Sunday, October 21, 2007

Almost done with NC

Well, my training is coming to a close in the next week or so. It's been an experience. I've met some great people, so more people to see at odd trips in the future. The only bad thing about training with a group is that it's taught at the level of the lowest common denominator, so it can be tedious if you're not that person (and I don't think I am). Last week was my first time shooting in the rain and I noticed how difficult it is to aim when your glasses keep getting wet. (Maybe the glasses with wipers would be useful in a situation like that.)

I've packed my bags yet again and this time got all my gear into three bags. I'm not sure how far I can carry the two that aren't on my back, but I'll find that out when I get in country I'm sure.

The realization that I'll be in Iraq in the near future has really only been hitting me in the last couple of days. I've been in touch with my sponsor who's over there, so I know a little more about what to expect, but I'm not sure if that makes it more comforting or not. The element of the unknown is still there since I haven't seen where I'll be going or what I'll be doing, but at least I have a better idea of what it'll be like and I know that my sponsor made it though his tour, so I'll make it through mine. I can't yet fathom working every day that I'm there since I've only gone about 4 months without a day off in the past, but how much worse can six be? At least, I'm not over there for a year or more like some of the other guys I've met. (Not that I wouldn't go, but I'm sure that's a tougher thing to get one's mind around to be gone that long.)
Right now, I just hope I have a good flight and get lots of sleep on it since I'll probably work once I land. And so the adventure really begins...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Almost Done with SC

Well, I finally qualified on the 9mm on my third try. It took a lot of prayer and a lot of extra practice, so I'm very happy that I got past that hurdle. Then, last week, I took my physical fitness test and passed that, too! That was a huge relief since I couldn't even run 1 1/2 miles when I started out in mid-Aug. (Of course, I did my test last Tues and I've only run once since then compared to before when I was running four days a week.)

I saw Megadeth in concert on Friday night at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach with a few of the guys from work. It was a great show! Dave Mustaine was incredible on the guitar. He hasn't aged at all. And, of course, the rest of the band was great, too. I really loved seeing them live. The place was packed but it was pretty small, so I was still only about a hundred feet from the stage even though I was in the back. I'm so happy I got to go! Especially since this is my last free weekend for the next six months or so.

I spent today packing and picking up a few more items. I really do have four bags worth of stuff. The bag with my body armor is especially heavy. Hopefully, none of them are over my 70 lb weight limit. I also have to pack most of my civilian clothes since I'll be leaving them here. (I just need a couple of outfits for my time in NC since I won't be wearing any civilian clothes over in the Middle East.) Also, I finished reading my book about Israel's revenge for the Munich massacres since I know that it would be a bad idea to take it with me overseas. (I don't know if every country searches the incoming luggage as much as the Saudis did.)

It's both scary and exciting to be finally moving on to the next leg of my journey. The scariest part is really the unknown since I haven't gone over before, so I don't know what it'll all be like. (Of course, I've been to the Middle East about 7 or 8 times, so I'm familiar with the culture and the region.) I haven't been back since 2004, though, and I do miss traveling over there. It's a completely different world from the US, but not an uncomfortable one even as a female. I just hope it all goes well.