Sunday, January 25, 2009


I finally got back to Iraq on the 24th early in the morning and many people were congratulating me but I didn’t know why.

It turns out that my promotion orders went through and I was the last to know. I put in for promotion in November but there was a little miscommunication on the paperwork so it just came through.

We had a company formation in the afternoon and my squad leader, SGT Inman “hook-and-looped” me with my sergeant stripes. It used to be known as being “pinned” with your new rank but now we have Velcro™ rank instead of “pin-on”. We just aren’t allowed to use the trade name. I guess we are saving the Army a few bucks by using the generic stuff.

This will bring some more pay and of course more responsibility to go with it. Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to be a convoy commander soon.

Carry on,

SGT Kyle

The sergeant is the Army.

-Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay

Sittin' in the mornin' sun

I'll be sittin' when the evenin' come

I'm working on my fourth day in Kuwait now on my way back from R and R. I think this is the place where they send you to make you appreciate Iraq. We are waiting on a flight back to our base but because our base is so small they don’t fly there very often. So we wait.

We have to check in at 0700 and 1900 for accountability and to see if we have a flight. We don’t have a flight though so then we check our email, eat, sleep, read, or watch a movie. So far I have read four books, three magazines, and watched a few movies. We have discussed stealing an SUV and driving ourselves North many times. The biggest problem here is we have nothing we are required to do except checking in every twelve hours. When we are in Iraq we are constantly busy so the time passes quickly. Here, the time is crawling.

The news is always on in the chow hall and currently they are always talking about Obama. So far, I know what parties they went to, who designed all the outfits Michelle wore, and what he ate for his first meal on Air Force One. I heard a rumor that he gave a speech also but so far that has been absent from the “news.” I looked it up online but it was too long to read in the 20 minute time limit so I’ll have to wait until I get back to Iraq to see what his speech was about.

I have also been looking online at different options for jobs and places to live when I return. Now that I have my bachelor’s degree and most of my master’s degree, I’m seriously considering getting a job when I get back. It should be a great time to purchase a house when I get back and I am really excited about finally having my own place. All I have to figure out is where I want that house to be and how I will pay for it. Unfortunately, the same thing that is making the housing market affordable for us could also make it difficult for me to get a job. I’m going to be doing a lot of research over the next 6-8 months.

Sadly there is no bay here and therefore no dock. But I am wastin' time.

I'm going to try to find a pig,


Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

-Susan Jeffers

NOTE: I am back in Iraq now and have been here for a few days. I did spend five days in Kuwait on the way back from R and R though and that is when I wrote this. I just wasn’t able to post it while I was in Kuwait.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Why The Sandbox Misses Me

I can’t recall any exotic locations where I spent New Year’s before my sixteenth birthday. In fact, I don’t even know where I celebrated New Year’s this year but I’m pretty sure it would qualify as exotic. I was somewhere between Kuwait and Germany in an airplane.

As many of you might already know, I have been on my Rest and Relaxation leave for the last two weeks and today is my last day. Of course I’d be lying (and in trouble with Kristen) if I said I was ready to leave but the low temperature here today is -22° F and the high is supposed to be a blazing -7°. There is currently a low of 35° F in Mosul so that should feel downright tropical for me.

I have been able to spend lots of time with friends, Brownie and family. I thought the time would really fly but it has seemed to go slow enough to make it worthwhile.

Speaking of Brownie, the Boxer, he is just over two years old now which makes him about 16 in human years if you buy into that. I think we need to start calling him Girl Scout now.

He also seems to be quite interested in my truck. I hope he doesn’t drive it too much while I’m gone.

For the first few days after I got back I was taking the “rest” portion very seriously. It took me a while to get adjusted to this time zone which I did by sleeping at seemingly random times. If you want to know what the movie “Seven Pounds” is about from a point of view of someone who’s state of consciousness was hit and miss just let me know.

Next we went to Boyne for skiing for a few days. It has become sort of a Christmas tradition for us so it was nice to be able to make it this year. There was a lot of good snow and few people on the hill so it was perfect.

The other major thing I did was a woodworking project. My original plan was to get it done before I left for Iraq initially but that didn’t happen. It gave me some more time to work on the design which I worked on well into the actual building of the project. It’s a secret birthday present so I hope my almost one year old niece doesn’t check her email. You can click on the ‘project card’ below and go to for much more information on the project.

Click for details: Rockin' Ride

Other than that I have just been enjoying my time with family, not shaving, and marveling at the speed of the internet here. I don’t even have time to read magazines while I wait for pages to load. I should be back in Iraq in a few days and getting back into the swing of things. Many of you have asked when I will be back home from this deployment and I don't really know. I'm expecting that it will be about eight more months but of course the Army is subject to change.

Back to the box,


If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.