In an attempt to show more pictures of me (not to be vain, but to comply
with requests), I went through a folder of pictures taken by our maintenance company's first sergeant. They were from
my change of command way back in May. After the ceremony the new commander and I stood while every one in attendance
came by and congratulated both of us. Here, Captain (CPT) Lance Van Zandt congratulates me on a successful command. Our early career paths mirrored each other as Lance and I were classmates at West Point (graduated
in 1996), then went to flight school together and both ended up in Korea (1998) for our first duty assignment.
In Korea, we served as sister platoon leaders in the same company. Our career paths then diverged as he went to Ft.
Carson, Colorado and I went to Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia. Three years later though, we both ended up
at Ft. Hood, Texas where we served as company commanders together in 1-4 Aviation eventually deploying to war.
I stumbled across this picture on 1st Brigade's tactical internet site the
other night and liked what I saw. Traditionally the ground pounders and us "fly-boys" talk a lot of trash
against each other. Since we have been at war in Iraq though, I have not heard one single derogatory statement made
about each other. Here, some infantrymen prepare their Bradley Fighting Vehicles (BFVs). The main gun is a 25mm
"Bushmaster" cannon capable of engaging targets at distances greater than 3,000 meters away. It also has a
7.62mm machine gun and some versions have the capability of firing TOW (Tube-launched Optically-tracked Wire-guided) missiles.
A tremendous asset for our mechanized infantry brethren! 10/13/03
Passing Of The Guidon
Another picture of my change of command on May 24, 2003. First
Sergeant (1SG) Jim Hayes passes me the guidon for C Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment for the last time.
I in turn passed it to Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) James Muskopf the battalion commander who passed it along to Captain (CPT)
Steve Miles the incoming company commander. 10/14/03
Plethora Of Ammo
Who said the Iraqi Army was not stock piling ammunition? This
is a typical ammunition storage site and they are everywhere in Iraq. They are mostly composed of bombs, a
few rockets, occasional small arms ammunition, and sometimes mines. Ammo cache sites are always being discovered
and subsequently blown up on almost a daily basis. Controlled UneXploded Ordinance (UXO) demolitions are quite
a sight to see and feel: a huge mushroom cloud followed by a shock wave that shakes everything. 10/15/03
Which way and how far
to where? Someone put up a makeshift sign while we were in Kuwait staging for
our movement into Iraq. Most of the destinations are pretty self-explanatory
except for Fun nan. Fun-nan was a type of boxed drink they served in the chow
hall (similar to any kid’s drink back in the states) and is packaged in Oman. 10/16/03
Inside Of Water Palace
Another example of where Saddam's money went. If you refer to the
September 10 picture of the day, you will see the "water palace" in the city nearby. This picture is of the inside
decor of the "water palace". Extremely elaborate in the various types of marble used along with the inlaid gold.
And to know that Saddam did not even frequent this palace on a regular basis. 10/17/03
Islam is the Iraqi state religion. Roughly 97% of the population belongs
to one of two main Muslim sects, either Shi'a or Sunni. Religion is an extremely important part of life for nearly all
Iraqi's. They have daily calls to prayer (although we are too far from the city to hear the traditional calls from the
mosques) and attend services on Friday's (our local worker pool is non-existent on Friday's). They also bury their dead
before sundown on the day they pass away and are buried above ground. You can clearly see the burial plots in the cemetery
behind the mosque in this picture. 10/18/03