Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving in Iraq

Here I am during the 10k run,
not a bad way to prepare for the big
feast that was coming later on.

Normally I love Thanksgiving, this year was a weird one. First off I was 8000 miles from my family and this was the first big holiday away from home. I spent the morning participating in a 10k “Fun Run,” called the Turkey Trot. Then I was off to work. That’s just not the same as watching football. After work I traveled back to the Embassy Annex area for Thanksgiving dinner.
Unfortunately it wasn’t that easy, on the way the indirect fire alarm went off. So we all offloaded our vehicle and entered the bunker nearby. I’m not really sure how many or where the rockets actually landed but spending part of my thanksgiving in a bunker was a new experience for me. I’m hoping it’s not going to be a new holiday tradition.
The all-clear sounded and we finally got to eat our holiday dinner. KBR, the government hired contractors that handle the food service, put on quite a spread. Everything you could ask for was available. I got totry a few foods that were never on the menu at home. All in all it was a good day, just allot different than any Turkey day I’ve had before.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Winter on the horizon

The Backside of the Embassy Annex, Baghdad, Iraq.

I awoke this morning to chilly temperatures in my room. Not bone chilling like I would experience back home, but certainly a change to the usual weather here in Baghdad.
Winter is coming. In Massachusetts that would mean up to 4 feet of snow and 5-20 degree daily temps. What it means here is Fall like weather. High’s in the 70’s and lows down in the 40’s. Winter also brings the rainy season here in Iraq. I know in January and February it will get even colder.
I walk from my room to work in the palace and I see allot of the personnel here starting to wear their fleece coats. I suspect that when you’re used to 110 degrees, adjusting to 75-80 might take a few weeks.
So this winter will be different for me, but before you know it the temps will start to creep back into the 100’s.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Illustration Friday - Hats

History of the "Yankee Division"

The 26th Infantry Division was my first unit in the Army. When the opportunity came up for an illustration to accompany a recent story on the history of the division, I jumped at the chance.
The 26th is also known as the Yankee Division, because of its Northeastern roots.