Bill  is a man of few words; ever since I sent him a bigger memory chip in that last care package he’s settled for pictures. We do catch up on IM and it’s always a relief when he pops on, especially if we haven’t "seen" him for a few days. My sense is that they are incredibly busy and there is essentially no down time. When we "chatted" yesterday we talked about Katrina and also the terrible stampede in Baghdad yesterday that took the lives of nearly a thousand pilgrims running from the rumor of a suicide bomber.

Today, among some other pictures, you will see pictures of fish. There’s a fish story attached to this. Abby was talking to Bill on IM about moving to Florida and being near the ocean and Bill said there was a nice lake with good fishing right behind his quarters. Abby said, "Right." Bill said, "Really. Some of them are 5 feet long." Abby said, "LOL." They went back and forth for a while but it ended with Abby convinced that, there in the desert and sand storms, there are no lakes and no fish. Turns out that there IS a lake stocked with giant fish; it is a large man-made lake near one of Saddam’s palaces that now headquarters military personnel. How far the mighty, in their BVDs, have fallen.

Yesterday you got a glimpse of the opulence of that palace as well as the haute cuisine dished up at chow time. Today I’m posting pictures of Iraq’s one and only Burger King, Bill’s housing in close proximity to both airport and lake, a typical sand storm and Bill, in full gear on the base.

They loved getting the package of CDs and DVDs but one of the first things Bill noted was that one of the DVD wrappers was missing the disc. I didn’t understand this until about a week later when I was at the cottage and found Miss Congeniality II with Sandra Bullock in our DVD player; we had "previewed" it for them.  Now we know what they go for first over there. Guys: it’s a really stupid sequel but there’s a lot of Sandra to see so I’ll send it right along…Anything else we can send?

You all know my sentiments on this situation so I won’t elaborate, at least in this post. Be informed by the photos (click ’em to big ’em) and, most definitely, SAY HELLO! to Bill , Mary  and all the members of the 322d Civil Affairs Brigade.

28 responses to “GOOOOOD MORNING, BAGHDAD!

  1. Hah! Those are Giant Barracudas. Saddam used to throw Shites in there. He called the fish “My weapons of ass destruction.” So, the CIA…

    HI, BILL! Stay safe, kid.

  2. Hello Bill! Can you ever forgive me for thinking you were a Marine? I read up on the Army 322nd Civil Affairs Brigade and you guys have been taking your motto “For the Benefit of Mankind” seriously for a long time. Thank you!!

    Your lovely liaison keeps us in mind of your bravery so that we can keep you in our prayers! That Vicki is a good egg — toothsome as Sandra Bullock, too!

    God’s Peace!

  3. Hello Bill, love those fish, does anyone know what kind they are?
    Take care, be safe. Say hi to Mary too.

    Vicki: Thanks for the suggestions.

  4. Hi Bill! Hi Mary! Howdy to everyone in the Brigade! I’m thinking it’s the hand of Providence that withheld that Congeniality II DVD from you, but if you like the Sandra you like the Sandra. Take care and stay safe. 🙂

  5. Dear Bill,
    My nephew has done a tour in Afghanistan and is now training US Army Rangers in the US. I know how hard it is for you and for your family. God bless you, stay safe, and you are remembered back home. Sincerely, Nancy at Concordia Ann Arbor

  6. Hello from Concordia University!

    We’re thinking of you and wish you well.

    God bless,

    Shelley Feldman
    Assistant Registrar

  7. Hello Bill and everyone in the 322nd!!!

    What an amazing opportunity to be there in Baghdad; helping in so many different ways and touching so many peoples lives. Thank you doesn’t seem to be enough. Never forget who sent you there and why you are fighting. There are so many people here that think of you every day and continually pray for all of you. Be safe and come home safe!!!

    Blessings from Concordia Ann Arbor,
    Ashlea Weston

  8. Hi Bill and the 322 Brigade! Thank you for doing your duty and giving the rest of us an example of what service truly is.

