Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Building 610

--Or, No Such Thing as Chance...

So I’m sitting in Church listening to this guy and he sits down. I read his name tag and smiling, I reach over and introduce myself. “Hi Burt, I’m Ernie!” My levity is not equally returned as he notifies me that I may refer to him as CAPTAIN Burt. (I’m an army idiot) Oh, “SORRY SIR YES SIR!” I felt like yelling, except we were still at church. He nonetheless pleasantly agrees to let me “interview” him later in the week at Building 610.

So I go. He is a busy man. Twice I go, twice I wait. The subordinate soldiers and I start talking. They are from Utah. They are from Logan, Utah. A whole building/brigade of ’em! We recognize that we have seen each other before, some of us. After all, I went to Utah State University in Logan for many, many more years than it takes to graduate. Also, I had fixed their cars, or visited their single’s group, or in the case of Captain Burt, bought car insurance from him. We have, to me at least, a very interesting chat.

Needless to say, I am among friends. We talk. What do you guys do out there, I ask, and how is it going? For almost 3 hours we converse and then the base alarm goes off, unwittingly marking the end of the discussions. Ahhh, but the things I learned.

So in the near future I hope to share pictures and stories of an Iraq you might not recognize. An Iraq that even I have only caught glimpses of until now. It is mostly about Northern Iraq, the Kurds. Stories of thriving cities and friendly villages, of snow-covered mountains and springs of water. Safe haven for Americans and a very warm, family-oriented culture.

HA! You think I’ve finally lost it, haven’t you? The Sun has fried poor Ernie’s brain, you are saying! The grains of sand have settled between his ears! Well, we’ll see…

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