He left Fort Campbell, near Clarksville, Kentucky in early October. The Army processed nearly 1,000 soldiers a day at Fort Campbell. The 3rd Brigade was preparing to be among the division's first combat units to replace the Army's 42nd Infantry Division. It operates out of Tikrit, in north central Iraq.
As part of the preparation to leave the soldiers filed into an old gym at Fort Campbell to update personal records including contact information for next of kin, personal information to help officials identify them if captured, even details for the type of funeral they'd like to have.
He first went to Germany, then Kuwait for a few weeks before actually going into Iraq. Their base is along the Tigris river near Bieji or Bayji, about 5o miles from Balad. I understand this is an area where several important oil pipelines converge. He is in the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment 101st Airborne, »Rakkasans«. (While serving as part of the American Occupation Force, the Japanese gave the paratroopers of the 187th Infantry Regiment the nickname »Rakkasan«, which loosely translated means »falling umbrella.«)
His job in Iraq has to do with surveillance. Apparently there only a few guy over there that are train to do the job. It is a new position and hasn't been give a classification yet.
How he got the job was; there was a knock on the trailer that he shares with a couple of other guys. A volunteer was wanted and as no one wanted to get out of bed and he being the lowest in seniority; he was the volunteer. It ended up that they needed someone for surveillance. This seems like an ideal job for him as he has always had good eyes for spotting things. He also has good hand eye coordination and good at computer games. He was trained by civilians that are no longer there. So the few guys that are trained for it don't go off on patrol and combat. (He was a little disappointed that he probably won't get a combat patch)
»The Symbolism of the 187th Combat Patch is clearly defined: The white parachute represents the paratroopers that descend from the blue sky into the flames of war, on the (Airborne) wings of war.«
They work from a trailer that has electronic surveillance equipment. There is a camera attached to a big balloon that has a line that goes up a thousand feet. They were out of business for a while when a captain cut the line with a helicopter blade. So they were put to work on fencing while they waited for replacement equipment. The job isn't as safe as we thought as there have been attempts to blow up the balloon and trailer.
The guys built a deck off the trailer, then there was some rain or something and they added a roof. Then it was getting windy so the added sides. He said, »its the only barn in Iraq. They work 2 hour shifts but have to hang out there; so they go out to their «barn" to hang out. I understand they have stuff set up for recreation and have their games and stuff that has been sent to them.
Around Christmas time, He was heading to the shower when a vehicle that looked like it held some army brass pulled in. He was thinking that he better make himself scarce when a female got out of the vehicle. Someone pointed at him and told him to get dressed and show her around. Sounds like he had a good time driving her around. He took her to where he works, so the guys could get there photo's taken with her. Didn't want the guys mad, as he would be late for duty. She is actress Kelly Hu.
Looked her up
Apparently she has an older brother who is a captain in the US Army
She was crowned Miss Teen USA 1985
I remember liking her on:
Nash Bridges" (1996) TV Series .... Insp. Michelle Chan (1997-1998)
Some movies she has been in.
Yurido Oyama AKA Lady Deathstrike in X2,
Cradle 2 The Grave
the Sorceress, Cassandra, in The Scorpin King
Detective Grace Chen in the action series Martial Law