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30 Sep 2005
Dr. Bass' Civil War Diary
>From Henry, 9/28/05
>I'm sure you've already formed the analogy, but
> Dr. Bass' Civil War diary comes to mind. I'm thinking what a valuable
> piece that would be if it had more about the war events, tied in with
> the shopping lists :) Henry

[Charles responds, 9/30/05]
You know, Henry, I hadn't thought of this in terms of Dr. Bass' diary until now, but thanks for making the link. *

There was a *good* incident today. The little girl with the burns has an appreciative father who brought in a lunch of lamb and pita bread (the lamb was slaughtered fresh this morning). His brother is a sheik who would very much like to have lunch on a somewhat larger scale to show his appreciation to the Americans for taking care of his neice. We need to work that around Ramadan (starts Oct. 4), but we can manage. Also the voting is coming up on the 15th. However, given the hot situation in Basra right now following the British rescue, entertaining a tribal sheik of some 300,000 Iraqis in Basrah is definitely a good thing.

Take care,


* Note to readers - Dr. Bass was our great-great-grandfather and may be found on Henry's homepage under the genealogy Web site. His diary is now archived at McMurry University in Texas.
Charlie's Assignment to Iraq
posted by  Henry at  15:15 | permalink | trackbacks [51]

28 Sep 2005
Birthday Summary
Okay, important stuff first - thank you for the happy birthday wishes! Thank you also for the birthday battery-powered neck-cooler thingy from Sharper Image! Mary Kate and I talked on Tuesday by telephone. I'm now back at Camp Bucca after four days up at Abu Ghraib (enough to make me appreciate what I've got at Camp Bucca!). Kate had sent (about two months ago before we knew better about the mail's time-in-transit) a couple of Hostess Ding-Dongs and a pack of birthday candles to make my day special. Henry & Lisa sent a cool patriotic towel, a party favor and a DVD copy of "Sahara" (Mother you might have enjoyed this Clive Cussler book-made-into-a-movie). Even Patty Extenkamper (friend in Christiansburg) sent a book on faith of soldiers.

Would you be able to send a photocopy of that OER? Thanks so much, Mother. Wherever did you find it? Oddly, it's the only OER that is not on my permanent record, so it's the only one not in the Army files. Please don't worry about the Alabama paperwork - my renewed license arrived in the mail today, actually.

While at Abu, time allowed for me to read Ken Follet's *Man From St. Petersburg* if you're interested in a good read.

Thank you, Mother! Much love to you,

Charlie's Assignment to Iraq
posted by  henry at  11:31 | permalink | trackbacks [2]

28 Sep 2005
Birthday present BLOG
Way cool! Thanks, Henry. My very own birthday blog. The *Stars & Stripes* newspaper carries the Doonesbury comic where the guy blogs to rate the new Krispy Kreme donuts to the great envy of his less imaginative peers. What could be more inspiring? News from Iraq might have to take second place behind such matters, but if people are interested in the foolishness that goes on over here, great.

Thanks for putting up the stuff that you have on there now. Getting Internet time is going to be the challenge for me - five hundred Air Force troops came onto the compound last week, which has really tied up the Internet and telephone services.

Also - this just in! A very nice card came from Little Rock today (signed by everyone) and the Keyes sent a stack of photos from the rehearsal dinner and from Ethan and Eric riding horses in Abilene. Also, Mother sent a mailer of Texas literature - the coveted *Texas Highways* subscription is much appreciated and my staff here at the mental health section enjoys the photos (everyone in the Army who is in the medical branch eventually has to go through Ft. Sam Houston, San Antonio, as a part of their training, so there was a lot of common ground to discuss).

Henry, you are the first person who has ever made it clear to me that "blog" is short for "Web log." Thanks for the edification of my computer-eze.

Charlie's Assignment to Iraq
posted by  henry at  11:27 | permalink | trackbacks [4]

27 Sep 2005
Happy Birthday
Note from the editor: It's Charlie's Birthday! <
Charlie's Assignment to Iraq
posted by  henry at  01:00 | permalink | trackbacks [6]

23 Sep 2005
Rangers vs. Spec Ops (humor)
[From the Spec Ops Web site] The Chief of Staff of the Army asked his Sergeant Major, who was both Ranger and Special Forces qualified, which organization he would recommend to form a new anti-terrorist unit. The Sergeant Major responded to the General's question with this parable: If there were a hijacked Boeing 747 being held by terrorists along with its passengers and crew and an anti-terrorist unit formed either by the Rangers or the Special Forces was given a Rescue/Recovery Mission; what would you expect to happen?

