Iraq diaries

By
Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 PA License - AB067198
https://activerain.com/droplet/4v89

Our middle son Jeremy left for Iraq last week, we had the opportunity to see him off. as promised he has written several emails which I offered to share with you here. Getting promoted to Sargent.

Promotion

With his older brother and Dad. By the way he has a temperature of 101 whilst this was going on...and they leave the next day.

With Daniel and Dad

 Checking their equipment, Jeremy and his Corpsman Ward, prior to getting on the buses to leave for the airport.

Ward and Jeremy

 final goodbye

 on the bus

See you in 7 months,  battalion leaves, there are about 235 guys altogether.

buses

 

Here he is stopped off in Maine where we got his first email from. He looks as if he is over his temperature.Jeremy in Maine

Dear People not in Bangor, Maine,      We have begun our Easterly journey towards the troubled country of Iraq in order to begin our mission there. After a few minor delays our plane lifted off at noon and landed in Bangor, Maine where we will rest and let the crew switch out the fuel and clean the plane.     Last time, we were in a terminal by ourselves. I thought the reason for this was because Marines are typically very unruly in groups. However this time, we are in a civillian terminal just putting around regular people and when we stepped off the plane we had a welcoming committee of veterans who shook all our hands and welcomed us in.     We take up most of the seats or sit all around the floor just calling our families or using the wireless internet to contact home and say whatever it is we forgot to say or just repeat what we've already said.     Next stop is Germany where we'll stop for the same reasons, maybe to switch out the crew again as well. Last year there were no shops even in the terminal in Germany, just a few seats.     To answer some questions that might be popping into your heads, we are on civillian chartered flights with meals and things but there aren't any first class areas and we still have to get rid of prohibitted items. Of course, our rifles, knives, handguns, and automatic weapons we are allowed to take on the plane, but any other contraband is ludicrous.     I'm very excited to be on the way and i look forward to beginning the missions. Talking with a few other veterans, i figure this time will seem to go faster knowing what to expect and have been away from home for 7 months before. Last time, everything was all too new.     Well that's all for now. No pictures of course but maybe in country i'll have a few pics of Kuwait.   Transportingly,    Jeremiah

 

Dear America,     After taking off from Bangor, Maine we flew a few hours to the German city of Leipzig (spelling?). Leipzig however was no where near as friendly as Maine was.      $7 for a postcard, $8 for a small can of pringles. Nowhere to charge your phone or computers and of course neither worked internationally. Their internet was down so everyone sat around for an hour and a half just stretching their legs and sleeping.      After Germany we took off again with a new crew to Kuwait. Here we got the same briefs we did last year. For those of you who remember my email last year, this time it's much different.     They tell us we're in a combat zone, give us a small bit of ammunition to carry around and generally orient us on this confusing base. But of course, we're not in a combat zone. Not with McDonalds, Subway and Baskin Robbins here. No one walks around with armour and if there was a threat, i'd welcome it.      I now don't have the nervous jitters i did before in Kuwait. Before i was itching to go and find out what iraq was like. THis time, i'm just eager to get into the thick of it not because i'm unsure, but because i AM sure.      All the new guys shave their heads and it has surprised me to see how many of them there are. Now you can look around and see who exactly is inexperienced and doesn't know what is going to happen.      We've started our combat pay now and we're waiting for the plane to go into iraq. We'll fly into an air base and truck over to Camp Fallujah where we should be stationed for the majority of our tour.     THis is the same spot i was in last time and i look forward to getting there and seeing it all again. It feels familiar, almost a little nostalgic. A few veterans and i have seen the engineers who toured with us last year leaving now to America. We pass each other in Kuwait and exchange a few friendly names and faces.     Thanks for all the emails, the internet as you might not know, only lasts for 30 minutes here and i'm unable to respond to everyone but it's VERY NICE to receive them. So don't be shy about writing.     I still don't know my address so you'll have to wait and phone calls too if you expect one of those. But don't be sad because i'll only be in Kuwait for a few days (hopefully).   Anticipatingly,    Jeremiah

