Saturday, August 23, 2008

I know her eyes look weird, but I often find greycoat sitting in my bathroom cupboard. Its kinda cute.
This is me babysitting my cute nephew Harmon. He fell asleep in my lap while I talked to Kelly. He is a good baby.
Janelle and I went to Andele's for dinner together while Karl is out of town, and Kelly too I guess. I brought my camera to take a picture but I forgot. So this is a picture of the food we ate, which is what Kelly and Janelle always get, and it is the food that was also served at our reception. Thank you mom.

Monday, August 18, 2008

More Fort Dix

So, I'm three weeks into Combat Skills Training now. The first two weeks were relatively great. Easy workdays, days off, etc. The last week has been miserable though. After giving me four days off, the army suddenly realized it was in a hurry and we did 16 hour days. The past three days were spent at Camp Victory, a simulated Forward Operating Base (FOB) in the Jersey woods. It looked a lot like a base with the standard guard towers and barb wire, tent cities, and hummers galore. The conditions themselves were actually pretty nice. Our tent (seen below) had room for 16 and there were only 5 of us, the food was better than it is on Fort Dix, there was a tent withg gym equipment and tv, and there plenty of hot showers. If it wasn't like an oven in our tent, it would have been really pleasant.

The training itself though, was miserable. It consisted of us parroting back the sounds some guy was making for hours on endand calling it "learning Dari" (Dari isn't even the language for the part of Afghanistan most of us are going to). We had many redundant briefings on how to conduct a checkpoint, but they were so poorly taught, and we were so uncomfortable in the heat with all our body armor and gear on, that I still have no idea how to do a checkpoint--not that I or any of us need to. It's a shame, because the soldiers are great dudes, but the army has eliminated any sense of thinking outside the box, or independent thought from them. That's enough complaining about the army for now though.

We did get in a lot of shooting on the M-16 and M-9 though. We did shooting pop-up targets at different ranges, night firing with tracers, and close-quarters combat. And then there was the nightly hand-to-hand combatives class. It was a lot of fun, and a good refresher of the PE classes we had to do at the Academy. It culminated in me fighting my friend 2Lt Erik Chan in front of the group. We started out very aggressive, but neither one of us could choke out the other person, so we just wore each other out.

An exhausted and smelly 1Lt Kelly Wood

Our tent at the FOB

Inside the tent

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This is Kelly with all of his gear. He is wearing his usual ABU, boots, helmet, bullet-proof vest, two M-16s, M-9, backpack, and holster. I know that is not all, right Kelly? He then did " land navigation training" in the heat of NJ. Long hot day.

Friday, August 1, 2008

My Quarters

Fort Dix, NJ

This is the building I'm staying. It's an old army barracks and is pretty dumpy. It smells and there's 12 of us per room, but there's free wifi on the borrom floor, so that was an unexpected perk. Every night, you can see dozens of people outside talking on their cell phones. It's pretty funny.

I forgot to take the picture before I ate the hamburger, but this is a typical meal for me.

The bunk I'm staying in. All the stuff at the foot of the bed is mine as well as some of the stuff underneath, stuff in the locker on the right, and another bag you can't see. I don't know how I'm going to get all this crap overseas.