Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Life in Baghdad

President Obama's visit to Baghdad

President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Camp Victory, Iraq yesterday. He spoke at Al-Faw Palace to hundreds of Soldiers, and shook their hands. President Obama told us "You have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country. That is an extraordinary achievement."

I listened to President Obama's rather brief speech about
our progress in Iraq, and how we must transition Iraq back to the Iraqis, and the great job we are doing in Iraq.

He then shook our hands and departed.


Three Broadcasters got promoted last week. We now have Sergeant Anderson, Sergeant Fardette, and Sergeant Logue. We had a pretty cool ceremony. One of my buddies from my last deployment was able to attend.

Then, the ceremony ended. SFC Burke, SSG Burrell and SGT Risner were kind enough to take the new Sergeants outside for a smoking. Let me tell you, there is there is NOTHING in the world like rolling around in the rocks in Camp Liberty Iraq with your best friend, your rifle. We did push-ups, flutter kicks, and various other physical activities in the rocks. It was a wonderful end to a wonderful day.


SSG Burrell and I embedded with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division in the Zafaraniyah district of Baghdad. We stayed at Joint Security Station Zafaraniyah for several days, and conducted patrols (day and night) and a search and cordon with Paratroopers from the 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment. I learned Iraqi kids LOVE cameras. I also learned that they really don't see a lot of female soldiers. They kept calling me "Mister, Mister..." I taught them that I am "Miss." One particular print journalist thought it was hilarious that these kids were calling me mister.

This mission made me thankful for the rather plush living conditions we have here in Camp Liberty in comparison to soldiers on smaller outpost in the area. This particular JSS did not have female showers up and running, so I had to post someone outside the bathrooms while I took a shower. I was really stoked to hit the shower after a patrol; but come to find out there was no running water. I was pretty sweaty from wearing body armor for several hours, so I took a shower with bottled water. That was a different experience. They did get female showers up and running before we left. I don't think I have ever been that grateful to take a shower.