Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Proper Relief

You might be wondering what the pictures above are doing on this page. This page is about Iraq right? And Iraq doesn’t have carnival rides, go cart tracks, and resort-like pools right?

Wrong. These pictures are from Iraq. Specifically a town in the northern Kurdistan region of Iraq called Irbil. We went there recently on a mission and it’s almost like a complete different Iraq. The pictures above are from an article in Details magazine. The magazine appears to be about men’s fashion so I’m a little confused why the article is there but it’s worth a read.It seems to be written from a fashion magazine perspective though.

The pictures below are mine. They have buildings in Irbil that are more than three stories tall.

They have topiaries along the roadside and sidewalks paved with bricks.

There are many sculptures around town at intersections and most of the highway bridges have murals painted on them.

The reason we went there was to pick up some equipment from a South Korean camp. Of course we took pictures with each other and tried to communicate as best we could. We also got to try some Korean food which was a first for me. Possibly also a last but it was interesting.

They painted murals on most of the barricades in their camp. I took pictures of a few of them and included one here. They must have had some really amazing artists with them.

One of the things I like the most about their camp was they either allowed dogs or had some sneaky dogs on post. This dog below had a sheep friend who followed him everywhere. When I first saw them I thought the dog was being chased around by the sheep but after some observation I think that ‘followed’ would be a better term. I gave the dog four packages of beef jerky and the sheep an apple. We see dogs all the time here but this is the first time I have been able to get up close to one.

That reminds me. Santa, if you are reading this, I would like a puppy for Christmas. And he needs to have an invisibility cloak so I don’t get in trouble for having a pet. I’ll be waiting.

I was reading US News and World Report the other day which I like to do to keep up on the news. They had an ad in there for a new book they have produced. The title of it is ‘Secrets of the Super Rich’ and it is supposed to profile how different people became rich. I didn’t order the book but I’m pretty sure the secret to their success was not a book from a news magazine.

I have included some pictures below that make me smile.

This is the entrance to the chow hall on another base. Most bases have contractors in charge of the chow hall security but this base allowed the Air Force to be in charge. There was a rocket attack on the base so the loud speakers instructed everyone to seek shelter. The Air Force thought this included the guards so they put a traffic cone in front of the entrance and took off. In the Army our first general order is, “I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.” I didn’t realize that a traffic cone was “proper relief.”

This is a sign at a test fire pit. Every base has a test fire pit on the way out so you can make sure your weapons are working properly before you get out on the road. The sign said, “Shoot below plywood!” which is obviously code for “Aim here.” They would have been better off to put the piece lower and just paint a target on it.

I saw this tent bag the other day. It is long and weighs 121 pounds so it says “6 Person Mixed Gender Lift.” I guess the Army is politically correct now. It makes me wonder if it would be possible to lift with six people of the same gender or if it can only be accomplished with mixed genders.

You might have to click on the picture and enlarge it to see this one. This is at one of the company headquarters on post here and it has a dummy ‘driving’ a large bomb. It says, “Whatever it takes.”

This is a picture of a soldier demonstrating how to check the tire pressure on your truck before you head out on a patrol.

And of course you have to check the trailer tires also.

Bob on FOB

The picture above is nothing I can take credit for. If you click on the picture it will take you to a slideshow of cartoons drawn by SGT Albert J. Merrifield called ‘Bob on the FOB. It is unrelated to my previous post At the FOB with Mr. BOB. The FOB is what they call the base we live on and he has some very good insights into the people you will find on the FOB.

Don’t be a geardo,


When you’re in Iraq, it’s very easy to quite optimistic about the future. It’s when you leave Iraq, and all you know about what’s happening is what you read in the press, that you become pessimistic.

- Feisal Istrabadi, former Iraq UN Ambassador

No comments: