April 15: Leave from CRC, bus from Benning to Atlanta, not sure why we didn’t fly out of Benning, but seems all flights go this way for the last few years, good flight, took sleeping pill, slept all the way to Leipzig, Germany (in what used to

Securing our gear at Ali Al Salem

be East Germany), seeing wonderful German beer during layover but not allowed to buy any. GO 1 (General Order 1) is most stupid GO ever, the US military just doesn’t have a clue. Send guys into combat and don’t let them have even a beer or two to relax. I would wager that this actually is worse than drinking and probably contributes to PTSD. It leaves a soldier with no outlet. Going to the gym just doesn’t work all the time for stress relief or any of the time for most. Food in the airport area we were at was disgusting, kind of a surprise, I passed. Not even a good wurst to be had.

April 16: Took Clonipin, slept most of way to Kuwait, 1 1/2 hour bus ride to Ali Al Saleem, Kuwait, stayed up all night to get on flight to Bagram, traveling Space Required (another name for Space A) means working hard to get a flight and one pretty much does whatever it takes, including telling, “of course you called my name,” to get on a flight without being stuck there forever. All of us but Mikey made the flight.

Ali Al Saleem is the pit of the earth. I hate Kuwait, even back in 2004, I was happy to be in Iraq and not Kuwait despite the lack of danger. At least, you don’t earn a combat patch for being stationed in Kuwait anymore. Back in the day, we

Trying to get some sleep

in Iraq thought it bullshit that they earned the same combat fire pay we did. Even worse in Qatar where CENTCOM Forward Headquarters is, the only country where alcohol is (outside the UAE) legal. Top brass has to have their alcohol even if soldiers can’t.  That is only possible reason for locating the headquarters there, far from the fights. I did hear rumors that you can get beer at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait now, need to research that. When I was there before, Afrijan was being built to replace Camp Doha (not to be confused with Doha, Qatar).

Back to the present. We couldn’t use the mess hall because civilians have to pay with an Eagle cash card. I got a pizza from Pizza Hut. It was Ok for a Pizza Hut pizza, that is my least favorite pizza chain of all time, can’t stand their sauce. The pepperoni actually tasted like pepperoni, unlike the Pizza Hut I

Can You Say Disgusting? "Jimmy Dean" Meal

remember in Iraq. We figured everything was camel meat there, jokingly.

In the Pax terminal they have “Jimmy Dean” meals. Man, I wouldn’t want my name associated with these things, I saw them at Pax terminals when I was in Iraq, too. You get stuff like an off brand orange soda, small cans of things like pork and beans, ham meat spread, small can of Pringles and other disgusting things. Totally hideous. Instant stomach cramps. Oh yeah, all cold, no way to heat anything up. C Rats were better and MREs are way better.

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