Dear Readers,      I was wrong. We didn't spend a few days in Kuwait. We slept the night and left early the next morning for Al Taqqadum, or TQ which is the base all Marines fly into. It's a naval base that i flew into and out of last year as well.     Last time, we stayed here for a few days as well, but i've already learned we are going to leave here shortly and go straight to Camp Fallujah, our permanent station. This is fantastic. I can't wait to begin getting situated and moving into a rhythm.     I was able to call a few people as well and it was good to hear some friendly voices.     A few people have mentioned to me that it seems as if we just left here the other day. More like we just had a stint of R&R and now we're back where we were. Nothing much has changed (maybe a different building here or sign there) so it all seems as though we just left.     One major difference is the free internet here at TQ used to have 14 computers but now they've moved all of them to a $5 an hour computer center and left two run down slow ones to compensate for the load. It's a good way to earn money i guess. How valuable is your time?     Well, that's all I guess.  It's hot here (95 or so) but not nearly what i'm used to. It's a dry heat of course and we've already seen a few raindrops. And i mean you could count the ones that fell.      I'll try to keep you updated as best as I can but as always the rules are as follows   1) I won't mention if we get hurt, killed or anything bad happens. That's not your business. Parents read this. 2) I won't tell you where I work, so don't bother asking. And i'm not gonna tell you what exactly I've been doing 3) I won't tell you when i'll leave for how many days. I'll let you know i'll be gone and you'll just have to be patient.   You can expect culture, weather, and platoon characters in these emails and of course delving into the maddening psyche that makes up Jeremiah.   Verbosely,     Jeremiah

Dear (Fill in the blank yourself),     I'm not gonna put "dear' on the top of the emails anymore since it's getting too hard to think of ideas and the lot of you are in such a broad category as it is. So instead i'm just going to launch straight into it.     Firstly, we are in Camp Fallujah and it is so similar. Everything is strikingly the same as last time so much so that it really feels as if we never left.     I am even rooming in the same room my team leader was in last time. In fact, the mirror on my door from last deployment is in my room now, and the pictures my ATL (assistant team leader) put up last year (Sherpa if you remember his name), were still up this year. Nothing changes.     But of course, the more things change the more they stay the same, so change is inevitable behind this mask of similarity. As it turns out i am no good at electricity and have fried two of my power strips rated at 125 V. The trailers here are 220 V and i've wasted them both. Fortunately all my electronics can withstand that voltage, but now i have to find a powerstrip for it all.     Ok back to the mind. I was in the shower on the night of our arrival and i had a real bad homesick moment. Not because i didn't feel home. Oh contrair....it all felt very familiar. But i hadn't settled in yet. It wasn't my stuff yet. It wasn't my room. It was a room with bags and no electricity. I didn't yearn to be back in the states so much as wanted to be done moving around.      It passed quickly though. As you might remember from last year, the leadership goes on Right Seat Rides. This expression derives itself from the passenger of a car watching where and waht the driver does. In other words, the Team Leaders, Platoon sergeant and platoon commander will all go out with 1st Recon on a mission and see how they do things. I will go as well, being 3rd in charge. The rest of the platoon will just hang back on base and fix up their rooms or shoot their rifles on ranges.     Later, 1st Recon will come on Left Seat Rides where their leaders will watch us and critique us or offer pointers.Then they'll leave and we'll have the reigns to learn or change what we wish.      I'm not saying where i'm going of course or what i'm doing but i'll be gone so don't be alarmed if there are no emails for a bit. This is how you'll get to expect things. If you don't hear from me, that just means you'll have to wait until you do. C'est la vie.       In case you hadn't heard, i'm a sergeant now. Don't know if that means anything to you but I got promoted just before i left.     All things seem to be going well so far. Other than my room being frustrating but that's easily fixed. I just didn't know how electricity worked....until now. =oP   Foolishly,    Jeremiah

