Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Leaving the middle east.

The last day was hard, I couldn't stay up to watch the super-bowl, I was was to tired. Stephen put it on and I was passed out. I fact I slept so much Stephen woke me up for breakfast. We all sat together and reminist about the week, the highs and lows. I got very sentimental and sad thinking this was it. Colonel and I went to the gym and I packed. Our Last gig was Arijan right outside Kuwait City.
Is it me or does the Kuwaiti highways look like the Jersey Turnpike? Thats the look of money.
 When we met security up front I got very sad, I started to see how it would be hard to be a soldier and have to adjust and come home. I think I would have liked the military life, its very exciting and you cut out the bull crap and work, workout, relax and have free time. You live on a schedule, it very sufficient. If I would be younger and not in the arts I think i would like it.

Its the last show:
We had a radio interview about the tour and went to the hall. We were presented with another plaque and coin. I felt so honored. I wasn't to sure about how I felt about the show because some of my time was cut do to getting to the airport but after we got mobbed like the Beatles.

Will brought the Pup!! This dog is so gentle but I wouldn't want to see him mad, he is a "very German" Shepard! I would not like to meet him in the US!?!

To the airport
This was a crazy time the drive was mixed emotions, I was happy to get home but sad to leave. Saying goodbye to the security team was tough, they where such good guys, in the week we hung out I felt close to them. Will our driver told us how weird some of the Kuwaiti people are and how they are not nice to the Philippine people who come into work for them and the role women play in their society.
Brad and Dave are going to meet up with us in the states when they return. Brad is "The Jersey Guy" I was talking about earlier. He lives in Hackensack and we are going to meet in the city.
 One of me and Stephens Proudest moments is when everyone got involved in our DURKA game where you use the word durka in any form like how the smurfs do with "SMURF". Everyone on the trip used it in a movie quote or a song title.Also somehow through out the trip through the airport Conti ended up finding us even after we went through security. Im tired of using my hands, Ill carry the bag with my head thank you.

Loading into the plane I realized, I won't see Colonel for a while. I am hoping we catch a Steelers game next season and I also hope to go back. The Colonel is such a great man and is an example of a true patriotic, military guy. He was serious with his work and always had control but good enough at what he does to have an amazing sense of humor. More people should strive to be like him. I hope to take allot away from this trip and his drive, work ethic, scents of humor and joy of life is something that will stick with me.

My Impression of Kieth Oberman, I need to crumple paper up and throw it at the camera and say Its been 1 day since Mark said: Mission Accomplished.. Goodnight and good-luck.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Travel Day: Back to Kuwait

Baghdad to Kuwait.

I was so tired from the crazy chopper mix up I decided to get to the bunk pack and enjoy Sadams palace before we have to hit the road. We had to be up early, if we missed our flight we are staying in IRAQ till we get new visas so we need to have our shit together. Judd picks us up and gets us to Slather and we are getting punch drunk from  no sleep. Im sure judd had enough of us laughing at the dumbest jokes  you ever heard,  To the right:We coffee up with Major Thomas and Judd. Ill miss those two, they where fun as hell! Below is The Iraq crew; 2nd Row: Major Thomas, Carole, Judd, Legihan, Warren, Colonel Shock. first row: Mark (me), Felicia and Stephan

Is that our Ride? C130's are awesome, huge, powerful aircrafts that do amazing things.. One down side they stink when it comes to being comfortable! Also we saw the werewolf crew tag!

Back to Kuwait.

It was great landing in Kuwait and seeing our security team. Brad, Will, Conti and a new guy to the crew Brads (biz) partner I'll call Jersey Boy for now(from Hackensack Ill introduce next blog). I was so tired I slept most of the day in between finding out if the super-bowl would be aired somewhere.

Felicia Took The gang out to eat at Al Boom. Al boom is a restaurant that was opened in 1979 on an Indian ship that was built in 1915. It took 3 years to build by hand Here is why.

During Dinner we were all delirious so we can up with each-others Striper names:Poison Ivy, Anal Seepage, Negro B. Demille, Hung Hogan, Major Mother F*****, The Amnesty Box and Caroles Pirate name- Land Hoe!
After an amazing dinner we went to the upper area for coffee and there was a door to go out on deck.. I know Carole and I are like children, we had to play.
Now on a serious note during dinner talking to The Cornel (I feel like elvis saying the colonel showed us around) we all said very seriously how much we will miss him and the troops and all the guys who made this all happen. He was a very cool guy and put up with allot hauling 5 comics around the dessert, Carole making a Colonel carry her bags lol, and it finally dawned on us his stripper name would be either THE SHOCKER or SHOCK AND AWW!

The Damage Done

These are photos of what happened at the Radisson in the gulf war and what its like now. What a job rebuilding!

After all the work looking for the Super-bowl, I ended up passing out and not getting up in order to watch the german feed of the super-bowl where in letters under the screen read sexy american football.. Nice!

Monday, February 8, 2010

DAY 6 Alasad

ALASAD: Second part of the day

The Bus ride:  Alasad was a former Marine base that the army took over when the Marines went to Afghanistan. There still is a Marine presence but mostly army and Air Force and it was no nonsence untill we got VIP cards, then they couldnt be nicer. Alasad soldiers were very funny people (they where very serious but had humor), they wrote all over the seats on the bus ride in. Take what you want from it. The security is Ugandan; it’s a marine base so the security is so tight. We did a ton of check INS and security clearances. In fact we got taken to a detainee room to get security check and questioned. I realised I love walking right behind Colonel Shock and pretending everyone is respecting and saluting me. Being Powerfull is awesome.

