Saturday, September 10, 2011

Camp Virginia: location Kuwait

Commander Rogers
If you’re a soldier stationed somewhere longer than 2 years you can bring your family.
Today we are going to Camp Virginia.. Its is very far from Virginia. Before we head out there will be a commander call on base where we are staying (Arifjan). I woke up to the sounds of the anthill coming too- I could hear the guys getting ready. My “Dorm room” is next to the head so I hear the banging of doors starting at 4AM. I get up and hit the gym and rested.

The Coin Challenge:
During WW1 Is when this started and became a tradition that still is very strong. This is the first war that we used “Air Power”. Pilots came from all walks of life from poor farmer’s sons to rich kids whose parents paid them to learn to fly. There was a man who wanted to make a souvenir for all the pilots so he made a medallion with their company’s names on it. They were made from bronze and it was a little keep sake for a book self or a trophy case. This poor pilot didn’t have anywhere to put it and it was the most valuable thing he owned so he put it in a leather pouch around his neck.
He got shot down over a French village and was capture by the Germans. The Germans didn’t take his pouch but he was a pow. They got attacked and he escaped into the night. He was found by a group of Frenchmen, there were rumors that Germans where posing as Allies to get in to bases. The French group decided not to take a risk, neither speaking each other’s language- He was going to be executed. In a state of panic he showed them his coin and one of the Frenchman remembered the company’s logo and it saved his life. So you should always have one of these on you at all times. If you are caught without one – you have to buy drinks for whoever caught you.

We had a nice lunch with Commander Rogers and it was one of the best conversations I’ve had in a long time. We talked Politics, Life and Military. All in a non bias, unslanted way. He is super educated but doesn’t talk down to us for not knowing allot of the stuff we talked about. He is one of the most solid guys I think I may have met and did not have any ego or air about him. It just goes to show you strong, smart people don’t have to tell you they are strong and smart they just are.

We were supposed to meet him yesterday but we got our yellow fever shots (was I disappointer when I found out “shots” where not a drink!) and Malaria pills which I’ll be taking for a month. Commander Gave us an amazing Plaque and Coin and told us the story of the Coin Challenge which I just told you in a footnotes type way.

Not Pictured: Commanders of Central Command: General Vince Brooks, he has a twin brother who is a retired General. Two Star Major General Kenneth Dowd.
This gets the point out
Here is something I never knew but thought was super interesting.
5 men are a fire team
4 squads are in a platoon
3 platoons are a company
3 companies are a battalion
3battalions are brigade (ran by a brigadier)
3 brigs make a division…
Look Math actually can come in handy.

Dessert for hours

It wasn’t until the 18th century Bani Uptah tribe took Kuwait, they where the 1st Arabs in Kuwait.
19th century the Turks took over
WW1 It became an Independent State (meaning the British)
Found Oil in the 1930.. Boundaries were written after WW2 over Arab lands in the Mid East.
1961 British rule ended.
1991 Defense Agreement US protects Kuwait.

Keep Kuwait clean.. yea right..
Nelson Mandela isn’t as popular as everyone thinks for the reason they think… It wasn’t why governments stepped in because he was a man of the people, he was a prince of the Woto tribe.. Because he was a price people listened to him.

 There are allot of Nomadic people in Kuwait who have no passport.
Kuwaitis are rich, so rich they don't work. All the jobs are taken by people from Bangladesh, who will work for $35a week.
Camp Virginia: Kind Of Sounds Like Camp Buehring  it is a base where you go to decompress on the way out and train on your way in.  Like most military bases that are way the hell out there, Camp Virginia is made up of tents, metal frame and small buildings, supply yards and maintenance sheds spread across the desert, great for ATVs or Dirt Bikes I imagine, but there are still mines out there so I doubt it. Military and civilian vehicles of all kinds sit baking in the sun, we saw a decked out mustang. The Buzz of the generators that provide all the camp’s electricity can be heard all over base. Between Bunkers T-walls and tents- it is really earth toned base.

 Allot of Camp Virginia is from Minnesota. They were some of the nicest people I ever met. They Came out to the show but not after a quick briefing and a plaque ceremony!

The Red Bulls: Specialist Mathew Machin, Major Tim Engle, Lt. Colonel Brian Bobo, Specialist Gina Brooks and Lt. Jolene Carson along with The New York Underground All-stars.

Old Sea Beas Painting.
The base just has a humming sound throughout.

Emptying my weapon

Downey is very excited about this rule!
Getting close to showtime.

We went into the USO club and got to call home. The USO is great they provide so many free thing to help keep the soldiers in touch with life back home. I called home and talked to my parents and wife. as I got ready for tonight's show. I was very excited because the base seemed excited!

They had a great greenroom and stage all set up, it cooled down enough too to make sure we didn't melt on stage. Its funny to think they sent folks from Minnesota to go to one of the hottest places on the planet!
Right before the show Kevin and I went to a small locally ran shop that some guys from India have on base. They where so funny joking with us.. "Come on Hook a brother up" the one guy  kept saying. We chatted with them for a bit and the guy gave us a free tocken of his appreciation for talking so much and joking with him.

My Elephant

At my happiest: jokes for soldiers!

What a great crowd. For a smaller base allot of people showed up. They were really into it and enjoyed the show. Every show I get so happy to make these tough faces smile.

Three Quotes from one of my hero's Bob hope.

If I have to lay an egg for my country, I'll do it.

They filmed the shows and sent a photographer
I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.

Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle... Bob Hope

They lined up to meet us- I feel more like we should line up to meet them

What a great base! I'll miss these guys!