WE WENTout to watch 1st Recon conduct one of their missions and observe how they did things. We being the key leaders from 2nd Recon. It's typical to do a simple mission in order to keep everyone happy; it's their last mission and no one wants to get hurt, and it's our first, so no one wants to get hurt.     What surprised me as I got hauled out in the back of a truck, all geared up with my rifle loaded and ready, was how quickly it all happened. I'm used to the quickness of leaving Iraq and arriving in the states a few hours later in loving arms and the shock of trying to readjust so quickly, but I had yet to transition the opposite way.     Last year, I was one of the new guys who had a few days to set up gear and get my room squared away and buy things i needed. This year I got to Camp Fallujah and 24 hours later I was on a truck to meet 1st Recon out in the field to learn and watch. It shocked me that a few days prior, I was driving and ordering food from a menu and hearing the waves and now I was riding with Night Vision in the back of an armoured truck, eating MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) and listening for gunfire.      It went well, as in uneventful. We used boats which was a first for me, but a second for them. I learned and picked up a few tips but it's mostly the same. Iraq has really gotten a lot safer it appears or maybe that's just the areas they've been working in. Who knows? The only way you can ever really know is by going into yourself.      It was good though to be jocked up again though and with my rifle. I missed that feeling. It's hard to describe but sitting on the boats cruising to the next set of tents with 20 other young men all committed to the same goal and country you are really gets to you.     I look forward to hearing from all of you and i appreciate your emails. Sorry if i don't write back to you but i am pretty busy now and it's only going to get worse.   OH! my address:   Sgt Jeremy Vandekar, Bravo Co, 1st Plt 2nd Recon Bn Unit 76678 FPO, AE 09509-6678     That should be the same address as last year and if it's too much to put in a UPS address line, just put the "Bravo Co...." line in with the "2nd Recon Bn" line. If you want to send it to someone and are not sure what platoon they are in, just don't include their platoon number and it'll get to them.    Things to send to give you ideas: Tobacco products, air freshners, baby wipes or moist wipes, red bull/energy drinks, protein products, magazines, sunflower seeds, etc.    Things I specifically need/want are: a bore snake (Walmart or a gun store, run it through your barrell and cleans out the carbon), Crocs (the shoe/sandals). that's all i can think of for now.     If you end up sending one and i get two, don't worry everyone wants one or needs one.   ok thanks very much and i'll talk to you all later! i should get a few days of rest before heading out again.   Aspiringly, Jeremiah Vandekar

 

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Rainmaker
751,075
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
IF THIS group of pictures doesn't motivate you like it motivates us, then there's no hope. I look at these pictures and want to reenlist. These should be posters somewhere in the Pentagon. Marines doing what they do best and doing it well.

1) knipe and helos

Here's Knipe looking on as the UH-1 touches down and refuels from a 47. There's a cobra circling in the background but hard to see. You can see the LAW on Knipe's back.

2) dan levine

One of our snipers, Levine poses while two other Marines hold security
3) checking security

Here's Knipe again, usually camera shy but in a surprisingly large number of photos. He's the ATL for team 3 so he makes sure everyone is where they need to be in the 360 security. You can see what I was talking about before about it being so barren from these photos. There is nothing out there and even worse, it's rocky!

4) hill and helos

The Cobra touches down to refuel from the 47 in the background as Hill, the team 3 machine gunner stands posing in the foreground. AWESOME! Those big pouches on the front of Hills gear are 200 rd drums for the SAW. He's got a smaller drum called a 'nutsack' on right now that holds only 100 rds.

Bravo 1 2nd recon USMC Iraq 2008

Bravo company 1stp platoon

Reliably,
Jeremiah

Mar 17, 2008 04:24 AM #87
Rainmaker
751,075
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
SOME MORE motivation mostly of team 3 again. I haven't gotten the cameras from the other teams yet so there will be more pictures to come in the next couple of days if we don't go out again. But for now you have to suffice with these 6 guys.

1) winton and hill

Winton and Hill waiting for the bus that takes us to the air strip
2) knipe and cobra

Knipe again in front of a Cobra on the deck refueling.
3) rob graham

Rob Graham with a shemagh around his neck to keep the sun off of it holding security for the birds while they refuel
4) ski and even

Ski and Even in the 47s

Mar 17, 2008 04:30 AM #88
Rainmaker
751,075
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
OF COURSE we have a sense of humour the whole time and are able to see the silliness of a situation when it happens or to take advantage of something if it comes along. That's what this set of pictures is about.

1) mann and devitt

Mann and McDevitt laugh at something on the camera while in the 47s
2) dan winton

We found some old graffiti depicting someone shooting two unarmed individuals. The art was crudely done and the people looked like aliens so Winton found it appropriate to step in and make it more realistic.

3) hill

The teams had to go through a lot of gear prep for the air portion, ensuring they had everything they needed. Here Hill tries out a pro-american slant to his normal kevlar apparel.

4) dusty iraq

This is how dusty it is for the guys in the turrets as we cruise through the desert. It looks like an eclipse gum commercial.


Noticeably,
Jeremiah

Mar 17, 2008 04:37 AM #89
Rainmaker
468,624
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

Why is there no "number" at the top of the entries anymore...
has Jerimiah forgotten how many days he has left out there in Iraq?

hmmmm........

