JAG-ged Edge
Trial Defense Services (TDS) Deployed
By: Andrew Efaw

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Thursday, 2-Dec-2004 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
Escaping Camp Virginia (sans duffels)

2 December 2004: One wonders if the nightmare is ever over. My tuffbox showed up but no luggage. But let me tell you about Kuwait first. Kuwait is like the moon. The ground is composed not really so much of sand like you would see at a beach but sand that is like ash after a volcano or like talc or like cornstarch. Very fine stuff. And for the most part it is completely desolate. It’s like being on a giant construction site that has been excavated and scraped clean. There are sidewalks at Arifjan but they make no sense. They seem to just exist make people walk at odd right angles across yards of dust. There is no grass to stay off so why sidewalk. Must be for rain. Anyway, last night by the time we left, it was dark. Darkness here does not creep up. It seems to literal fall with little or no twilight. I think maybe that’s bec. there’s a linear horizon with no trees, buildings, or mountains to break it up. We drove for about an hour on these buses. All I could see in the dark and through the curtains were lots of trucks set up selling things out of the back along the road. They all lit with these bar shaped neon lights. We arrived at Camp Virginia and got off and on the bus for unknown reasons a couple of times. My ID card was swiped (there’s a whole section of a Personnel Company with the “Swiping Mission�) and that’s supposed to start combat pay etc. They we got a little brief about “you are now in a combat zone.� Then we went to get our bags. That went down like this. Basically, an 18 wheeler pulls up in the dark and it is chalk full of identical green duffle bags and rucks. They form a twenty man chain under headlights and off load the gear into one giant pile. Then everyone looks for their stuff using flashlights. I found my black tuff box full of books pretty quickly. But once everything else was sorted out, my ruck and duffles were nowhere. An E-7, SFC Peterson a postal worker from MN, that is permanent party at Camp Virginia took me all over the place to look for my bags. Without them, I had no clean uniforms, underwear, towels, sleeping gear etc. By midnight, we’d had no luck, so he smuggled me into the permanent party tent with has what most be people call cots but the Army calls beds bec. they have mattresses. He gave me one of his pillows and blanket and I went to sleep.

The morning wasn’t much better, but at least you could see. I checked and rechecked with the Signal Bn that I came with but they didn’t have the bags. I finally made contact with CPT Emery and SPC Ambeau at Arifjan. They came to get me around noon. While I waited I wondered around Virginia. There’s like a little square with a PX and Green Beans Coffee and a Pizza Place and a Subway. I tried the coffee—awful. They’re all in these little trailers. The soldiers call the square “downtown.� There were a lot of Korean and Japanese soldiers running around. And there were some Fiji soldiers with Blue UN hats. Two of the Koreans talked to me in line for chow. They seemed anxious to practice their English. They are some kind of elite unit. Most of them were wearing HALO and or SCUBA tabs. I went to the PX and bought underwear. Around the camp at random are scattered porta potties and pallets full of water bottles. Less frequent are these trailers.

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