The Army Reserve is Sending Me to Iraq
On Friday February 25, 2008 I got an email asking me to call my reserve boss. I figured he needed me to do something for him. Little did I know I was about to get the shock of my life! He informed me I was being involuntarily "cross-leveled" to a unit that needed a Signal Officer as part of getting ready to deploy to Iraq.
Since I haven't had anything to do with the Signal Corps since 1992 (That's when my son Sean was born and he'll be 16 in a few weeks) I was doubly surprised. As of March 12, 2008 I am the S6 (Signal Officer) for a Military Police unit. The unit is not very old and has not yet had anyone assigned to this slot (Army-speak for position) so I'm the first. I will have seven soldiers helping me support the unit's communication needs.
Before I actually leave for the Middle East I will spend roughly one month at each of two different locations in preparation for my deployment. I expect to be very busy while I'm gone, so the time will go by quickly. I think it will be harder on my family than on me. While I'm gone I will add content and pictures to this page, though nothing that will compromise security or my personal safety.
The first weekend in April I travelled to Pennsylvania to meet the members of my new unit. It was a long weekend, but it was worth the effort. I've been attending a variety of Signal Officer training at Ft. Gordon as I prepare for my new job and the deployment. Interestingly, I will actually get to make two trips to Iraq! One will be a short trip to see how things are going to we can better prepare; the second will be the actual deployment.
Pictures Enroute to Southwest Asia (SWA)
The trip from Texas to Kuwait and then on to Iraq was very long with little sleep. I'm working on a detailed write up about it, but here are a few pictures in the mean time.
After crossing the Atlantic Ocean we stopped at Leipzig, Germany, for fuel. I saw my reflection in the mirrored door and thought a self portrait with our airplane in the background would be kind of neat. I flipped the picture to undo the mirror image.
We spent one short night in Kuwait before flying on to Iraq the next morning. This picture is of me riding in an Air Force C-130 enroute. This was not a very scenic trip; there were no windows to watch out of.
The building behind me is our headquarters building. You can see part of a brown tent (covered with sprayed on rubber insulation) behind the trucks in the background. That tent is where I will spend most of the next year if I'm not in the actual HQ building.