Thursday, November 18, 2004

First Bag Packed

The things we take with us. For a year long trip to Iraq, everything we take with us has to fit into three duffel bags, a rucksack, and an assault pack. Today we had to pack away one of our duffel bags in a connex that will be shipped out before us. Most of what we put in these bags is obviously army issued, but after putting into each bag the various items on the packing list, any space left over is ours. This extra space is precious, some of the most precious real estate in any of our lives, for this space allows us to take things we know will be hard to come by once we get in Iraq, especially where I'm supposedly going. The question then becomes, what should I take? What will I need to help me keep my sanity for a year in that place. For me, at least in this first packed bag, it was books. Some I have read, some I haven't. Anything for those inevitable days when I have to escape that place for an hour or so. Clippers went in as well, don't want to have to pay some idiot with some clippers five dollars for a crappy haircut, nor do I want to hear some prick that outranks me tell me I need to get a haircut. I'm sure this will happen, and I'm sure it will be from some guy that sits back in the rear doing paperwork while we're out getting shot at. Getting haircuts and shaving all the time while your in combat really pisses me off. Fortunately, during the invasion, I had a cool squad leader that let me go a week during the war without shaving. I'm getting off track here. Extension chords also went in and a really long telephone line, just in case we have internet access. The last thing that went in, the most important thing- four whole roles of toilet paper. Charmin, nice and soft, unlike the sandpaper the Army gives us. I'm already trying to decide what I'm going to put in any space I may have leftover in my other bugs. Any suggestions?

3 Comments:

Blogger renny said...

I want to say thank you for doing your job. I thank you. My husband thanks you and our 1 year old baby girl thanks you. Please also thank your wife. It's because of you and others like you that we can sleep at night. We will keep you and your family in our prayers.

renate

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A wifes perspective
My husband is in Iraq, I too was pregnant with and had 18 month old when he left. Tell you wife to contact OPERATION DOULA" I don't rememeber the web address, just google it. They will provide her with a support person for $0, this is ussually a $350 service. They will support her birth plan and advocate for her while in labor. In some cases they will even help her at home following the birth. Having a baby alone is a life altering experiance. Does she have family around? I do not, and it has been hard...24/7 Now the children are 1 and 3, and he is still gone, and has missed so much. I hate that the most. I also hate not being able to sleep, and the worry that comes with this. The back of your head you have to prepare yourself for the worst....the knock...or the ring at the door. Some might not agree with this, but it does cross your mind. My husbands unit has lost 17 people in 8 months. I am not involved in a family support, the support group here was like a hen house, women running around in circles, not really acheiving any goals. I found it was irritating. I do hear some of the FSG are great, so tell her to go and check it out and make up her own mind.
Take movies, MP3 player, a digital camera. If you dont have these things let the blog readers know, someone might help you out. Don't be afraid to ask. Make sure your wife knows exactly what deoderant/socks/shaving gel/blades/etc you use. Get a couple subscriptions to magazines, ask them to send them to your wife, otherwise they get stolen sometimes. Take good memories, and your imagination with you. Get a hold of a florist in town and get an account with them, make sure your wife gets special flowers on special days...or even better for no reason at all......that is the best. Above all keep your chin up, head down, and know we are all proud of you.....soldiers are selfless people and we thank you for it.

12:48 AM  
Blogger Angel said...

Just a packing tip, if you use a razor knife to cut the cardboard roll out of the center of the TP roll, you can flatten it and shove it in to a zip lock bag and compress it. Or even use a vaccum sealer to suck all the air out of it.

Usually doubles the amount of TP you can pack with you and fill up in tiny spaces :)

Don't forget to get some 110 - 220 converters and rechargeable batteries also.

Take care of yourself!!

Angel

10:26 PM  

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