  9. Bill,

    Our faculty, staff and students work with your brothers Jon and Rich here at Concordia – Ann Arbor, MI. To you and all your group – our thanks for the good work you do for us. May you remain safe and encouraged in the efforts to rebuild Iraq. We pray that the results of your tasks are meant with gratitude, that the Iraqis take ownership of their country quickly and that you return home soon.


  10. Hi Bill! You are truly a blessing to our country! You are doing something that involves such courage and heart. You are truly an inspiration and we pray daily for you and your comrades! God Speed and God Bless! Becky at Concordia University

  11. Dear Bill, thank you for your hard work! Your efforts do not go unappreciated! Numbers 6:24-26: “The LORD bless you and keep you, the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” In Christ, Heather at Concordia University Ann Arbor

  12. Bill,
    I just want to take a moment to Thank you for all that you are doing. I know that there are people out there whom God has given the courage to do things like you do. You and all the others are in my prayers.

  13. Hi y’all from North Carolina! Some of our men and women are due home today to Fort Bragg. Wish you all were on your way home. Take care and thank you.

  14. Dr. Tom Ahlersmeyer

    I send greetings on behalf of the faculty, students and staff of Concordia University in Ann Arbor, MI. God’s richest blessings be with you and your fellow soldiers as you risk your lives to make the world a freer place.

  15. Helloooooo! Stay safe, Bill and Mary and all your buddies. We’re thinking about you, and hoping and praying for your speedy return.

  16. Greetings from North Carolina; we thank you for all you are doing and wish you a safe journey.

  17. It’s another hello from North Carolina…There are quite a few of us Carolinians on here! Best wishes…we’re all keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

  18. Hey Bill, I’m grateful for this chance to let you and everyone else over there know how much we appreciate your sacrifice. We at Concordia don’t let a day go by without praying for your safe return and quick resoulution against the enemy.

    I’m very proud to have this chance to let ya’ll know how much we appreciate what you do. You have made the world a better place.

    Thank you!!

  19. Those are great pictures.

    Bill if you are reading this site, thank you and be safe!!!

  20. Hi Bill! Thanks for the great pictures and for providing us a window into your world. I hope you and your company stay safe and can come home soon. Bless you.


  21. Hey… Bill, stafe safe & sane. Glad you enjoyed the disks. More or on the way!

  22. Great pictures! Thank you for posting such valuable info.

    Bill, words can’t say how much your sacrifice means to millions of Americans. Stay safe!!

    Oh BTW, Michele sent me 🙂

  23. Hi there! What an interesting blog!!
    My uncle did two terms over in Iraq with the Australian army and the UN.
    I hope Bill comes home to you safe and sound. My thoughts are with Bill, you, and your family.

    Michele sent me.

  24. Dear Bill, Mary and the rest of the gang at the 322nd:
    You folks are awesome!
    You are doing such a great job that national news stories are spending more time talking about how Iraq is doing about self government, and less time talking about street crime and IED’s.
    Naturally, we pray for a speedy and safe return for each one of you, but we also hope that for every second you spend over there with sand in your lunch, fleas in your shirt and dry wind blowing in your face that you also have a warm feeling in your heart that comes from knowing that America supports you there and cares for you while you are there and believes that your service is not in vain. Take care of each other for us.


  25. HI, Bill!!! HI, Mary!!!! HI to everyone in the Brigade!!! Thank you for your dedication. I appreciate your efforts and will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. The pictures are great. Please keep them coming.

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU! And many happy hellos and wishes for safety and kindness coming your way.

  26. hi my brother and his wife are there. she is with m.p.’s and he does the medical keep up the good work

  27. Those fish might be Amur or grass carp. They have the look and are the right size.

  28. Wonderful pictures. Say hi and thank you to everyone in your brigade for the great job and sacrifices they are making. My nephew, in the Marines, was not too long ago in Iraq. I keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. Stay safe and keep well.

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