;-)

Mar 17, 2008 05:05 AM #90
Rainmaker
751,075
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
I SAY "other" people in the subject line because the first group of pictures was mostly from one team. This next batch of pictures is from a few more guys in the platoon. People tend to take pictures of stuff they're around (duh), so if you aren't around the photographers then you don't get snapped. There weren't any pictures of myself in the last batch so much for example because those guys were on a different bird than I was.

                Even takes fantastic pictures and most of them I get from him. He has a great eye for the imagination and also a very nice camera. Here we go:

 

•1)      Jason mann

Mann, like Knipe, carried the LAW for the air portion of the mission...just in case.

•2)      butters and goo

Butters and Goo set up the satellite antennae and get comm checks before stepping onto the bird.

•3)      Dan Winton ad Jeremy Vandekar

After it rained one morning, people were generally miserable so I walked around in high spirits trying to cheer everyone up...like Dan here. His legs got soaked hanging out in the rain.

•4)      Butters and Even

Butters and Even inside a hanger where we stayed on an abandoned airfield.

•5)      burning trash

We burned our trash and buried it when we could, but inside the hanger we all would huddle around it for warmth, light and comfort. Mmmm...there's nothing like the smell of burning plastic.

•6)      Ski and Jay

Myself and Ski...we're pretty dusty by this point, probably at day 4 or so.

 

I'll have about 3 more emails to send, all pictures again. Were you able to see the video clip? I hope so...

 

Volubly,

Jeremiah

Mar 18, 2008 12:56 AM #91
Rainmaker
751,075
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
THESE PICTURES illustrate a little more about what was around us and what we were seeing. Even's camera again supplied most of these pictures and you can tell the quality is really good. There are a little less pics of the people and sorry to all the moms who want to see their boys. If you want some more of people and less of Iraq, let me know. I'm trying to find a balance. Of course you could always ask your own son...

 

•1)      cobra

Here's the Cobra just over a little hill fueling up. You can see a Recon Marine off in the background on the left holding security.

•2)      on line

During our sweeps of the desert, we went online and tried to cover as much ground as possible. You could see all around pretty clearly but this helped see even further

•3)      hangar

This is the hanger we stayed in once we found the airfield. If you look towards the ceiling you can see a hole or tear where the missile crashed through when it was taken years ago. This one was in great shape considering the others.

•4)     hangar

 This is the inside of the hanger. At night we'd shut the doors and post some people looking out.

•5)      destroyed hangar

This is one of the other hangers nearby, behind me. It didn't fair so well under the attack I guess.

•6)      on the road

You can probably see a lot of this sort of thing in the deserts of Arizona but here in Iraq you can find the humvees stretched out over several hundred meters. Very little traffic.

 

Genuinely,

Jeremiah

Mar 18, 2008 01:05 AM #92
Rainmaker
751,075
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
THESE PICTURES I couldn't find a category for so I just lumped them into here. I have to send about 6 at a time so here are a few last pictures but not the least.

 

•1)     Rogge

 Rogge sitting over a bunker we found.

•2)      tyre change

Everyone pitches in while changing a flat in the desert on the high back. We call this vehicle the "ghetto sled".

•3)     malachi in an oasis

 An oasis in the desert of a few trees. There must be water somewhere deep underground. Even is in the picture.

•4)     on a hangar

 Another busted hanger and I'm clearly testing the structural integrity of that arch. Thankfully I didn't fall and impale myself on one of those rebar poles. But it wouldn't be a deployment without a little danger.

•5)      satelite antenae

Setting up the sat-com antennae with all its bells and whistles. I stick my tongue out when I'm thinking.

 

That's it...that's all I've got worth sending. When your son gets home he'll have something to share with you now and he won't have to explain every detail hopefully.

 

Abruptly,

Jeremiah

Mar 18, 2008 01:14 AM #93
Rainmaker
751,075
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
THESE PICTURES are more scenic than the others. There are a lot of picturesque moments in Iraq and I'm sure in lots of places. We're just fortunate enough to have our cameras always handy so we can snap them when we see them. There's not much to say to these except what you can already see.

 

•1)      Euphrates

Here's a look out the back of a CH-47 as we cruised over the Euphrates. It looks a bit blurry off to the right past the river because of the heat from the helo exhaust.

•2)      morning in Iraq

One morning in Iraq, sipping a grape drink and standing over the burn pit after a night of rain...life doesn't get much better.

•3)      the sun

The sun....in case you hadn't seen it before.

