27Aug05 – Saturday 11:00 – Ali Al Saleem Air Base, Kuwait

I am in a great mood.  Just got back from the phone center here and bought a phone card and got to make some good calls.  On my third try (after trying twice last night), I got through to Mike and had a good 20 minute conversation.  He was half asleep, though, because of a long day, but was sweet.  Totally made my day! J  Called Chris and DJ, and left messages for both of them.  Then I called Matt.  We, too, talked for about 20 minutes and had a very good conversation.  He may be coming to Iraq in January and we’d probably get to see each other! J
For only getting a few hours of sleep last night, I don’t feel too bad yet.  We are waiting at the Air Base to fly to TQ this afternoon.  It is almost 130 degrees Fahrenheit already!  Thankfully, we are inside, though.
I feel like we’ve been here a week, but it’s only been a few days.  I am having a good time, though, and like my Marines.  They are intelligent and good company.  Too bad real work starts tomorrow!
2100 – Al Taqaddam Air Base, Iraq
Had a great trip here from Kuwait.  I got to sit up front in the cockpit of the C-130 and wear a headset and chat with the crew.  The guys were from my Dad’s old squadron in Pope AFB.  I was shocked I remembered the name seeing as I was like nine at the time.  Anyway, it really made me want to fly again.
It’s significantly cooler here in Iraq.  It’s still hot, but only in the 110’s during the day.  Patrick showed me around and I got to type a quick group email.  I am very tired and very stinky.  I should shower but I won’t because I plan to do a 0600 jog tomorrow morning.  It’s time for bed now.  I have a big room all to myself with AC, fridge, big TV, and DVD player.  The bed sucks and everything is covered in dust and dirt, though.  Overall, it’s not bad.  It’s kind of like summer camp…only war.
Mike is on my mind.  I love him and I hope things continue to go well for us.
Lovin’ the Lord, but need to get back into the Word big time.
28Aug05 – Sunday, 1930  Long day today.  Not bad; just long.  All this communal living makes it really hard to get a good night’s sleep, especially because my room is at the entrance of the “Alamo.”  I ran at 0600 with Patrick and did pulls ups and sit ups.  I’m tired and stiff.  Chow.  Email.  Still nothing from Mike.  Errands all around base and some time at work then meetings and stuff, chow, email (still nada from Mike), and now I am so ready for bed but know there’s no way I’m going to get good sleep.  Everyone’s right outside my door.

givin the “day 1” symbol while hanging out at the pull up bar

From prayer journal: “The man who is willing to pray, but realizes he does not know how to do it, can hardly do better than to start with thanks.” (Elton Trueblood)  God, you answer my prayers every day and I thank you for that.  I also thank you for the prayers you don’t answer because you know better! J Lord God, my life is totally in your hands.  Take care of me, comfort me, guide me, love me, make me more like your son.  God, I am in a challenging place in my life and in the world and only your goodness and grace will get me through it with integrity and peace.  I pray for that wonderful gift, Lord.  I pray for that peace of heart and mind for Mike, too.  God, he needs you! Please reach his heart.

More thanks for my loving friends and family.  Please help Rachel and Rob with their extra family problems, Becci and Peter to build their love and family, and my parents in their life and Teddy and Matt P and H and Tori, Theresa, Kate, and Margie.