Well the holiday season has come and gone and I am thankful to say that we all have come through safe.
The holidays have really weighed heavy on our hearts as we miss our family and friends. But we have become a family here and we help eachother cope with our situation. Last night we had a cookout and we all had a really nice time.
I am supposed to be coming home for leave at the end of March, beginning of April. It will be Karis' spring break and on the 6th of April, Karis will also have her birthday. So, I am hoping to be there for both. My leave will only be two weeks, so I will need to make the most of it. I am planning to go to Bloomington, Illinois to try and reconnect with a friend that I haven't seen in 20 years. At some point, Karen, Karis, and I, will take a mini-vacation. Either down to Gatlinburg or Myrtle Beach. We haven't decided. We haven't decided yet. I would like to get down to Disney World again as we had purchased the 7 day super pass and we have yet to use all of days. Karis' pass is only good until she is nine years old then we have to convert it to an adult pass. The last two trips to Disney, we were unable to use all 7 days, so we could possibly consider that option.
Anyway, I am droning on. Last week I took some pictures of some of the base. I have posted them below.
Before I get into the pictures, I would like to say that I am praying that you will have a nice 2009. New Years is always a great time to refocus on what is important to us. I hope that this year will be a time of growing in the Lord. Now is the time to submit to the Lord's will and simply ask God, "How can I serve?" I think that simple question will be answered quickly and with clarity. So, use the start of this year as an opportunity to develop a relationship with Christ. The fields are ready for the harvest. The Lord needs workers to bring in the crop.
Now on with the pictures.
Picture 1: We visited one of Saddam's bunkers. Bryan, Andy, and myself grabbed a couple of flashlights and went exploring. The picture here is Bryan and Andy standing next to a window that was shot out during our invasion.
Picture 2: Here is Andy standing outside the bunker. You can see the bullet holes on the concrete wall behind him.
Picture 1&2: Bryan and Andy outside the bunker.
Picture 1: Here is, from left to right, Dr. Dave our dentist, Jose, myself, Travis, and Mike. The bar I am holding is actually a barrel from the weapon behind us.
Picture 2: This is the famous burn pit that has been on CNN and in the newspapers. This is where we burn all of our base trash and other materials. The pit is in the news because some soldier's wives have related their husbands cancer's to the fact that they served in the area around the burn pit.
Picture 1: This is a picture I took of the outside of the fence. We are about a mile away from the Tigres river. The area between the Tigres and Euphrates rivers is known as Mesopotamia. This area is believed to be the place where the Garden of Eden was located. It is hard to imagine that this dry and dusty area was where paradise was located, but when I look at the beautiful trees I can begin to understand why the Lord chose this area.
Picture 1: This is one of the many guard towers that enclose our base. The towers are manned by Ugandans.
Picture 1: This is the air field. This hangar is where the 101st Airborne Division is located. I have a special place in my heart for the 101st as I was stationed with these guys when I was at Ft. Campbell.
Picture 2: A broader shot of the airfield.