•4)      humveee with sun

The same picture but with the humvee in the foreground. This would make a great poster or desktop background huh?

•5)      sandstorm

My truck with the sandstorm approaching. You can see all the miscellaneous antennae I have on there.

•6)      sandstorm and humvee

The sun blotted out by the dust of the sandstorm as well as a humvee with it's kickup

 

Insincerely,

Jeremiah

Mar 18, 2008 01:31 AM #94
Rainmaker
751,075
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
The numbers at the top have gone because he considered it a security risk. But it is not much longer till we see them all home.
Mar 18, 2008 01:33 AM #95
Rainmaker
468,624
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

Understood..............security is a MUST......

I enjoy these pics and I am glad he is sending them!!

Thanks for answering, guys!!

=-)

Mar 18, 2008 03:25 AM #96
Rainmaker
751,075
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

NO MORE MAIL AS OF APRIL 1ST.  But don't stop praying for these guys, they are still active and out on missions. But this does mean that they will soon be coming home. The window for their arrival is still wide towards the end of the month beginning of May, but as the month progresses it will narrow.

Thanks for all your support. As you may know, on his return Jeremy's enlistment is almost up, he extended so as to finish the tour with his friends and comrades and he will begin the process of leaving the Marine Corps and starting the rest of his life.

Mar 30, 2008 05:01 AM #97
Rainmaker
468,624
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing
Sounds good....... security is a must!! I pray Jerimiahs life will be full of great missions for the kingdom of God...and that he will continue to progress in his walk with our Messiah!!
Mar 30, 2008 08:20 AM #98
Rainmaker
751,075
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Back so Soon?

AN IRONIC subject line considering we were gone rather suddenly for a little bit. But we're all back and we're all doing A-OK. We were out in the desert again and attempting to stop the insurgency through our efforts. I'll say vaguely that we were successful and you'll have to ask when I get home.

        One of the unique things I saw when I was out there was a sandstorm. I've been caught in a few that I knew were pretty bad, turning the whole sky red and everything getting coated in a thin film of dust. But while we were out there we suddenly saw a WALL of dust blowing towards us from the South. I caught it on video because it was unlike anything I'd ever seen, straight from the movie The Mummy. A few meters before the sand hit us, the wind did, and then the sky blotted out red again. It looks like you're on Mars and I'd had this happen before. We were pretty awestruck as usual by the sight of such a change in atmosphere in such a short time.

        Then all of a sudden the sky turned black in midday and you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Dust blew into your eyes and mouth, making you cough and turning your lips to mud. Everything instantly got coated with sand and in crevices. We turned on a few vehicles to use their lights to see but you couldn't see them 12 feet away it was so dark. I walked from the tent we were staying to another building 50 meters away and got completely lost and turned around. You couldn't open your eyes and no sound reached you through the wind.

        The blackness went on for about an hour and the sand storm as a whole went on for a couple days. It was unbelievable. We all got headaches, fevers and skin irritations from inhaling so much sand. It was amazing to think that God could cripple us with such a simple thing like dust and wind. I'm glad I can say I've experienced it but I am equally glad it's over.

        The base we stayed on was tiny, only about 200 meters across with no running water and no hot food. We ate poptarts and MREs for the most part. My platoon got into calling me pig pen because I was so filthy. There is a character in Charles Schultz's Charlie Brown comic called Peanuts who goes by the name Pig Pen. He's constantly filthy and for some reason I was always the dirtiest one in the platoon. Hence the name Pig Pen. I didn't see the point in wiping the sand off your face if in a few hours it was going to be covered again anyway.

        When we got back to Camp Fallujah, I got a few stares from other Marines but I was fairly proud of my stink. It meant I had worked hard. It took a while to get all the sand and rocks out of my hair and to get my skin back to it's normal tone.

        Looking back on this deployment, I see we  have gone more diverse places than I did the year before. We've been to all sorts of climates in all sorts of missions and seen a lot of cool and interesting things. I don't have any pictures for you of this last Op because I've packed up my computer and I can't shrink them enough to send them on this one. I'll keep in touch over the next couple of days if you write, but start looking for that absence in response as a really good thing meaning we've come home.

Cortically,
Jeremiah

Apr 06, 2008 03:57 AM #99
Rainer
23,071
Michelle Bowman
Keller Williams Flagship - Stevensville, MD
MD Realtor, GRI

Nick and Trudy,

Be sure to tell your son that we are all grateful for his service and sacrifice.  He will be in our thoughts and prayers, as will all service members, until his safe return home!

