Friday, January 18, 2008

Return to Ramadi

We are at a different area of Camp Ramadi than we were when we first arrived here about a year ago. Camp Ramadi is much larger than Camp Blue Diamond. Based on my runs for exercise, I suspect it is about 5 miles in diameter. Its roads are not paved. And now that it's rainy season--the fine powder clay/dust makes for a magically and troublesome glue-like clay. The mud is terrible.

I am including pictures here of our battalion headquarters: an Alamo-type quad. My office/living quarters is the first door on the left at the entrance. SGT Tremain lives in the back-half of the room in which we store our religious supplies--right next door. We have heat (It's below freezing at night now. We had snow last week!), electricity, and limited Internet. Although significantly less comfortable than our facilities at Camp Blue Diamond, we're still happy. We live more comfortably than many of the Soldiers we go out to visit every day. Our happiness has less to do with this, however, and more to do with the realization that we are on the downward slope of this deployment; we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

After a busy day of travel out to the combat outposts during the day, we return for exercise, dinner, meetings, counselings--sometimes a bible study, and we'll get together with the guys to watch a movie or an episode of some television show on DVD. Helicopters fly overhead on a regular basis, and there are occasional knocks on the door with personal or family emergencies--but most nights I get a decent night's sleep--something I never take for granted.

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