at my computer and unleash masses of tree killing keystrokes.

Maybe I'll get a moon tan and watch the hunters go out for sport.

later Mano

Hey sweetie, have a surprise for you once the package mail gets running. Don't you just hate the suspense?!

Love you bunches!!xoxoxo

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Steak, Shrimp, Lobster and Red Bull

Yep, thats right...(Something must be up!?). The cow was a little chewy, shrimp ok and Lobster was pretty good, no hot butter though. I think it was monthly birthday day. It was called "The Bubba-Q", they even had a big screen TV in the Eagles Nest (Fortified mortar proof dining hall) playing "Black Hawk Down". Read the book but never watched the movie.
All in all a pretty uneventful day. Tried like crazy to get email to State so I could wrap up some long standing issues but have yet to recieve a response.
We just finished placing triple strand concetina wire around the perimeter of the FOB, so now the kids cant get to the dump. Got a little taste of outside the area though. I met a young man named Ali, who woulda thunk it. He was a nice kid though, about early twentys and about 5'9" tall. He spoke broken english but I was imipressed nonetheless. He kept saying "Marines bad, Army good", probably because we don't shoot at them constantly. Winning the hearts and minds of the people, maybe help quell the insurgency and get us home sooner!?
It almost seems like the Southern coastline, almost. Briney water, palm trees and cat-tail reeds. The ground is almost like red clay just paler, and when it gets wet it sticks to everyting. Your feet weigh about forty pounds each when you decide you have to scrape off the mud to walk. Good areobic exercise though!!
Slowly we turn this little taste of hell into a more livable habitat, even for military purposes. Right now we are mainly upgrading barriers and hope to see a contract with KBR (Brown and Root) to build some new living structures. The tents are'nt too bad but I am tired of living like a refugee.
Oh, and the dust, it permeates everyting. It's like sweeping a dirt floor, you cant get the dirt out. You constantly have to clean any electronic equipment if you want to keep it working, canned air is my best friend!! Thankfully we have not had any bad wind storms, but with the spring coming I expect a few.
Nothing more to report today Commander, maybe have some tantalizing tid-bits for you in the up and coming days?!

Until then,

Love you lots babe, hope to call you very soon

Love you

Sunday, February 20, 2005


Here we are again, The cool nights of the desert have whipped up and its time to blog.

The weather here is changing , everyday it gets a little warmer. It is about like a cool spring day. Soon enough it will turn into a scorching wasteland. Our location is between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers so it is pretty much a desert swamp. I heard the frogs croaking last night and it has been overcast so I am expecting rain.

Things have been pretty quiet, mainly were upgrading defenses and trying to make the FOB more livable. We are living in tents with AC and heat (The ones that work), and work out of either pre-existing structures or metal buildings. It looks like stonhenge here with the tall Alaskan barriers (about 15-20 foot tall concrete walls) that surround our living and working areas. maybe soon I can post some pictures of Club Iraq so you can see our up and coming desert resort. Reservations can be made for a small fee.

Shelle sent me several packages, of which I have recieved one today. She packed it with sweets, a dual time watch, silly string and a nerf dart gun. God I love my wife, and she's beautiful too. Never could figure out what she sees in me, but I am a lucky man to have her. And if any of you guys have any ideas, I can be anywhere at anytime and claim post traumatic stress syndrome ').

She has been great at writing me too, which I am terrible at. I try to write when I can but email is so much more efficent. But I know the written word means a lot to her so I continue my scribbling for her love.

Another day comes to a close and another day awaits, closer to home every minute.

Take care all

I love you Babe!!XOXOXOX



Change Cometh

Hello all, and welcome to my first attempt at Blogging. My beautiful wife got into this and I thought this a great way to let others know what goes on (somewhat) in our military (United States that is) and our strive to give a people freedoms that they probaly never knew existed!!
I came to my FOB (Foward Operating Base) in Iraq about two weeks ago. I will try to let you know what we do and go through, but there are security issues so I may be a little secretive about things (such as our FOB name and where we are). It may seem petty but any info the enemy gets they will use and I will not be the cause of my brothers and sisters in arms getting killed.
We took over our FOB from the U.S. Marines, an outstanding military organization. I serve with the Mississippi Army National Guard. This is our first big deploynment since the Persian Gulf war in 1991.
I volunteered for a deployment in 2001 to go to Bosnia-Herzegovnia which actually helped me ease into this one. Bosnia was heaven though. Peacekeeping missions are cake. FOB's are great and attacks are few if any at all.
Here we patrol local villages and keep guard on a local power comapny, along with many other missions. The men and women are upstanding citizens who take pride in what they do and are proud of their service and the United States of America. A lot of people think of the Guard as weekend warriors, and to a point we are. But we are great weekend warriors. My Brigade has distingusihed its self several times at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, CA. and exercises with the regular Army. These Soldiers lead ordinary lives with careers, jobs, families and friends, but they give up their weekends and summer vacations to train, and train hard to help in any way they can to protect freedom or help out their fellow man.
As time goes by I hope to give you a look at a Soldiers life from their work, family and friends.
As I said before, my beautiful and talented wife introduced me to Blogging, her site is she is my support and greatest lover and friend I could ever have.

Until I blog again,

later mano

Scott Melton

Love you Babe!!!xoxoxoxo ')
Hello from Hell