On a C-130: Mission accomplished. Back to Kuwait.
On a C-130: Mission accomplished. Back to Kuwait.
Baghdad from a Blackhawk helicopter. No door. That’s my knee.
Blackhawk and Crew
Diet Coke in Iraq. Note the ring tab.
Chris and the Time Bandits in a Blackhawk!
June 25, 2010
From my Blackberry
I’m sitting in a Blackhawk helicopter with the Time Bandits in Baghdad. The flash of the rotor as it slashes the dusty sheet of sunlight that is the entire sky makes everything herky jerky like a home movie. I tug on the tabs of my shoulder straps as I realize the wide open door isn’t a door at all. There is no door. The whole side is open. The wind from the propeller is trying to rip the sleeve off my shirt. My toes curl, trying to grip, my stomach leaps and we’re lifting off. Our dragonfly shadow flees across the landing pad and we’re in the sky.
time bandits on a c130. iraq & roll indeed!
From My Blackberry
Under the Cammo Netting, Somewhere in Kuwait
Thursday, June 24, 2010, 1:17am
Woke up 04:00 hours. (4am, my civilian friends) jet lagged and unable to get back to sleep. Around 6:45 Ben “Stretch” Burger knocked on my door and we braved the already high 90’s hot breeze and daylight bright like lightning that forgot to end and went to breakfast. I ate two omelets. I went back to my room and did some sun salutations and push ups and stuff till I broke a sweat and then took a shower in the male latrine, the tiny, circus tent blue and yellow beach towel I bought at old navy last minute because I forgot to pack one turning out to be ridiculously small and well, ridiculous.
At nine-thirty we drove to command headquarters and had a briefing with Lieutenant Colonel Mark Crumpton. He told us some interesting stuff about how the camp is a staging area for everything and everyone coming into and going out of Iraq then he just started joking around and talking sports. We had some laughs and then he gave us all some very nice plaques and commemorative coins. Commanders in the US Armed Forces have these coins that they can just give to a soldier on the spur of the moment rather than go through the bureaucracy of giving them a medal. If you pull out a Coin in a bar and another soldier doesn’t have one they have to buy a round. I have mine in my pocket right now.
We stopped by the PX (camp store) and picked up some batteries and I got a real towel.
About 13:00 we drove up the highway to camp Virginia where mostly soldiers on there way home stay and get used to not having a rifle and stuff. (harder than you’d think after being attached to one for a year or more)
We were greeted by Sergeant 1st Class Moreno who gave us cammo hats with the camp name and our names embroidered on them.
I went to an embroidery shop and had some patches made up that said “Morale Bandits” so that I’d have something to give the soldiers that help us out.
We sound checked in the heat and it sounded kind of weird because we don’t have amps and instead of hearing ourselves through speakers we have ear buds and we don’t have a bass player.
The USO threw a bbq and we all ate hot dogs and hamburgers and joked around with the troops. I was like, “What this place needs is some brown buildings” and a soldier added, “A little sand and this place would be perfect!”
After horsing around for a while I wrote a setlist and we played. It sounded even weirder during the gig but we knew it would and it’s just the first night of the tour and besides, the troops really enjoyed it.
We have a bunch of copies of our new little record, “Songs from the Summer of Sangria” over here to give out and so after the gig we signed CD’s and joked around some more. Then SFC Moreno, Captain Warner and Specialist Fortes presented us with really nice plaques and we presented them with Morale Bandit patches. (I knew they’d come in handy)
We got in the SUV’s to go back th the camp where we’re staying and you’d think our day was over, right?
We asked Brody, our driver what time we had to be ready tomorrow and he said, “one.” Sweet, right? Sleep in, blah, blah, blah.
One in the morning pick up, head to the airport, palettize (put our gear on a palette) and “wheels up” at four thirty.
I went to my room and slept for an hour then came down and sat under the cammo netting and began to write this. The rest of this was written as it occurred.
Ben Burger came out to the netting and asked me how I felt and I sang:
I feel pretty
Oh, so pretty
I feel pretty and witty and bright
And I pity
Any girl that isn’t me tonight
West Side Story, don’t you know.
We drove to the airstrip and I pretty much thumbed about half of this post into my blackberry. We got there and grabbed some pop tarts and stuff in the VIP lounge. I came out to the area where the security guys were getting us all checked in for our flight on a C-130 transport plane and Brody was like “13:35.”
“That’s when our flight is postponed until.”
“You mean tomorrow?”
“Well, technically today.”
Given the humanity staggering nature of that news I remember thinking it a little rugged of Brody to be bandying about technicalities.
I asked if we could get our rooms back at the base, Somewhere in Kuwait and there were a tense few minutes while Brody called and sure enough, in the hour or to in the middle of the night nobody had taken our rooms. So we drove through the black night, dust glaring in the glare of the lights on the highway and ghostly towns, me thumbs a’blazing and we pulled up to the barrack and I considered finishing this post on the bench under the cammo netting because that would be nice writing but it’s three thirty am now and I just got my key and flopped down on my bed.
So that’s my post. I haven’t been able to read it over and edit because it’s late and I’ve been up pretty much twenty four hours (apart from that hour nap) and it’s in my blackberry and I’ll go cross eyed so bear with me on any errors.
Over and out.
From my blackberry
Somewhere in Kuwait
June 22, 2010
I’m wide awake, jet lagged and it’s around 6am. Out of a robin’s egg, pale sky; through my dusty window, past the dark blue curtain, comes the tale end of the dawn’s early light and with it, faintly, bravely, the clear, staccato notes of a gallant bugle’s Reveille.
twelve minutes june 21, 2010
it’s about twelve minutes before i have to be down in the lobby to catch the plane for amsterdam and on to kuwait.
jon and i had a great gig here in atlanta last night. 99X has a concert series and he and i had a few jack daniels and played until the people were dancing in the aisles. it felt good. we played about two hours and got a double encore. matt, from 99X mentioned that we’re leaving for iraq in his intro so after people were coming up as they were buying cd’s and wishing us luck. it was a good night.
today we went to a mall to get some nine volt batteries but i got some stuff at old navy and forgot the batteries. they cost eight dollars in the lobby of the hotel so i passed. that’s almost a dollar a volt!
well, that’s about how much i can write in twelve minutes. more soon.