Saturday, September 16, 2006

Official Turnover of Authority is done

The week has gone by really fast. Each night I sleep about 30 minutes longer before waking up. This morning I woke up at 0450 (almost perfect). I guess I’m used to the time change now. The temperature was in the low 90’s for about three days but the forecast for this week shows us back in the 100’s with the lows in the high 80’s.
We had our Turnover of Authority ceremony yesterday. LtGen Mattis and some other high ranking officers came out to watch the ceremony. They were here for about an hour and then they visited two of our Forward Operating Bases. I guess they liked what they saw. I didn’t hear anything bad. The Iraqi Police and the Iraqi Army were also in formation with us. It was kind of funny. We practiced for two days with them on how and what to do. They were messing everything up. I couldn’t imagine what it must be like trying to follow commands that are given in a foreign language. Even when they were standing at attention, they were scratching themselves and looking around, but at least they cared enough to come out and try. When the ceremony was over, they all crammed into a camouflaged truck and drove off. They looked like the Beverly Hillbilly's.
In the past four days, I have seen two people come through the base on convoy's that I knew in Twentynine Palms. SSgt Monroe, who was an instructor at the Communications School cam by to get some Comm gear fixed. He has been here for about three months. He is located at the farthest north base that we support. Then I saw a student that played on the football team. He is a communications Marines that is with the public affairs office in this area. It sounds like an easy job and you would think that they just ride around and take pictures and write stories but they have a huge role in the American-Iraqi relations and because they are always on the road, they get ambushed quite a bit.
My SgtMaj gave me a letter from a second grade school teacher in Oxnard, California. Her class was looking for a platoon to adopt. I wrote her an e-mail and sent her some pictures and she has already written me back five times and she sent me pictures of her and her class. She is really nice and I’m excited that a class would want to adopt us. I can’t wait to answer thier questions that they have. The first question I received from them was "When you’re on the helicopter, what happens when you have to go to the bathroom." Hahaha. That was a great question. Of course, you have to hold it. I told them it’s just like when your dad makes you go to the bathroom before a long car ride. I make all the Marines do the same thing. I can tell, I’m going to have a lot of fun answering e-mails. We have made a read board with all their e-mails and pictures posted on it. Many of the Marines seem to be as excited as I am about it.
A few people have been asking what we want or need out here. Of course wants and needs are two different things. The Marine Corps is taking good care of us and we have just about everything we need. Because 1/7 was leaving, people stopped sending things and we haven’t started receiving anything yet so we are starting to run low on hygiene gear such as soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, shaving cream, eye drops, deodorant , shampoo, lip balm, Q-Tips, hand sanitizer, and laundry detergent – I’ve washed my clothes twice now in nothing but hot water. As far as wants, copies of DVD’s (movies and TV series). Survivor just started and that’s one of my favorites. I know we, Schellee and I, don’t have a DVD recorder but if someone could put a few episodes on a DVD, I would appreciated it. The Marines have a few seasons of The Simpsons, Lost, 24, and Dukes of Hazzard. I would like Everybody Loves Raymond, The Office, and My name is Earl. Everybody Loves Raymond is my favorite TV show. I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of the other two but I know I like them. The Marines usually watch an episode or two of something every night.
I don’t have an update on the Marine that went to Bethesda. I know his family is with him and he is in stable condition. The Marine that got wounded in the shoulder is fine and he is back out with his company.


At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi daddy! I have tried to send an e-mail to your new address and it keeps coming back "undeliverable". If you get a chance, send me another e-mail so I know it works. I even replied to your last e-mail and it came back. I have some stuff to send, but it won't make it for your birthday. Sorry! I will try to get it out this week. There is a "care package" day at the PX on Thursday and I will try to get it out that day. We love you and miss you LOTS!

Schellee and Britni

At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the e-mail and the picture! I tried to reply to your message and it came back AGAIN! I don't know what the problem is. I will keep trying though. Hopefully, one of these times it will go through.

We love you!

Schellee and Britni

At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Linda Reimel said...

Hell Mike,
What a treat to read your blog and see the message about our class. You can imagine how excited they were to see the pictures of your Marines and the journey they took to Iraq. We are honored to adopt your platoon. Thank you for putting the list of items you need on the blog. Your description of the Iraqis standing at formation reminds me of teaching my students to line up. "Okay, let's make a straight line. Stand behind not next to or on top of each other. What? You have to go to the bathroom now? Again? Caramba!" Bathrooms seem to be a constant topic at this point in the school year. Soon it will be Christmas, loose teeth, Halloween and birthdays. But, the most important topic we will have will be your Marines. We look forward to writing to you all. Take care. And hello to Schellee and Britni!

At 12:44 AM, Anonymous Schellee said...


Ha! Ha! Ha! I love you "even though" too! My e-mail still won't through, but I will keep trying. I am receiving yours just fine...I just can't send one. Let me know if there is anything else you want or need me to send with your stuff. I will try to get it. Well - I have to go. I love you.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger mhmcmom said...

so good to hear from you
wow an entire class has adopted your platoon!! sounds like you and your guys are going to be very well taken care of! i am having the same problem schelle and brit are having with e-mail. sent you a b-day gift, will probably not get there in time, but it is on its way. stay safe and know we love you!! mom


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