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.