Back from leave

I’m back in the Middle East (Kuwait right now, waiting to fly back to Iraq) after my mid-tour leave. I was blessed to get an extra day at home due to my original flight being canceled (hurray for bad weather!), so I was able to spend a total of three weeks relaxing Stateside. Leave was great. My son has grown a lot and already thinks he’s old enough to tell Daddy “no.” My wife is just as beautiful as when I left. I’m looking forward to coming home for good!

I also returned here to the confirmation that we’ll be heading back home this summer for certain, or as certain as anything gets in the Military. From where I hear, internet and phones are in much better shape on my camp than when I left, so I will attempt to post more often from here on out.

I’m also going to start posting more frequently about what it is that we’re doing over here. I’ve received a few e-mails from people asking me to post more along those lines. It is also a question that Soldiers are asked a lot by family and friends back home. “What is like?” and “What are you doing over there?” are probably the two questions I hear the most from people when they find out I’ve served in Iraq. With that in mind, I came across the news article below earlier and decided to post it here. The camp that is mentioned, Forward Operating Base Garry Owen, is where I lived from July to October. The unit mentioned, 2-7 CAV, was also my unit for almost two years. I live in another camp not far from Garry Owen now, assigned to 1-9 CAV.

Operation Goodwill aides Iraqis in Maysan (by PFC Todd Rogers, from

FORWARD OPERATING BASE GARRY OWEN, Iraq – Iraqi Police from the Al Hussein Station assisted by Soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, joined forces during Operation Goodwill to send a positive message to the citizens in Amarah.

“We have a lot of things to coordinate between us and the Coalition,” said Maj. Gen. Saad Ali Ati, from Maysan during a recent conference at Contingency Operating Base Adder. “We share information and intelligence, and it’s working.”

The 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment Soldiers pulled security while the IP distributed humanitarian aid to those in need. “Working with the Iraqi Police and going door to door with them to see families is both rewarding to me and the IP’s,” said 2nd Lt. Timothy Hayes, a fire support officer from Buffalo, NY. “That’s the reason we are here, to help the citizens of Iraq.”

After visiting several dozen homes in the areas of Abu Romanah, the IP traveled to the northern part of Amarah. They visited farms and villages near the Tigris River to distribute food, toys and medical supplies to the Iraqis. “This is a sign of (changing times) for the war here in Iraq,” said Sgt. Robert Andrews, a resident of Fort Hood, TX. “It’s now all about the hearts and minds (of the Iraqi people).”