Eating at the Dining Facility

Dining Facility FoodWhether you are sitting at a desk in the United States or sitting at a desk in Iraq, at some point you’ll find yourself hungry. Fortunately, the military saw fit to hire a contractor to feed everyone here.

The food is questionable at best. Sometimes these guys get it just right (like the steak above). Sometimes they get it WAY wrong (like everything else on the plate above). The only meal the get right every time is breakfast. The turkey sausage links actually taste like real pork sausage.

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Sandstorms

SandstormsI knew something was amiss this morning when I woke up to an orange light shining in my window. It only meant one of two things… either the sun was about to nova, or a sandstorm had blown in.

It turns out that sandstorms are a very frequent occurrence here in Baghdad. Visibility is limited, and people frequently have trouble breathing. The best defense on this thing that literally coats EVERYTHING with dirt is to stay inside and keep the door shut.

When you’re in the middle of a deployment with a mission to complete, that’s easier said than done. So, here are the three steps to keeping sandstorms from killing you.

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One Week Down

I’ve been in Baghdad for a week. Only 25 more weeks to go. Realistically, I have no idea when I’m leaving, but I like to think I have 25 weeks to go. All I know is that at some point before the end of the year, I’ll be in Montgomery and NOT Baghdad. I’ve decided to add a counter to this page. The zero is Christmas Day… because getting home would be an awesome gift.

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The Al Faw Palace

Al Faw PalaceToday I visited the Al Faw Palace for an all-day orientation briefing. If you’ve never heard the phrase “death by Powerpoint,” let me define it for you.

If you aren’t dead from boredom after a series of Powerpoint briefings, you have an overwhelming feeling of wanting to be dead. That’s “death by Powerpoint.”

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The First Convoy

Convoy in IraqToday was interesting. The day I arrived here, I was told that I would be going on a convoy today. I was pretty hesitant about it, but it turned out to be really cool.

The folks I rode with were the best at running convoys… very experienced and in high demand.

You wouldn’t believe how empty the roads are in Baghdad. There are cars, but it’s like driving in Montgomery at night… hardly any traffic. Still, there are things happening all over the place, and there are people everywhere. It’s really easy to get paranoid about every single person taking a passing interest in your convoy, but it’s the great training I received that helps me recognize when it’s MORE than a passing interest.

So, I made it through my first convoy, and I don’t have anything interesting to say about the trip. That’s good, right?

Have It Your Way … in Iraq!

Baghdad Burger KingOne of the things the military tries to do is bring the comforts of home to the troops deployed to the middle of the desert. This includes Burger King.

At Camp Liberty (next door to Camp Victory), there is a Burger King just outside the Base Exchange. As a matter of fact, there is a Subway, a Taco Bell, a Popeye’s Chicken and the Burger King.

Not thinking much of this Burger King-in-a-trailer concept, I tried it out tonight. Ordering the Whopper was uneventful, and it arrived quickly and properly made. This, of course, means that in order to get good service and good food at a Burger King, I have to go to Baghdad to order lunch.

I’m settling in, and there will be more to report soon.