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Monday, November 01, 2004

Friends in Iraq

Kim's husband Ethan is in specialized training, on his way to Iraq. Justin's brother is just back. My junior high school sweetheart, Mark is there now. He writes:

"I'm in Iraq now. I've been here for about a month and a half sweating profusely and dodging daily mortar attacks. It's not my favorite way to live; but I'll manage. If you're interested, I'm about 10 miles west of Fallujah sandwiched in a nasty area. This place is crawling with insurgents that want us very dead. We've been very fortunate so far. Our tight security of this airbase has kept us fairly safe so far. Unfortunately, the bad guys keep doing "drive-by" mortar launches that land all over our camp. We've had them hit so close that the schrapnel came flying inside our sleeping tents...luckily, everyone was at their work areas so no one was killed or hurt. These constant attacks really rattle your nerves sometimes when they come so close you hear the whistling of the incoming rounds...especially when you don't know where they're going to drop. Maybe a half mile away...maybe 20 feet away. And of course, if you're unlucky enough to be on one of the teams that goes off base for IED
response (Improvised Explosive Devices), you have a 50/50 chance of getting blown to bits by an IED or ambush yourself."

It's funny how idyllic the 90's seem by comparison. I remember in high school having a vague worry about a few folks who graduated ahead of me getting into trouble in Kuwait for a a few months. This is the second time Mark has been out to Iraq in this round. He's right in the middle of it as a Marine. That vague worry is a little more acute when it's about a boy you remember stealing a kiss in 7th grade, or who took me at face value when he asked "So you've graduated from high school, what do you want to do next?" and I said, "I wanna go to Disneyland." And we did. Heck, I can pretty much credit him with my adult appreciation for Disneyland. We had such a good time, especially on our early entry morning. Anyway, just fretting. So, um, can I have my "irrational exuberance" from the 90s back? I liked that. It was fun.

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