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At Camp Shelby, everyone lined up to form the Red Bull emblem
4000 soldiers line up: 1/34th BCT "Red Bull"






And they lived happily ever after
So here it is my friends, the official last blog. parting is such sweet sorrow...unless your leaving Iraq then its just sweet. We have had a few laughs haven't we? a few crys too but always trying to not let things keep us down for too long. I have met and made new friends here, there is definately something forged between people sharing the same burdens, and it has been some good people i had here to share it with, lucky for me. I want to thank you all for the posts you left, it is good to be reminded of the people back home who are thinking about you, it is one thing that keeps your head up here...the people back home you care about. I hope that my blog was able to do 2 things for you, give you a smile occasionally, its my favorite thing to give people when im home, and i hope that it let you know that we were doing alright over here...even when things got bad we were able to look at it in a sarcastic humorous way and move past it.

I hope that goober can find something new to read as funny and intelligent as this blog has been.

Lastly I hope that I never have to come back here again. I am ready to settle down at home and get back to the business of MY life, and I am sure that you all are ready to have your loved ones back so you can do the same. I have 2 last pictures for you, the first is me drinking from a juice box...juice comes to iraq in the only way it can stay fresh for a long time, in juice boxes. my girlfriend said it was so funny seeing a grown man, a soldier, drinking from a juice box. the second is one of the last times a bunch of us medics were able to get together for chow, I asked them to group up for this picture I call "The Last Supper". Take care everyone, T-Dawg out.


Jul 01 2007 by Dave

Chickenhawk and Rally Toes
Yes I know, its been forever since I last wrote, shame on me. We have been busy here people, gettin ready to go home and whatnot...we have mostly gotten everyones paperwork in order to out-process and the procedure should go as fast as possible, which isnt fast as far as Im concered..it will take over a week for a unit to out process but its as fast as we can make it. Tragedy struck the aid station this month, we found chickenhawk had passed away in the night. This little fishy has been with us since Camp Shelby mississippi, we smuggled him into Iraq in a water bottle when we flew over. It was truely a sight for someone to come into the aid station and see a fish swimming around in a fish bowl, not something you see over here ever, you cant get a fish anywhere around here, besides its a desert...you dont expect to see it. I like to think that he was theraputic..for a few seconds someone coming to us sick would see him and forget about thier headache and wonder about a fish swimming in a fish bowl. I guess the extension was just to much for him, we did our best cleaning his bowl and feeding him everyday, he will be missed.

So, Im sure a few of you have been curious about the battle between good and evil...there were some unexpected results to say the least. The rally toes race didnt really have any ground rules but evil cheated. the left foot may have been slightly ahead and the right was feeling the pressure, the other morning I awoke and the right foot, in a desperate attempt to win had actually grown in size, I guess Im not sure how to call this one folks, I never said a foot couldnt grow in size to have the longest growth, so im calling it a tie. lucky for me my roomate has the same size foot as my new right foot so he borrowed me an extra right boot to wear.

It wont be long friends and ill be home, i am excited! If Goober wasnt such a pain in thye ass id tell you when im flying out but lets just say i may be home before my B day if eveything goes smooth. so see some of you soon, take care all. Troy

P.S. the first picture is chickenhawk sleeping the eternal sleep in davy jones' locker, and the 2nd picture is results of the rally toenails competition.

Jun 21 2007 by Dave

Keeping busy
Well things are still operating as normal here, still seeing sick patients with coughs and runny noses and diarrhea, with the occasional open cut on the hand or the sprained ankle. there is also alot of work going on to get soldiers ready to out-process as quickly as possible when we get home, going through medical records, making sure they are in order, shots are updated and what-not....so when we get to the states everyone can get through the lines faster and back to their families as soon as possible. Also packing lists are filtering out so we know what we need to keep and what we can mail home. All this activity ups the anticipation for coming home, it will still be months before I am in my living room but you can't help but feel good about being so busy. I find I have less time to myself and that is ok, when I get home I am taking the full 3 months allowed by law before I have to go back to my job, and i plan on being lazy, hanging out with my family scattered around the states and just taking my time as I acclimate.

The rally toes have been going as expected....the only ones left in the race are the big toes of each foot. I knew the others wouldn't make it this long (from past experimentation) but the big toes are still duking it out. I dont like to say its a battle between the right or left big toe, its more of a battle between good and evil. Not only is that more dramatic sounding, but my right foot was doing his own thing one day and i rolled my ankle while running earlier in the deployment, ever since then it has been a weak link in many of my road marches and physical training endeavors, so the right foot is the evil foot of the two and secretly I hope the right big toe loses in this race to be the longest toenail by the time I get home. I won't reveal a picture of the battle between good and evil until later ...but stay tuned.

