Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Nick Druecke on conditions in Iraq

Here's Part Two of our introductory post from Nick Druecke, who is spending the year at Camp Taji, Iraq, roughly 6,339 miles from his home in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

I'll shorten up this thing and give you the skinny on conditions here in Iraq. The chow halls here are actually pretty good, from an all around aspect. You can eat whatever and how much of whatever you want, they serve different things every day. Sunday is soul food, Monday is Mongolian night, Tuesday is fish fry, I can’t honestly remember what the rest of them are. Especially since I’m on a pretty intense workout plan (gotta have a good diet!)

The rooms differ, 'important people' have larger ones than others, but honestly the rooms are glorified closets. Two men per, you get a bed, a nightstand and an armoire. The rooms have a small A/C unit which during the middle of the day cools the room down to a cool 95 degrees. Outside will be anywhere from 110-140 with a constant hot wind. The best way to simulate this is to preheat an oven to 150 degrees, and then use a hairdryer to blow the heat onto your face. There are a lot of dust storms here as well. You can’t even imagine what that is like unless you’ve been in one. Kuwait was worse though.

Down time is usually spent sleeping, as we run on a 24 hour schedule here, no days off...ever. Internet and phones are slow to boot and get knocked offline during the many dust storms. You see your coworkers (battle buddies) way more than you wish, and most things we joke about here would be either too gross, inhumane, or just plain immature for normal people. I have a sincere belief that the infantry is home of the oldest and most immature children on the planet. Everything is either a movie quote or a fart joke...and I laugh at all of them. However annoyed you get with your battle buddies, you will never forget them.

Years from now I imagine I will look back remember all of them, and then realize that I didn’t even know most of their first names. It’s funny who you trust your life to.

- Spc Druecke live from Iraq