Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everyone!! Hope you all had a good holiday with lots of presents!! They made the DFAC festive and made a big spread for us, similar to Thanksgiving (but no shrimp this time).

Christmas Dinner

Here is my deployed family, the CIS Operations Crew. On the left is Maj Todd Gardner (US Army), LT JJ Dunne (US Navy), and SFC Larry Lilly (US Army); On the right is 1st Lt Ryan Roberts (US Marines). We are a truly joint office with all the services working together.

Ho Ho Ho

Me at the Christmas tree in the Embassy chow hall.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Sunset in the IZ...

Fallen Tree

We had a couple of windy days, with palm branches falling all over. Then as I went into work, down at the end of my row of "hooches" was this tree that fell. It fell from the other side of the sandbags and almost hit the hooches on the other side. Just some minor damage to the hooches and sandbag wall. I can't find where it ripped from the ground though...maybe sand blew in and covered it up.

My Front Door

This is just looking out the office front door at the back side of the Embassy palace.

Palace Chow Hall

This is the palace DFAC (chow hall), in the Embassy. We call it the Deli since they only have soup, salad and sandwiches. It is pretty nice but doesn't offer the selection that the main DFAC has. I definately can't complain about the food here, it is much better than eating MRE's.

Happy Voters

Here are some happy Iraqi's waiting in the voting line. Things were relatively quiet here on election day, with the exception of a 0700 mortar attack that rocked me from the shower. No one was seriously injured and the rest of the day pretty calm.

Look of Frustration

I guess this was a frustrating day by the looks of the picture that SFC Lilly took. Most days are like this.

Stay Back

Leave my desk alone or I will shoot and poke you!!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Cross Swords Entrance

This is the entrance to the Cross Swords Parade Field. At the base of each of the arms holding the swords are nets which are filled with helmets. These helmets are from Iranians killed during the Iraq Iran War. Saddam liked to have these "war trophies" for everyone to see at the entrance of his parade grounds.

Cruz'in in the Haji Van

Here I am in our "Haji Van". This thing is quite the beater, but it gets us around the IZ.

Review Stands

This is the center review stand where the Iraqi's would come through the parade field for Saddam. There is stadium style seating on each side of the main stand where other Regime members would site to watch the troops.

Holding the Swords

Here I am standing on the parade grounds holding a set of Cross Swords.

Arm of the Cross Swords

On the backside of the arms of the Cross Swords is a small tunnel in the ground that leads to a room with a ladder. The ladder goes up, through several platforms, to the top where you can look out. I climbed up for a photo op.

Back of Embassy

This is looking down the street on the back side of the Embassy Palace from my office. I walk this many, many, many times a day going to and from different projects I am working.

Another Wall Mural

This mural is opposite the rockets. One wall is peace wall, the other is war wall.

Embassy Palace Wall Mural

This is a mural on the wall of a ballroom in the palace. As you can see, it is rockets launching with the Iraqi flag. This is in the same ballroom as the ceiling mural below with the stallions in the clouds.