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Archive for August, 2007

Aug 31 2007


Posted by Dale @ 8:37 pm in Deployment

Apparently, Friday night is Karaoke night in the DFAC. I’m not sure how I’ve missed this opportunity for the past three weeks. Just picture this. There I am in my combat uniform with my weapon on my side belting out John Denver’s Country Road at the top of my lungs.

Country road take me home to the place where I belong…

Okay, so maybe you don’t want to picture it. Luckily for everyone, I decided not to showcase my talents. Worker, my landloard from Korea, would be ashamed that I didn’t give it a go.

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Aug 30 2007

Grand Re-opening

Posted by Dale @ 6:40 pm in Deployment

I’ve been busily re-designing the blog appearance in between meetings, conference calls, and site visits. When you’re working 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week, there’s plenty of time to play around on the computer. Hopefully (hope is not a course of action) the blog looks a little better than this store on FOB Diamondback.


So what do you think of the new appearance? Incidentally, this is not an actual 7-Eleven. It is a T-shirt shop run by a local contractor. I have no idea where he got the 7-Eleven propaganda materials.

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Aug 30 2007


Posted by Mugs @ 12:43 am in Family

Josiah, Abby, and Gabe attended a strict Christian school in Australia. I really didn’t think there could be a school with more rules, but thankfully, I was able to find one. I had to read and sign Josiah and Abby’s middle school handbook. I expected rules like no PDA (public display of affection) – one of the founding tenants of West Point, no gum chewing, and no profanity; but was amazed to read that it is against the rules to roll your eyes and sigh. I thought it was the basic right of every child between the ages of 10 and 20 to roll their eyes and sigh. What will happen to entire classes of students who are denied this right? Zeke has developed the habit of shrugging his shoulders 4 times in a row when you tell him to do something that he does not want to do. I wonder if next year, I’ll get the preschool manual and shoulder shrugging will be forbidden. What will the poor boy do?


Aug 29 2007


Posted by Dale @ 10:13 pm in Deployment,Outside the Wire

On Monday, I took my first trip outside the wire. This means that I left Forward Operating Base (FOB) Diamondback for a mission. The target for this mission was Dahuk, a town of about 500,000 in northern Iraq. Dahuk is about 30 miles south of Turkey and feels to be about a million miles away from the rest of Iraq! I spent the day visiting various project sites that are in my area of responsibility. That evening, I went out to dinner at the Malta Restaurant in Dahuk. Here’s a picture you won’t find in just about any other report on operations in Iraq!

Malta Restaurant

From left to right: Peshmerga Guard, Glenn Myrick (Project Engineer), SSG Gene Weil (NCOIC Erbil Office), Aziz (Contractor), Me, Riza (Contractor), Gee (my right hand man), MSG Curt Kaseman (NCOIC Mosul Office)

Riza has a family owned company that provides support to my project office in Dahuk. Aziz is one of Riza’s brothers. There are 7 brothers and 6 sisters in their family. When Riza’s company was awarded the contract with USACE, Aziz was living in Canada. He returned to Dahuk to run the contract because he is fluent in English. In addition to providing all life support for the Dahuk office, such as renting a house for office and living space, Riza’s company also coordinates the security guards for Dahuk. The guards are members of the Kurdish Army and are called Peshmerga.

To put it mildly, Riza is very well connected. Riza is always arrmed with at least two handguns. He knows every important person in Dahuk. Every few minutes, Riza would offer to get me whatever I needed. I never asked for any details on this offer! At Malta Restaurant, we were Riza’s guests. The owner of the restaurant came out to greet Riza personally and to make sure that everything was good. At the end of the meal, after drinking our traditional glass of chai tea, the owner insisted in giving us a tour of the restaurant. Here I am at the end of the tour with the owner.

Malta Owner

Aug 28 2007

My Coffee Cup

Posted by Dale @ 10:53 pm in Deployment

Just to prove Mugs right, again, here’s a picture of my new travel mug.

Coffee Cup