Blackout and blue sky

Clear skies? FINALLY!

Clear skies? FINALLY!

Hey friends. This is your boy coming through with the help of Seth, posting for me.

As more soldiers die here on Taji, the longer we are on blackout comms – a restricted communications posture that limits communications.

That means private Internet access is denied, forcing us to use government computers for talking to the outside world.

And blogs, being stricken from the access roster on government computers, are hard to update in the midst of this limited communication period.

Hence the lack of updates and the need for Seth to step in. Good guy, that one.

So, on to the post:

A rash of late season rain storms have blown through Taji, filling the ditches and gullies with that brackish, green/gray water that Iraqi dogs and goats are so fond of.

The winds too have picked up, and with the help of the dust-dampening rain, have blown the Iraq out of the skies.

Passing Iraqi trucks and rickety lawnmowers spitting out clouds of lingering grey exhaust try to keep the air hazy and fetid, but the strong spring gusts have given us an afternoon or two of actual blue skies.

Blue skies?! Can you believe it? I guess you could, but for us, seeing towering thunderclouds beset on its flanks by light from the setting sun is a scene straight from home…and far from here.

A drizzle picked up as I saw the ordinary extraordinary sky – one of those “raining while sunny” sort of showers. A sergeant from my unit pulled up in a Nissan pickup – our post runabouts, “You want a ride, man?”

“No, I’m good. I like walking,” I said.

“In the rain?”

“Yeah, I’ll be alright.”

He pulled off and there was the sound of tires rolling through rain-soaked streets. Just like back home.

I just stood there, the smell of summer rain on asphalt made it perfect.

A few seconds later a train of humvees rolled by, gunners up, weapons swiveling and ready – heading toward the gate, probably for another patrol.

There are reminders of home; but there are the reminders of war. Here on the camp, life is somewhere in-between.


About salemonz

Born in San Diego, Calif. Raised as a Navy Brat, I jumped ship and crossed over to the Army. Served as an enlisted journalist for a bunch of years, then helped the DoD figure out what the hell to do with social media. After the Army, now I drift down the river of life, trying not to be a jerk.

10 responses to “Blackout and blue sky”

  1. ZNB says :

    Three cheers for Seth!

    Glad you’re safe buddy, hope all continues to go well.

  2. Sarah says :

    My Seth? well, he’s not mine I guess. Shh! don’t tell Sally.

  3. Salmons says :

    Indeed, “the Seth” 😉

    Horray, I can see the world again! Off to work now.

  4. finch says :

    bro – i’m on orders now – you’ll NEVER guess to where!ha! – nope not Haji land either! – anyway – enjoy the moments bro, especially those clouds cause in a month or so the only thing in the sky will be the sun…word up bro…oh and it’s to Carlisle Barracks! – look it up!HA! BONG!

  5. Beka says :

    Josh my man, when it all becomes too much, grab your bunny with the pen stuck up it’s butt and look at it and say, this could be me, but instead, I make stuff up. 🙂

  6. Salmons says :

    Word on the bunny. 😉

    Carlisle Barracks, eh Finch? You deserve a good assignment bro, that’s why I’m not all mad 😉

    There should be a Sgt. Hopkins there. He graduated from AIT in the class before me and we were pretty good chums. He’s been there the whole time, the lucky jerk. Pretty kush from what I hear, if it’s the same place Hopkins is. You just make all the yearbooks for the graduating Lt. Cols. Cake.

  7. Beka says :

    Where, pray tell, is Carlisle Barracks?

  8. Salmons says :

    It’s in PA, near D.C. It’s the Army War College, where the mid-level officers go to learn to become colonels and generals. Pretty posh, at least from my friend’s telling.

    There aren’t too many Army journalists there anymore, it’s all civilians. Finch may be replacing Hopkins, since he’s been hiding there for almost four years.

  9. Beka says :

    Ah yes…that place dad always wanted to go but didn’t after CGSC.

  10. Beka says :

    Sorry, the name just struck me as ironic. War College. Relocate it to Bagdad, they’ll get all the education they need.

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