Above: Just mean.. but funny

To the right: Kind of Obscure?!

Below: I noticed everywhere we go the Army has amazing artists. Its hard to tell but its a 3-D black and white..

The green Room was an amazing Library. Their Library system is awesome, They have books everywhere and they also don’t have to return them, when they finish reading it drop it anywhere on base because there are books everywhere. I wouldn’t have thought Army men read allot but I saw more books there than in a college.
I talked a bit to the colonel about Gary Sinese and how much he does for Armed Forces Entertainment. He is so amazing, in fact him and John Malcovich (True West) are the reasons I got into theatre. He also was in “One Flew Over The CooCoo’s Nest”. They get some great entertainment over here. In fact the show how it was ran and set up was better than 99 % of the clubs that specialize in comedy shows. Here is one of the posters.
The show was great they had disco lights and it made me laugh they kept them on for a while during my set. The PX had some great stuff I got an Alasad Hoodie! We got checked in late so by the time we got to DFAC and ate it was time to roll, judd couldnt show us the base.
Major Thomas knows everyone, no matter where we are, he is the man. He will probably be running IRAQ soon.

There was a weird situation on the way home, my chopper had two colonels Judd and I. Col. Shock our guy and a guy out of the marines who's stare would make an Avatar sweat. We took off and stopped in Ramidi to fuel up and we picked up a couple guys and then went back to Alasad to drop them off, picked up soldiers then left for liberty, Check a map and you’ll see it was ridiculous. The Colonels gave these pilots a bit of a scare. They where no Werewolf’s.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 6: Korean Village (part 1)

Korean Village

This is a long travel day so we got to get up early, I hit breakfast and Sadams hunting Cabin is packed with officers and big dogs. I ran into the guy who brought the wounded warriors over for closure from the war and to visit where they where injured and we got to talking. Him and I both want to start setting up Walter Reed shows ASAP. His last name was Kell, he was a very funny, energetic Baldwin looking fellow who I really like.

I'm having a hard time with ranks and symbols and who does what, so I will be posting a blog on ranking when I slow down a bit.

Even After the "wake up" last night, I got great sleep. Its Raining and dreary. Iraqi mud is Awful. Its like a Toxic mix of sticky like gum and consistency of dog crap, its so thick and nasty. Its cold and we have long chopper rides today, so i try and bundle up but it don’t help. This is going to start confusing and end worse.

Everyone is cranky because of the cold. We where warned it snowed in the Korean Village yesterday- its the US's Siberia!

This is Cold as Hell in these things, you cannot shut the gunner doors. So even though there is a heat system only the pilots get a taste of that.

It’s Like a bad episode of Mash. We had to go to Alasad and switch Choppers. They Control West Iraq, so we have to unload, get checked in then reload. We get our own Black Hawk Crew "The Werewolf’s" but we share the chopper with some contractors and they had allott of equipment!

This is the Euphrates river: I also seen The Tigris this trip.. That’s where Jesus walked!

My Feet and hands where Frozen Solid. It was painful. Once we got in we went to The Mayors Cell.. Klug, he was a good guy, he is from Oregon and between him and his base it reminded me of a lumberjack lodge.

Our first stop Korean Village:

Klugs XO:  He informed us the last six groups that where supposed to come out cancelled and he was positive we were going to. The travel and the weather is responcible for this.

This Base Borders Seria and Jordan it is made up of allot of The 82nd Airborn and our pilots will be there so The skydive bit should be amazing..

These walls are called Esko Barriers
Just like Giant sand bags but 7 feet high with rebarb walls.

The Werewolves Stuck Around to enjoy the show and then Fly us Back. I have a seperate short Blog to talkabout them.
These guys wanted a show! If you look close enough, I think Im the Employee of the month.
Two beer to each soldier during the game!

The Food was great and they had an awesome POW MIA thing set up. They have them at all DFACs but this one stood out. Here is the thing in the frame.
Those who have served and those currently serving the uniformed services of the United States are ever mindful that the sweetness of enduring peace has always been tainted by the bitterness of personal sacrifice. We are compelled to never forget that while we enjoy our daily pleasures, there are others who have endured and may still be enduring the agonies of pain, deprivation and internment. Before we begin our activities this evening, we will pause to recognize our POW's and MIA's. We call your attention to this small table, which occupies a place of dignity and honor near the head table. It is set for one, symbolizing the fact that members of our armed forces are missing from our ranks. They are referred to as POW's and MIA's. We call them comrades. They are unable to be with their loved ones and families tonight, so we join together to pay our humble tribute to them, and bear witness to there continued absence. This table, set for one, is small, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner, alone against his or her suppressors. The tablecloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms. The single red rose in the vase, signifies the blood they many have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America. This rose also reminds us of the family and friends of our missing comrades who keep the faith, while awaiting their return. The yellow ribbon on the vase represents the yellow ribbons worn on the lapels of the thousands who demand with unyielding determination a proper accounting of our comrades who are not among us tonight. A slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of their bitter fate. The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait. The glass is inverted - they cannot toast with us this night. The chair is empty - they are not here. The candle is reminiscent of the light of hope, which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, to the open arms of a grateful nation .Let us pray to the supreme commander that all of our comrades will soon be back within our ranks. Let us remember and never forget their sacrifices. May god forever watch over them and protect them and their families.

When we where waiting for the dinning hall they had us go in a bunker because it was so cold. Leave it to Felicia and Carol to make you laugh.

Master Sarg Klug, Felicia Micheals, Stephen Kruiser, Carol Montgomery, Leighan Lord and Mark Riccadonna