Green Ramp


Still issuing more gear -- even as we pack our bags.

Gene Pursiful. The funniest guy I know.

One-half of of all my worldly possessions.

Everyone is packing...I won't miss this dump.

All of those boxes are palatalized into configurations like this. This column represents gear for the entire battalion.

Paul Dixon finds space in his duffle.

Two duffles, one year. This is too easy.

Drew's wife and son come visit during out last week.

Jeff and Kevin are kind enough to drive down and pick up my Jeep to get it back to Virginia.

Hey, dude, be careful. If you try my gear on you just might get drafted.

Last night. Pondering how little we'll miss about this place.

Many duffles. One year.

Left to right; Stuart Stovall, probation officer from Georgia, your's truly, Bill Suggs, History teacher from Idaho, John Skatoff, also from Georgia.

It wouldn't be the military without the old Bluebird.

Air Force's mandatory pre-flight weigh in. Better fuel this baby up.


Company A...I'd split from them as soon as we land in Kuwait to be "sliced" away to C Company and the Provincial Reconstruction Team.

Hang tight boys, we'll begin ah... about three hours.

A final pep talk from the Battalion Commander and battalion Command Sergeant Major. They will follow a day or two behind us.

Finally! Now boarding first class passengers...I hastily send a final goodbye photo from my camera phone to a few close friends, the plane taxis onto the runway, revs it engines, roars down the runway...and then suddently, the pilot cuts power and we return to the Green Ramp. Damn!

Sorry folks, we had engine failure. We'll begin tomorrow night.

Sweet dreams.

And then, it's tomorrow night.


The General sees us off for a second time.

They bring in another DC-10

And this one flies.

From Ft. Bragg/Pope Air Force base to Bangor, Maine, to Hahn Airbase Germany, to Kuwait, to Ali Asaleem Airbase, Kuwait (by bus); then to Kirkuk by C-130. 19 hours to get to Kuwait, a 1/2 a day of sitting around and then we flew to Kirkuk.

C-130 flight to Kirkuk moments before landing. Blurry as this picture is...its exactly how I was feeling then. The corkscrew landings are where you drop from a very high altitude to a landing strip in a tight circumference. It glues your head to the wall...sideways.