Sgt Battles has arrived in lovely Iraq, after several days of flights and baggage-handling and check-ins and roll call/flight rosters and on and on...!
I flew commercial through Germany to Kuwait, and waited several hours to get bussed to the Ali Al Salem (sp?) air base with an assortment of army, marine, navy, and air force personnel, as well as several civilian contractors. After a short flight in a C-130, I arrived at an airbase (abbreviated "TQ") on 20 October, stepping down the ramp onto Iraqi soil around 1830 hours local time. It was then a short helicopter ride to beautiful Camp Fallujah, Home of the Thousand Shades of Beige! I arrived around 2230, and Major Durr, another combat artist, met me and showed me the office-- then let me crash in an empty rack at the barracks he was in.
I spent a good day-and-a-half checking in with the various parts of the base that want to know you are here-- admin/personnel, supply, the Sergeant Major and CO of the unit I'm in, etc...
I almost know my way around the place now-- I at least can find the PX, the Laundry, the Chapel, the Chow Hall, the Armory-- every place a marine needs to know about.
I've begun to sketch, and as soon as I get one done well enough to post I will do so.
It's finally time to put all that training and fancy art education to use!!
OORAH and Semper Fidelis--