Blackout and blue sky
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.