Fear and Loathing in Iraq: November 9, 2004

Chris Sachs with a coffee

Hello everyone, sorry I am late, but it is crazy here right now! There are three separate situations that are going on that have eaten up just about every hour of the day—the attack on Fallujah, the company getting ready to leave, and my accounting class. We sent 4 crews to Fallujah last week to support the attack, and the news of the attack spread and the people went nuts. Many of the roads are closed, the ones that are open are more dangerous than ever, and supply runs have been cut back or cut off completely. I went to get the mail today and there was nothing. Not one letter. The Fallujah attacks have stopped the mail runs for a bit. The convoys are being attacked at almost 100% reliability and I just got back from battalion from dropping off a serious incident report (SIR) because one of our convoys was hit again today. Sigh.

The company is still in the middle of packing up and that entails counting and inventorying everything we own. We now have 2nd platoons back with us from Al-Asad and that has made living spaces crowded. I had it nice with two people in my hooch, now we have three. But that’s OK; it is good to bring more of the “family” home. We did just send out 10 people to Kuwait as part of the advance party, and I was supposed to be one of them. They will sit in Kuwait and make sure our equipment we send to Kuwait arrives safely, is customs inspected, and sent off for Germany safe and sound. I know what you are all thinking, why didn’t I end up going on this safe, lazy mission for the last 6 weeks? Well you are not going to believe this — I turned it down.

That’s right, I asked to stay back here and continue in Hell. Well there are valid reasons for this: I need to finish this accounting class I am in and I cannot be guaranteed internet access in Kuwait like I have here in the TOC. If I have to drop the class I lose a $1000 bucks and then later I have to take this bitch of a class all over again. When I complete this class in 3 weeks I will be 1/3 completed with my MBA, and I don’t want to jeopardize the progress I have made. The other reasons have to do with the amount of PT tests I have to administer before we leave, the tons of stuff I have to pack and inventory, plus I have to oversee all the stuff my soldier is responsible for and make sure it is packed away and accounted for correctly. So I don’t get to go and lounge around in Kuwait, but that’s OK, the risks are worth the rewards.

The packing up is a nightmare and we spend much of are time making sure all the numbers match up with the inventory sheets and making sure we can find all our stuff. I packed up all my stuff in my room and I have nothing in there now but some clothes, a couple of books and some papers. I am ready to leave on a moments notice. I took my PT test today and passed it as well as my body fat test. So am good for 6 months and don’t have the tests hanging over my head.

This accounting class is a nightmare and I am regretting I signed up for it. All the other classes I took were easy and I spent no more than an hour or two a day on the work, but this damn class is eating 4-6 hours a day. I have not watched a DVD or read a book in two weeks. This teacher is nuts, but on the other hand, it was about time we had a graduate level course that felt like a graduate level course. It is just a bad time to have a tough course with us packing up right now. I will be so glad when this class is over with. When I get back to Germany I am going to take a month off from school and travel like I used to. I have trips planned for Spain, Poland, Ireland, and my bicycle trip through the Netherlands. I can’t wait. I have saved up a lot of vacation time and with the time I earn during my last year in the Army I have about 80 days off in the next year. Not too shabby!

Mail will be shutting down here by the end of the month, so if any of you are sending packages, please hold off everything but letters for now on. Please don’t send any Christmas presents or anything, it is just more stuff I have to mail to Germany, plus soon we will be moving into tents so that our replacements can move into the c-huts. I just don’t have room or the time for packages anymore. But I will be sending out some Christmas gifts from here—very early—and others will come from online shopping, so keep your eyes open.

As far as the election, what can I say? Fuck it all. What really gets me are the losers that say they voted for Bush because of his morals and his stance on abortion. Yes, that’s right, fight to save the unborn, but don’t worry about the 100,000 civilians killed in Iraq. It makes no sense: killing an adult is just like a killing a baby in, what, its 90th trimester! But that is usually the attitude of the conservative mindless: if you’re pre-born you're fine, if you’re prepubescent you’re fucked.

But I am done with politics for the most part. I will watch and read everything going on, but I vow not to let the tempestuous debates and arguing take me over anymore, it’s just not worth it. I decided to ride the flow, for better or for worse. Since Bush got re-elected I decided to buy energy stocks to at least make some cash on his incompetence, and I also bought some alternative energy stocks as well to cleanse my conscious. I may not have a presidential administration I respect, but I can at least make money off them since I have no choice for the next 4 years.

Well, I am off. Sorry I don’t have more to report but time is short. I hope everyone is well.

--Chris Sachs