Here is a pic from our recent vacation to Cape Hatteras North Carolina. We got to spend a wonderful week with family and Sarah and our precious Grandson Jackson. We love ‘em both to death. He was actually very well behaved for this photo session and I will post some more pics later. He just turned four in April by the way.
Here is an early morning (0445) shot of my crew in Gun Truck # 4. I have been trying to get some pics for a photoshop collage for when we return and I thought this one would be a good update shot. The three pictured are myself, SSG Jimmy Terrell, TC, SPC Curtis Shelpman, Dvr, and PFC Cory Lazzell, Gnr. Sorry about the lapse in posting but have had pic upload problems hopefully cured by a new geek stick. Very hot lately and still very busy. This post comes from BIAP at 0240am after a very frustrating trip following slow people and then sitting outside the gate while some officer made us back out of the entrance shoot(Semis with tankers mind you) so his four Hummers could leave the gate. It was crazy as many things here are. I am fine and fairing well and am looking forward to August. Take care and God Bless you all!
I want to wish my daughter and her husband a very Happy Anniversary from your dear old Dad in Iraq! Sarah and Barrett have reached the first milestone of their marriage by completing their first year as husband and wife. Along the way Barrett has completed his studies and graduated from Baylor! Sarah will be graduating later this Summer and beginning Grad school in the fall. Little Jackson is a hoppin, jumpin, spittin bundle of flames rarin to go all the time from what I hear. Ahh to be young again! The two of you always remember that marriage is a compromise and to have fun no matter your circumstances and let each other know you love and appreciate each other. Everything else will work itself out eventually. Congratulations and keep dedicated to each other. You know both of your families love you and care for all three of you deeply. You’re through the hard part and can look forward to better days ahead for you all! Love Dad, all the way from Iraq!
As many of you know, I am traveling to and from here in Iraq. Before we roll out the gate, we have a set of preparations we go through. As we finalized our vehicles the moon began to rise, I waited till it was at an appropriate height and included it in a night shot from the staging area. I did have the big camera and took several test shots but alas did not have a tripod with me. I steadied myself as best I could and snapped what you see here. All in all not bad for handheld. I really liked the lights from the vehicls and the moon all included. All is still going well and I am fine. Keep praying and sending those letters and packages and emails! Thanks and I hope you liked it! JT
Here is a pic we took of the whole Company here at our base in Iraq. some of the faces are small and some are even covered up! Me personally, I’m on the left side about half way up. I had to get the shot set up and then get in the picture as someone snapped it for us. we are all doing fine and working hard to ensure the fuel and supplies get to where they need to go. the vehicles you see in the pictures are armored security vehicles (ASV’s) for short and work quite well for our purposes. I have an up-armoured Hummer for my personal vehicle but have patrolled in an ASV also. Not much action in our area, it remains pretty quiet, although the Marines can be a handful at times. Weather pretty good for now and everyone is working at getting certified to run missions so the other guys get to go home to Virginia. they are great guys and have showed us the ropes. I wish them well! Pray for us all and the people who live here as well. Conditions here are not easy for them either. I will post when I can and contact you all as missions allow. Till then, take care and god bless! JT
As I write this post, I am sitting here in Iraq thinking that there was no way I would be here during this momentous occasion. I remember the good times and bad and a life shared with a very loving woman who I am proud to have had stand by me through thick and thin for 25 years. We each are not perfect and have our faults, but have managed to keep it going when by all accounts, some people didn’t think we could make it one year, let alone twenty-five. We started out in California and ranged from Europe to the East Coast, to the South, and back home again to me going back to Iraq and even becoming Grandparents. What a strange trip it has been. We are the products of our experiences and stand ready to embark on our next 25 year phase with a renewed commitment to each other and life as well. Thanks to all those friends and family who have shared and assisted along the way. We couldn’t have done it without you! Honey, I love you with all my heart and can’t wait till I’m back so we can continue our journey. As always, keep me in your thoughts and prayers, JT
This shot is of the sinking sun from our motor pool. I was standing on top of my Humvee and shot this handheld. The mornings and evenings here aren’t that bad. It is just the mid-day heat that is brutal. So far it has gotten as high as 112 F. Along with the intense heat comes the sandstorms. We have been held over several times due to the weather. We don’t mind cause its better than where we are living. I think my squad is up to nine or ten missions so far. We get about 1 a week or so. I’ve been to Baghdad a bunch and north a few times. Finally got to see our real Cmdr and Csm this past weekend on one of my travels. They have it a little better than where we are and gave us an open invitation to stop by whenever we are in their AO. We are all doing fine and have not had any problems to date. Time is going by at a pretty fast clip and its a week into May already. Been working out and losing weight and reading books and going to and from, pretty busy really. It really isn’t so bad minus the sand blowing everywhere and the lack of Stars N Stripes, and no lettuce on occasion. We are living and doing and you can’t get much better than that. Thanks to all for the correspondence and packages and keep me in your prayers. Until next time, JT.
Here I am getting ready to make one of my treks out in the desert. This is a loaner hummer, mine was getting worked on but it was fine. I usually spend a night on the road, sleep and then return the following evening, sandstorms permitting. Been trying to work out and get in shape, growing a mustache, and thinking about getting a Harley upon my return. I gotta get something out of this deal! It is getting warm here. I can’t believe I have been here almost six weeks. Time sure flies when you are having fun, I mean staying busy! Got a bicycle and plan on riding some. taken a few pics, but not as many as I would like. I may learn how to play Texas Hold ‘Em. So far I have read 9 fairly good sized books and watched a few movies just to round it out. I am still working on getting internet, a deal fell through, and some tv as well. Take care and I will post when I can, Love you all! JT