This picture is me checking a sore throat, sometimes prolonged exposure to a desert environment will allow a type of dust mite (we call them sand gremlins) to take up residence in the throat and at night when your sleeping they will take turns swinging from the thingy that hangs in the back of the roof of your mouth (uvula sp?). it is treated with icy cold coca cola which stings and burns their little dust mite bodies.
May 16 2007 by troy

another step closer to home
As you can see from the picture, we were having a class on getting re-aquainted with our wives/girlfriends when we get home.......Ok, no we weren't, we were having our CPR certification renewed. You see you must renew your CPR certification every 2 years, our last certification was at Camp Shelby as we were preparing to Deploy. I hate that I have been here so long, that I would need to do that again here. I noticed while getting my old CPR card that my Drivers Licence will expire just before I come home...2 years, I deployed Sept 21 2005, I should be home by Augustish sometime...I couldn't have imagined all that I have done or been through when this all began. I am hoping that when they show national gaurd commercials on TV that they aren't saying "join the gaurd! and serve your country while keeping your civilian life" because that is just misleading. You'd almost be better off joining active army, get full benefits serve 3 years, whether its in germany, fort knox, or Iraq, and then get out. when I get back I still have to wonder if I'll have to put my life on hold again over the next 4 yrs, and I have already served 4 years, 2 of them full time. I'm sure even Goober misses his family, I sure he misses his civilian job proofreading the newspaper before print looking for mistakes...I'm just guess thats what he does back home.

So, a new piece of news that was put out, if your going to mail anything mail it now...any mail sent to us that gets here may 15th or after will be sent back, usually that is done when a unit is leaving because mail will get here with no one to recieve it, dont know why they want to start that early but that is what they want. no date yet as to when for sure we will be leaving, we all have an idea, a good guess, but nothing for sure. no one is saying higher up. They say they don't know yet...I guess nobody knows, nobody knows what is going on and for some reason that makes perfect sense.

The pictures below are my platoon leader demonstrating CPR, we joke it is his first and last patient he will work on in country, the second is some of my fellow medics in class, we are usually so spread out on missions that you rarely see so many medics in one place at one time. Take care everybody, in a couple months all will be right with the world...at least our little piece of it.

Apr 26 2007 by troy

Rally Toenails
Ok so I know its been awhile since I have blogged (sorry Mrs. Hackett) there just hasn’t been a whole lot going on here that I would call newsworthy since my break. We have heard rumors of who will be replacing us, and there are some tentative dates being whispered around as to when we will be coming home but nothing solid has been put out yet, and even if there was a date I couldn’t say because Goober would crap his pants that I told the Insurgency when I’m am leaving, I guess its important that the insurgents think I’m here to stay, it will demoralize them.

About 3 months before I originally thought I was coming home I started growing a moustache, better known as the Rally ‘stache. I’m not going to jinx my leaving this country with another moustache, but I thought of something more original that everybody could do to be part of the excitement….. Rally Toenails. Yep, show your excitement as we rally to the finish line by letting the toenails grow, now the women can get caught up in the fever since growing a moustache was out of the question, I’ve actually got about a 3 month head start but to be honest there aren’t any winners or losers, its about doing something together as we go through these final months of anticipation. I’ll keep you updated on my progress as we get closer hopefully inspiring more people to hop on the bandwagon.

We had an awards ceremony not to long ago and I’m proud to say I was not forgotten. I have earned the coveted Drivers badge, You earn this badge if you have driven 10,000 miles in a military vehicle without an accident. It is a medal in the shape of a Goodyear tire and is worth 10 promotion points. To be honest I don’t remember ever seeing anyone wear this badge on their uniform, but I’m going to wear it, In fact I think I’ll wear it when I get back and apply for drivers Insurance, maybe get a discount at Geiko. Earning a drivers badge in a country where the road is littered with bombs should get me some sort of discount I’d think. I won’t show them a picture of Defiance (my ambulance) she was like that before I got my hands on her.

Guess thats all for now, sorry it took so long to write, I know that sometimes its just a matter of you people wanting to know that we are still smilin’ and still moving forward. I appreciate everyone who checks this site makin’ sure we are ok and I’ll try to be better about updating you all. Take Care Friends, Troy

P.S. those are not the feet of Bilbo Baggins, I got some hairy toes and I don't care. I'm going more bald every day so if my toes wanna pick up the slack I say good for you toes, besides, shaving toes is very un-bad-ass. the other picture I like because our boys are representin, out on the road.

Apr 13 2007 by troy

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