Wednesday, February 3, 2010

HELLO BAHGDAD: Getting There day 3

Brad, Will,  The New Yorker and myself loading up for a ride in the C130. To the right is Conti the nicest killer you'll ever meet. These guys are the nicest humans you could ever meet but I wouldn't want to be on their bad side.
Well we are up bright and early, flying out to IRAQ. Flight time is 9:00 but got delayed till 12:00. It was a weird day we had to say goodbye to our security team. Conti, Brad and our new, New York buddy(he still works in NY as an anti terrorism squad so I wont use his real name). Finally we loaded up full armor and got on a C130. It was awesome. The Kevlar vest weighs around 30lbs.. FYI 

Well we are up bright and early, flying out to IRAQ. Flight time is 9:00 but got delayed till 12:00. It was a weird day we had to say goodbye to our security team. Conti, Brad and our new, New York buddy (he still works in NY as an anti-terrorism squad so I won’t use his real name). Finally we loaded up full armor and got on a C130. I grew up right by the Youngstown Air Force Base and by father even works there I've seen these a million times but I never thought I would be flying as cargo. The Kevlar vest weighs around 30lbs.. FYI
The C130 is a tight squeeze. We were with a brand new group of guys out of Louisiana and they were on their first deployment. One of the guys asked if we wanted to switch I go on patrol- he tell jokes. The flight was long and rough, we were in full armor, hot and shared the ride with allot of soldiers, its loud and bumpy! If I get sick- i hope Baghdad has showers!
This building is where the BATH political party stayed, now it is a USAF base. The ceiling is one of those cool echo chambers like in Grand Central so they could have meetings without microphones.

We landed at Victory Camp (former Baghdad airport) we are staying in Sadam’s hunting palace. It’s really nice (for a war zone). I am looking forward to looking around.
Judd our driver took me on a tour around base: I was the only one to take him up on this, the other comics were exhausted.
Just as we were loading in to the van we saw a truck come in and we stopped. It was the wounded Warriors, These young guys are guys who lost their limbs and decided to come back. Real Heroes, I mean top of the line guys. There was one guy and they told me this great story about how awesome their sense of humors are. Sergeant Shlitz. He was burnt head to toe and is missing his hands. The General told him he was going to see about getting him involved in the hand transplant program, Slitz without even blinking at the general said if its a 16 year olds transplant and i master bate -does that make me a pedophile. I love he has a sense of humor in his situation, these are real men.

Victory base camps population is around 25,000 this base is all of Sadams AlFa Palace, this is where our big shot generals stay and the troops stay in bunkers. The security here are all Ugandan so you can’t get away with anything, ALWAYS have your passport and orders! Liberty base and Slayer base are sections in Victory camp. are Russian tanks, the turret isn’t fastened down so when they were blown up the tops popped off! They are located right outside Sadam Palace (Victory over IRAN) domed building is “The Perfume Palace” that is where Sadam kept his slave prostitutes. Under age slave Prostitutes. He believed God can’t see what happens on water- so he built a man-made lake (while his citizens died of thirst) so he could do his evil bidding.

You can't believe the damage that has been done here. building is amazing "looking" They said he liked to make it look expensive but the walls where stuffed with paper. Cheap insulation so I guess he is like some New Yorkers I know- Flashy and Broke. I got to have a little (unofficial tour) I’m not sure if I was allowed to go in but it was awesome.
The Flintstone village was built for Sadams grandkids… Auuhh isn’t that a sweet grandpa, well he built them because he felt bad about killing his son in law AKA there dad, Man I’m glad I get along with my in-laws.

At night we did a show It was awesome 300 plus soldiers. Everyone stuck around and we got to talk to the soldiers for a few hours. We were then interviewed for Armed Forces Entertainment and a couple newspapers. This has been an honor to do shows for these guys. I love my job.

DAY 4 Tarminya and Taji

The day started and we forgot our orders and passport on our jog so we didn’t get to go to the gym, no real sweat for me- It’s hot here and I am sweating enough. 
We were up early and ready to go, hit the DFAC (Dining Facility) and were boarding the black hawks. While waiting for the Hawks we saw the M wraps up close. They rock- Tanks on wheels.
The choppers were late but once we strapped in it was amazing!! They are much like a roller coaster but smooth as can be! Carol and I like the Black Hawks WAY too much, I wish I could go to every gig in one of these!
When we fly all I think about is "All Along the Watch Tower" by Jimmy Hendricks.

Base: JSS Tarmiya
We took Black Hawks in to work today; I've taken elevators, stairs, limos, bikes, sports cars, cabs, subways once a snow mobile but never a Black Hawk. This was huge, they ride smooth and are awesome handling.
Passing over Baghdad it looked like a giant meth lab, The houses are either crap or a huge mansion, not to much in-between. There is a certain power you feel when flying like that. Getting strapped in was awesome, you feel unbelievably safe.
The JSS Tarmiya felt like a grade school playground with awesome graffiti (even the skull with the porno stash. 

They just got hit a couple days ago so they were really excited to have a show and forget their problems for a couple hours. It started as a slow audience but when one group got off patrol they filled the outside. It threw me off when I was half way through a story and a group of dirty soldiers with machine guns walk in and take a seat. Their spirits where high considering someone threw a grenade into a striker and injured 2 of our guys. 


The show was just unbelievable, they were so much fun! Ditto one of the soldiers from the early show wants to do comedy I told him DO IT!! Following your dream is so important especially someone who does what you do, you already defy the odds- this will not be taking a chance.
We got a tour of the Strikers! We took a photo with the Striker Force and their VERY German Sheppard DAX.

 I was so impressed Sergeant Harris gave us an indebt tour he showed us how everything works with the guns and armor and how important it was for us to come for morale. 
The base was small and they said they had exactly as many people as they need- no more no less. They are a small group of Warriors and they earned my respect and the respect of our country.

Fly Base to Base by Black Hawk- the only way to travel.

 Cornel Ed Shock. The man, the myth my bunk mate! I never shared a room with a cornel…
Base 2 JSS Taji:

This was a big base- its kind of where most of the black hawks are. Upon arrival we met in a war room with Garrison Command Major Sly Bolton and all his BAMA boys, being an Ohio State fan I didn’t talk much. The Calvary were so nice, the food was great.
There were 400 peeps in attendance and they wanted a show and they got a show. Everyone was amazing. After the show we did our meet and great but had to hustle out to catch our chopper.

4 days in and I got 2! I love the Military!
The glowing things are not Storm Troopers from Star Wars- they are US Storm Troopers in IRAQ. Carol Tearing it up, 400 plus soldiers watched us tonight in a picnic area.

I look like Captain Caveman! I need a shave so they know I am on their side.

We got back and now everyone is here in the computer room typing away.