Sunday, April 11, 2010

1st week at Ali

One week down and 24 more to go. Long week! We are working 72 hours a week. Monday thru Saturday 0600-1800. There is not much water and fuels system maintenance work to be done here. We are sitting around quite a bit, which does not help the days pass any faster. We had one job this week. We installed some fuel lines on two generators that supply the power for the flight line lighting system. They have been running off of the belly tanks and have had to refuel them every six hours. They built one large fuel tank that will last at least a week. Who ever installed the tank originally used the wrong type of fittings and the lines began to leak and the generators kept loosing their prime. Finding parts here is quite a chore. The army has a shop that was able and willing to help us. They had a machine and the correct fittings that they crimped on the ends of our fuel lines for us. We gave them a case of powdered gatorade as trade for helping us out. The Air Force gives us powdered gatorade packs that are perfect for our 1 liter bottles of water. The Army just gets water so they were pretty excited about the deal. Worked out great all the way around. This whole process of driving around base looking for parts and jumping through hoops to get the job done took 2 days. This job back home would have taken about 2 hours. I would have looked at the fittings we needed, ran to EVCO bought the parts and installed them, piece of cake. Things like that are just not that easy to do here. No EVCO to run to in Iraq. If we would not have been able to get those army guys to help us out we would have had to order the parts and they would have taken at minimum a week to come in, and in the mean time someone would have had to fill up the belly tanks on the generators every 6 hours. This is a great example why a war like this one is so expensive and takes so long. This is just a small thing and because we are in Iraq in the middle of no wear it took 2 days to do a job that would have taken 2 hours back home.  Those of you that have worked with me before know that I am a high speed person and like to get in, get a job done, (the right way the first time) and get out. Things like hurry up and wait are hard for me to swallow. It is very frustrating but just one of those things that you just have to realize is the nature of the beast.
 I have been able to keep my spirits up most of the time. I try to stay as busy as possible. I try to fill my time with things to do. I set some spiritual goals, some physical goals, and some educational goals. Some which are unrealistic but I know that if I do that I will use every bit of time I have to meet those goals. When I have time to just sit and think is when I start to get myself into trouble. I start thinking about the wife and kids and that is what kills me. I am working 72 hours a week, I am in oh so beautiful Iraq, half way around the world from my family, and making what comes out to be about $14 an hour. Hard to tell yourself that it is worth it. It is though. If soldiers were not defending our country and fighting for all those freedoms we have I would not have my life as I know it back home. It is my duty and responsibility to do my part. There are people sacrificing a tremendous amount more than I am. I am grateful that I am in the Air Force and get to work on water and fuel systems. There are lots of Airman and Soldiers that are  not so fortunate. I am able to talk to my wife and kids daily. That is huge for me. I can not imagine having to do this without the support of Jill and the kids. I love them and can't wait to get back home and hold them in my arms. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for doing this blog. Lets us know you are doing well.
    Love ya .. AK