Camp Victory, Iraq!  Finally.  I left San Diego what, 11 days ago?  Seems a lifetime ago.  I'm not planning on typing much because I am extremely tired, need to shower, and really need to get to bed.  Just letting you know I'm here.  It's almost pretty outside -- such a drastic change from Kuwait, and it doens't seem as hot.  At least, after eating dinner, it was only 95 degrees or so which is quite pleasant compared to the blasting heat at Camp Doha, Kuwait. 

We flew here in a C-130.  We were told they always get fired upon, but if it happened, we didn't hear it.  It was an interesting, although warm and cramped, ride.  Especially when we cirlced in for a landing.  After that, we convoyed to Camp Victory.  The Palace amazed me.  It's beautiful, and right on a lake or river, complete with a boat house.  The streets (if you can call them that) are lined with eucalyptus trees, and the canals (does Kuwait even have canals?) were lined with some sort of reed, maybe papyrus? 

I am in a tent with all females, and I'm the only officer.  So much for the Army reg they gave us at Ft. Bliss about officer and enlisted sharing living quarters being forbidden.  Apparently in 4-6 weeks we might move into some trailers that are supposed to be nicer, and with beds.  Right now I have a cot, and nothing else.  I wish I had a locker or a footlocker.  I am so tired of living out of duffle bags.  Whatever I want is always at the bottom.

Well I'm going back to my not-so-hot tent.  I'm sure I'll freeze tonight and then bake tomorrow.

Email me if you're reading this!  I don't know if anyone is.  ambotchka@yahoo.com

~ Amber Dawn


I am in Kuwait right now.  Either tonight or tomorrow we'll catch a ride on a C-130 and fly to Baghdad, so soon this trip will be over and I'll have a place to put my stuff (hopefully).  It is unbelievably hot here.  I'm sure everyone has said that before, so I'm just reassuring you it's that hot.  Somewhere between standing in front of a hair dryer and getting blasted by an F-16 engine.  Our flight from El Paso was very long.  When we landed in Frankfurt at Rhein Main AB, the terminal was closed for repairs.  We just stood out there on the tarmac for an hour or so.  At first they had us walk up to an area surrounded by barbed wire.  It was for the smokers, although they didn't say that to us non-smokers.  To give you a better idea of what it look liked, think "POW camp."  To top it all off, an AF MSgt (I named her Helga) was pretty much stripping us of our liberties by the minute.  For instance, because it was 52 degrees outside (it was 0600), I wanted to stand in the sunlight, as did most people.  She didn't want us too near the lane of traffic (if you can call the 1-truck-per-ten-minutes traffic), so she pushed us back from it by about 30 feet, into the shade.  She also confiscated a football some of the soldiers were throwing around.  (The yelled after it, "Wilson!")  Then, because so many people were complaining about not having a restroom, or phones, or anything at all out there, she called the German police to keep us from getting rowdy.  One of the Captains called her a traitor. 

After flying to Kuwait, we spent the rest of the evening getting more gear.  We got body armor (the bullet-proof kind) -- yes the troops are getting them now, so be relieved.  We also got another duffel-bag full of gear, like two pairs of boots (very nice ones), underarmor shirts, goggles, and polar fleece outerwear for when it gets cold.  I actually pulled on the fleece at night because it was so cold in the bay.  Getting all of my bags (4 duffel bags at that point, a backpack, armor, and a laptop) to my cot was quite a struggle, and my back is still paying for it, but I made it.  I walked with a Navy Chief to the PX and got some KFC (there's also Starbucks, Hardee's, Pizza Inn, Baskin Robbins, and Subway) because we hadn't eaten in 12 hours and were starved.  Then I went back, took a much-needed shower, and went to sleep.  Until 3 am.  The soldier next to me said, "Ma'am, we have formation at 0700 if you're going to Iraq," after I stirred slightly in my sleep.  I guess he thought I was awake.  I told him, "I think I have enough time..."  I got up, did some laundry, and then slept some more, until 0500.  Most of today I have spent searching down an ice-pack for my back and sleeping.  It hasn't been too bad.  Don't know yet when we'll leave for Baghdad, but it should be soon.


I leave in three days, so I've been running around doing lots of errands. I've had to go to medical, dental, and legal... had to get inserts for my gas mask ... of course, they said, "which gas mask do you use?" Never having used one before, and not having seen which one I'll be issued, I replied with a blank stare. Fortunately, there is a generic set of inserts. They must be so attractive.

Sunday I fly to Ft. Bliss, which is near El Paso -- "car theft capital of the States." I was incredibly motivated and excited to leave for the Gulf two or three weeks ago, but not that the time has actually come, I've suddenly realized what being away for at least 6 months will mean. I'm going to miss a lot here in San Diego. To top it all off, Chewbacc won't understand why I'm not at home. Really, how do you communicate with a dog? Anyway, I am interested in what's going to be my life for the rest of the year. I want to record it all, every instance, every detail. Not only what it looks like there, or what my job is, but how I feel the whole time, and what's on my mind. I will also be working on my writing while I'm there (most of that won't get put on here, so feel relieved). Hopefully, we'll fly there via Germany and have a layover. Maybe it will be longer than the last layover I had in Germany.

Soon lunch will come, and then we'll all get together and have a meeting on the deployment. Then I'll finish up my errands and pack my bags so I can try to enjoy the last few days at home.

~Ciao~ ambotchka@Yahoo.com