Monday, September 6, 2010
Jayson and I have been trying to come up with ways to help the kids (especially Jaycob) with the whole "I-Miss-Dad" issue. Even though Jayson is only in Boise and will be home for a few days next week (before leaving for good), Jaycob has been reduced to tears almost daily. So, we are giving email a try. Hopefully, hearing from Dad and knowing what he is doing will help.
The following is an email that the kids received from Jayson this morning.
Hi,kids. I thought maybe you would like to know what I have been doing here.
When we first arrived, we had a lot of small tasks to do. These tasks are training that we have to do in order to be certified / ready for war. Some are class room, but most are out patrolling on foot and in vehicles. There was a lot of simulated IED (improvised explosive device) training. IED's are the big problems in Iraq right now, so thankfully we are doing a ton of training to learn how to avoid or overcome them safely.
After our first few days, we transitioned into lane training, which is driving routes with our teams and also had some more IED training. While my unit was doing this, my team and one other team had to go through some make-up gunnery. Gunnery is where we move in our vehicles while shooting targets. Yes, Jaycob, I shoot the big ass .50 cal and even though I have done it before its still AWESOME. Doing the unit training and the make up gunnery made for some long days. We were getting up usually around 4am and not getting to bed until around 1 or 2 am. We tried to take naps in the vehicles during the day, but we were usually unsuccessful. My team was commended on our commands and aggressiveness (which I hope to use to scare the living shit out of the bad guys in Iraq) and finally got our groove in the shooting part. Kicked some targets ass, it was great.
After gunnery we had a bunch of packing to do. A buddy, Andrew Hall, and I were in charge of this. We loaded 2 semi trailers completely full of equipment and soldiers' gear. It was a great workout. It was in the high 90's that day so my uniform was soaked from head to toe in sweat. I actually threw that uniform away.
Now we are all just doing little things around our area. Its a bit boring but nice to have some down time to goof off and get to know each other. In part this has also been hard on me because a lot of the soldiers that look at me for advice are coming to me because they are scared of what is going on in Iraq. I try to convince them that everything will be alright, but I see in their faces they do not share the same excitement that I do. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely dread the day I leave you both and your mother. But, at the same time, I have dreamt about this moment since I was younger than you. The fear that these soldiers have is normal, but I would really like to find a way to a alleviate those fears to make them feel better. I hope that through mine and others leadership we will be able to show them that we are all going to overcome the Talibans attempts to hurt us.
Well, I think I have you all caught up to this point and will be sending more updates often. Know that I love you both and your mother more than anything in the world. You are the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think of as I drift off to sleep. Give your mom a huge hug for me. She needs your comfort just as much as you need hers. I love all of you.