Ranger Option

Forces/Equipment Committed: If the Rangers went in, they would send a Ranger company of 120 men with standard army issue equipment.

Mission Preparation: The Ranger Company First Sergeant would conduct a Hair Cut and Boots Inspection.

Infiltration Technique: They would insist on double timing, in company formation, wearing their combat equipment, and singing Jody cadence all the way to the site of the hijacked aircraft.

Actions in the Objective Area: Once they arrived, the Ranger company would establish their ORP, put out security elements, conduct a leaders recon, reapply their face cammo, and conduct final preparations for Actions on the OBJ.

Results of Operation: The Rescue/Recovery Operation would be completed within one hour; all of the terrorists and most of the passengers would have been killed, the Rangers would have sustained light casualties and the 747 would be worthless to anyone except a scrap dealer.

Special Forces Option

Forces/Equipment Committed: If Special Forces went in, they would send only a 12 man team (all SF units are divisible by 12 for some arcane historical reason) however, due to the exotic nature of their equipment the SF Team would cost the same amount to deploy as the Ranger Company.

Mission Preparation: The SF Team Sergeant would request relaxed grooming standards for the team.

Infiltration Technique: The team would insist on separate travel orders with Max Per Diem, and each would get to the site of the hijacking by his own means. At least one third of the team would insist on jumping in.

Actions in the Objective Area: Once they arrived , the SF Team would cache their military uniforms, establish a Team Room, use their illegal Team Fund to stock the unauthorized Team Room Bar, check out the situation by talking to the locals, and have a Team Meeting to discuss the merits of the terrorists' cause.

Results of Operation: The Rescue/Recovery Operation would take two weeks to complete and by that time all of the terrorists would have been killed, (and would have left signed confessions); the passengers would be ruined psychologically for the remainder of their lives; and all of the women passengers would be pregnant. The 747 would be essentially unharmed, the team would have taken no casualties but would have used up, lost, or stolen all the "high speed" equipment issued to them.
Charlie's Assignment to Iraq
posted by  henry at  12:57 | permalink | trackbacks [2]

12 Sep 2005
Letter to Eric and Ethan
Dear All,
What a cool box came in the mail today! The worst part is that there are two more weeks before the gifts can be opened. Thatís okay, though, because there was a lot of other stuff in there besides just the gifts.

Eric, thanks for the report back on the cokes. We also have Gatorade over here - as much as we want. More than anything else, though, we drink a lot of water. it comes in 1.5 liter bottles and they put down pallets of the stuff near the pods where we live. So, soldiers just grab out a few water bottles then take the bottles inside to cool off. Thanks also for the decision wheel and the paper airplane. Is Mrs. Machincia a good teacher? Do you like her?

Ethan, thanks for your note, too. Yes, my roommate showed up here almost a month ago. His name is First Lieutenant Bob Whitehurst and heís a nurse from Raleigh, North Carolina. He works in hospitals as an anesthetist. That means he puts people to sleep when the doctor needs to perform an operation. Later, after the doctors are done with the operation, the patient wakes up again and feels a whole lot better. Itís good to see that you and your brother are getting along. Is the tree house finished? Well, hopefully Mrs. Johnson is a nice teacher and you learn a lot this year.

The temperatures here are dropping all the time. It really doesnít get over 110F anymore. Our mission is part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The country of Iraq is trying to do things themselves that countries do, but they still need help from the United States. Slowly, though, more and more of the country of Iraq is being turned over to the control of the Iraqi people. Last week, the Iraqis took control of the city of Najaf (due south of Baghdad) and the Americans were glad to hand it to them. The Iraqis have control of a lot of other places here, too, and they are working to be able to do everything in this country by themselves.

So, thatís why the Army has me here. Camp Bucca is a large internment facility - that means itís like a prison for the bad people here in Iraq. We hold the detainees (who are like prisoners) until they go to court and stand trial. While they are here, some of the detainees need to talk about mental health issues because their emotions have them feeling down. So, my job is to make sure that the detainees are seen by the mental health people here. We also have a lot of soldiers, sailors. airmen and marines from the United States and other countries here at Camp Bucca and they all have missions that support Operation Iraqi Freedom. We take care of them, too, as part of a hospital here at the camp.

Thanks also for the Visine eye drops! The Virginia Diner peanuts were also a welcome present and several of us are now looking forward to my orderís arrival. Thanks especially for the birthday wishes. It sounds odd to hear ď37,Ē but then it also seems odd to think that almost 19 years have gone by since joining the Army.

Thank you again so much for all these wonderful things!

With love,
Charlie's Assignment to Iraq
posted by  henry at  18:01 | permalink | trackbacks [2]