Balad aka Camp Anaconda

Balad Travel Blog

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Very little has come to pass here after 124 days of sucking desert sand, and trudging through the camp on "desert landscaping". The usual day starting early and ending late, sometimes seeing sunrise but missing sunset or missing sunset and seeing sunrise. 12hr shifts, with little time off to sit back and relax or to take your mind of tomorrow. Here is Balad AB. Located 50 Miles north or Baghdad, inside the sunni triangle (not to be confused with the triangle of death which is further south).
   The base is a host to Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Army people, the base itself is considered to be the busiest airport in all of the Air Force and the Continetal United States. And I can certify that no base in my 9 years of being in the Air Force can nearly touch the amount of planes comming and going from here. If there was a heart in Iraq this would certainly qualify as one.
   The base kindly known to folks as 
"Mortaritaville" by some of its residents, it is also derogatorily called "Pogadishu" by combat arms soldiers in reference to the large number of non-combat arms soldiers--or the "Pog" (Personnel Other-than Grunt)--stationed here. The reason being is the constant and almost expected amounts of mortar attacks aimed at the base.
  I could personally certify that my arrival here Oct 6th wasn't exactly something worth jumping for, tired people and sometimes self-involved folks walking around the base. I've never been to a place that took so much from people that we loose our sense of humanity. Now this isn't a lodge of complaint, but rather an observation of many levels. Being Halfway through the Tour of Duty I have to admit I don't blame them for being self-involved.
  There are worse evils out there though. This one isn't one of them, you can however have a sense of your surroundings and being kind to the person next to you and just look up and smile and note to yourself, it is a beautiful day to be alive and to remember, you could be in a worse place.

homeres says:
Balad, the best camp i ever been to in Iraq. yea i agree besides the mortars its still a 'vacation'!
Posted on: Sep 05, 2008
hummingbird50 says:
Thank you so much for writing this blog....I just became more educated...sometimes we tend to forget about the surroundings of the world and all of the things that happen in it...because we actually don't have to live through it. Watching TV can be of some assistance...but does not really bring in the reality...because again we have become so numb to it...that it does not seem real...just TV. So thanks from me:)
Posted on: Mar 25, 2008
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