Saturday, October 07, 2006

Our Navy in Kuwait

Matt Settle, originally from Jay, Florida on a cruise in Kuwait. Story is added below under the "comments" link.

1 comment:

Buzz Creek said...

Another week down and only 6 months, 30 days, 13 hours, 12 minutes and 51 seconds to go. But who is counting? Well, that “IS” just an estimate. J This week was

a prime example of the classic Groundhog Day movie. It stared Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. The tag line of the movie is: “He's having the worst day of his

life... over, and over”. Well some people have equated our deployment here as Groundhog Day. We all have to do things that will keep our heads in the game and

take advantage of opportunities when they come around. Well, I had one of those fore mentioned opportunities come up this week.

The story goes something like this. While driving down one of the dangerous roads (OK, maybe not so dangerous since it was on a spur that is hardly used) I

came across what appeared to be normal farm animal. It was “stranded” in the median of the roadway. She (OK, now that is another story so don’t go there. J )

was eating the grass in the median. The median is about the only place that has any grass with the exception of the patch the U.S. Army planted and waters daily

at their headquarters building on Camp Airfjan. Anyway, you should know that being from Missouri; I had to lend assistance to what looked to me like a mule and

on top of that a mule in distress. After a through investigation to insure that the crafty terrorists in the area were not luring me into one of the deadly but not so

widely known use of an M-IED’s (Mule Improvised Explosive Device), I offered assistance to the stranded mule. She did not want to be lead to either side of the

highway, so I jumped straddle of her back and tried to ride her across the road. About now I was reminded of the saying, “You can lead a horse (in this case a

mule) to water, but you can’t make him drink”. I can tell you for a fact, if the mule does not want to be lead or rode in my case; you can not make her do anything she

does not want to do. However, I did get a fun ride up and down the median of the highway for a short period of time.

<<...>> <<...>> <<...>>

I will have to admit I thought of loading her up in the back of the pickup that I was driving. Hey, a private mule would be just the thing around Kuwait. The U.S. Army

use to ride them all the time. I could ride her to the chow hall for meals. The chow hall or DFAC (Dinning Facility as the Army calls it) is located across the road and

down the street from our berthing area. It is quite a long walk for a hungry sailor. I could also use her for the Duty ET (Electronics Technicians) response vehicle.

She could hold two ET’s and, with saddle bags installed, carry all the needed test equipment. I could offer her up to the CO or even the Squadron Commodore if

they desired transportation.

However, all this planning and forward thinking came to an end when I thought about how the consequences of these actions out weighed the benefits. I figured the

first problem would be the guards at the gate of this base trying to inspect my mule as she stood in the back of the pickup truck. (OK, a little lesson in animal

transportation, Kuwaiti style). Camels and goats are transported on a daily basis in the backs of pickup trucks around Kuwait. So don’t laugh at that suggestion. J

OK so on with the story, I am not sure the guards would have had the proper procedures to inspect a mule. I didn’t want to get them in trouble. Not to mention what

my CO and the Squadron Commodore would have said when they say my mule tied up in front of our headquarters building. Not to mention if my luck ran like

normal, that the mule most likely belongs to the King or Prince of Kuwait and I would have lost me head. I also thought of how I could get the back home when it was

time to leave Kuwait. After spending seven months riding a mule in the deserts of Kuwait, I would think a person would develop some sort of an attachment. I was

not sure how my wife, Annie, would have handled the though of another female at home but I figured she would get over it when she saw how sweet of a disposition

she has. I believe Megan, my daughter, would have loved the idea of a mule since she has been begging me for a horse to ride for years. She actually wanted to

keep a horse in her bedroom. The mule was actually did not smell that bad. It only took two days before my DCU pants stopped smelling. J

Well, for now the mule is safe and sound in her element. The last time I saw her (sniff, sniff, while wiping a tear) she was happily grazing away at the sparse grass

still standing in the median of the highway I left her in.

That is all for the weekly update. As I said earlier, one day is usually just like the next. We all hope that each day is a little different than the last. Usually it is not but

every once in awhile you come across a mule in the median and have to take advantage of the opportunity. I hope all is well back in the U.S. with everyone. Please

remember all of us here (the Sailors of MIUWU-114 and NCWSQN-34) in your thoughts and prayers.
ETC Matthew Settle
APO AE 09337