Apr 06, 2008 05:29 AM #100
Rainmaker
751,075
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED IF I haven't already mentioned that these will be the last couple emails I send…well there it is. If you joined while I emailed from this account to the list, then I'd appreciate it if you emailed me at somethingeasytorecall@yahoo.com just so I could add you there and update you on our status in the States and our future safe arrival (knock on wood). Our replacement unit has arrived partly and there are plenty of new faces around. That is good to see because it means they are fresh to take on the fight as we are fresh to go home. They are going through all the briefs, stand-downs and classes we did when we first got here. They are eager to get out into the field and prove themselves and fight the insurgency. If you pray for troops, you can begin praying for them as they will try to find the bad guys as earnestly as we did. We have moved out of our rooms and we all live in a large tent with A/C and cots. This is all very exciting (titillating?) because us senior guys recognize the proximity it is to actually getting out of Camp Fallujah. Not long now! We all have our things in three bags stashed at the bottom of our cots and spend our days cleaning our gear and turning it over. We have begun to give all our optics, guns, and other serialized gear to the next recon unit. The more we turn over, the more we realize there is nothing left to do. Soon we'll board trucks, head out into the middle of the night and (for some of us) never return again. I might email again to let you know our progress. I will try to email from the air base and Kuwait so you know exactly where we are but I will have to use my yahoo account. Some of you might not get that email because I haven't added you from this one. Hence, the first couple sentences. Thanks for supporting us along the way. There are more stories than the ones I've shared so ask us in turn when you see us in the States. Begrudgingly, Jeremiah Sgt Vandekar, Jeremy D 2d Recon Bn, B Co, 1st Plt USMC Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Apr 14, 2008 05:00 AM #101
Rainmaker
468,624
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing
May God continue to bless you, Jeremy... stay in the fight for the Lords Kingdom!! =-)
Apr 14, 2008 07:48 AM #102
Rainmaker
751,075
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
I'M WRITING to let the masses know in general about our leave of absence. We've been scheduled to arrive the end of April mostly but we've been pushed back a few days. We'll be back in the states in the beginning of May now. THis is extremely unfortunate for a lot of the families who purchased houses or condos on the beach or in the area. But there's nothing anyone can do now. Hopefully people can still rearrange their schedules once again. The USMC isn't the best at keeping their timelines on a small or large scale so even though I was shocked, in the end I'm not too surprised. We're still living in the tents side by side, all packed up ready to go. Nothing for us to do here but wait now. We tan or lift to get ourselves looking good for Mrs Whoever or even a Miss Someone. Comparative to some units which stay for 12-15 months there's not much we can complain about. I try to stay positive in the end. Optimistically, Jeremiah
Apr 23, 2008 07:11 AM #103
Rainmaker
751,075
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
WE'VE MADE it to TQ, the nearby Marine Corps Air Base that flies troops out of Iraq and into Kuwait. We will have to wait here for several days for our flight. It is better for us to wait on the runway than to wait back at Camp Fallujah till just beforehand and then something goes wrong.        There isn't much to do here considering we're all packed up and everything is temporary. We don't even live on a main part of base but instead where outgoing and incoming troops stay. We have mattresses on metals beds now which aren't temper-pedic but they are softer than cots. =oP        During the day we can only fill our time with a limited amount of activities. There is a rec center with board games, a few books, the only American channel in Iraq on TV (AFN), a movie room and internet and phones. A lot of Marines also try what we call the "horizontal time machine" or sleep. And of course we can lift weights and eat.       We will stay here for a few days and then pick up a military flight to Kuwait where we'll check our bags into customs and take a civilian flight home to NC. We've gone past the slowest part of the journey (the drive from Fallujah) but now it's just a waiting game.   Ostentatiously, Jeremiah
Apr 27, 2008 12:16 AM #104
Anonymous
paula

Your son has done a great job documenting his journey. May he be safe.

 

God Bless Gunny Hayes who fought the greatest battle of all. RIP Gunny Hayes.

Jul 10, 2009 02:16 AM #105
Rainmaker
751,075
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Paula, thank you for the comment, I was just looking back through some of the posts, and the photos of Gunny Hayes. Our hearts go out to his family.

Jul 10, 2009 02:36 AM #106
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Rainmaker
751,075

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543

Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
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