tuesday, august 4, 2009, 10:24pm
i’m in a gmc yukon under a full moon in the desert somewhere in kuwait with don the driver, who’s computer i’m using, phil “animal” cimino, and jon “gentleman” loyd. it’s a little hard to type as we cross through a kuwaiti check point, kuwaiti army guys drink tea on a berm (pile of dirt), we go over a speed bump, merge onto highway 80 and we’re on our way. the line of streetlights over the road snake off into the semi-darkness and mingle their pale yellow with the silver of the moon and the haze of the windblown dust and out of the horizon comes fuel truck after fuel truck in a convoy of ghostly tractor trailers.
we played base a here in kuwait tonight. i’m not sure if i’m supposed to tell the name of it because we were told not to blog where we’ve been for a few days after so let’s call it camp “somewhere in kuwait”
it’s kind of funny. we got to camp “somewhere in kuwait” and they took us into a conference room and showed us a video about the camp. it started out with a bunch of footage of tanks and guns and stuff being fired with a bunch of very patriotic voice over by former president george w. bush. when that ended, we were shown some slides of facts about the camp (they have training in every weapon from a side arm to a 500 pound bomb) and about kuwait. (they got their independence in 1961) and then they showed us a map that explained where the stage was and where the DFAC’s (mess halls) were and there was some thing called MWR is. when the presentation was over they asked if we had any questions. i asked, “what’s MWR?”
the officer said, ” morale, welfare and recreation.”
i said, “oh. you mean us.”
then they presented us with these certifecates of excelence and thanked us profusely for coming and it was all very ernest and i said that we owed them far more that they owed us and that we were truly and deeply honored and that maybe they shouldn’t give us the certificates till after we played because hey, you never know, we might stink. we all had a laugh and sgt. price took us to the stage where we set up and sound checked in the raging heat. see, the deal is that the u.s.o. and armed forces entertainment were bringing bands over and the army’d have to rent a sound system from these companies in kuwait that were expencive and not that good and big so they could only play at the big bases where they get entertainment anyway. this band, catchpenny, was over here and figured out a way to use a minimal system that could fit in a helicppter and get these bands out to the more remote bases where they really need some MWR.
well, after we sound checked we went over to the DEFAC and had some chow. i sat with sgt. price who’s from tuskaloosa, alabama and he told me all about the army. in an awesome drawl he explained all the ranks and that a team is inside a squad and a squad is in a unit and a unit is in a company and a company is in a batallion and a batallion is in a corps or a theatre. (i’m leaving something out. sorry sgt price)
before we went on a colonel came in and gave me a metal triangle insignia. these are these small awards they make up. i was pretty knocked out. they really pull out all the stops to let you know they appreciate that you coming over.
well, we’re entering the check points to go back to the camp we’re staying at tonight. soon i’ll have to give driver don his computer back. the speed bumps are making it hard to type and to avoid throwing up. sorry if there are errors and stuff in this entry. it’s a little rugged here and i’ve been fighting speed bumps and car sickness the whole way. there’s dust in my mouth and nose and my neck is all gritty. i’m glad i’m here. i’ll write again when i can.