Monday, June 21, 2004

From Fred--written 06/17/04 

I normally get up at 0500, get dressed into my running gear--Army PT shorts and shirt. I then grab my toiletry bag and walk about 50 meters to the trailer with sinks and toilets. I brush my teeth and shave, then walk back to my sleeping trailer, leave my bag, and go run.

I run around one of the man made lakes/ponds here on Camp Victory. Camp Victory was one of Saddam Hussein's hunting and fishing spots. There are several ponds within the walled compound. Anyway my run is about 3.5 miles long and takes about 25 minutes. I am inside our walled camp all the time. The lake I run around has several houses built on it. One of them was damaged during our invasion. I plan on getting a picture of it soon. Usually at this time in the morning it is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the coolest it will be all day.

Once I finish my run I go get a shower, once again this requires walking from the sleeping trailer to the shower trailer in flip-flops (this is where my new shower shoes will be handy--the gravel is pretty rough on the thin rubber slippers). Once cleaned up I get into my DCUs, put on my pistol, and with my roommate (one of the attorneys who works for me here and is deployed from Alaska) we go to the dining facility. Dining facility is about a 5-minute walk from our sleeping trailer. It is now sometime between 0650 and 0700.

We eat breakfast; I usually have cereal (Total Raisin Bran or Raisin Bran Crunch), a bowl of fresh fruit, a grapefruit juice box, and a cup of coffee.

We meet the other 2 folks that work with us at 0730 at our SUV and we drive to the office. The office is a series of 4 trailers in a traffic circle next to a mosque that remains under construction.

Generally I do paperwork and answer e-mails till close to 1230 or 1300. The others see clients for Article 15s or chapters. At 1230 or 1300 we drive to a dining facility for lunch. We change the dining facility we eat in to give ourselves some variety. Food is about the same. I generally have a plate of salad; it is just too hot to eat anything heavy, as by this time it is normally 39 to 40 degrees Celsius(100 degrees+ Fahrenheit).

After lunch we return to the office. I continue to do paperwork and answer e-mails; the others will see more clients. All this ends around 1600. We will all then do more paperwork and answer e-mails till 1830 when we will leave for dinner. It is back to a dining facility we go.

The NCOIC will generally call it a day after dinner; the rest of us will often come back to the trailers to continue our e-mailing and casework. We definitely call it a day by 2000 and drive to our trailer. We will sit around--read or, now that I have a portable DVD player, watch a movie. The PX has an assortment of DVDs, and we borrow from each other. On Saturday nights we are starting up a TDS movie night. This is an opportunity to kick back and unwind.

We generally follow this same pattern Monday through Wednesday. Thursdays and Fridays we keep open to do trial preparation or go out on a convoy into Baghdad to visit a unit and do Article 15 and chapter counseling. Saturdays and Sundays are pretty much open, although we work on these days too.

I have no set travel day. I go as I need to go and return. My trips so far have been 3 or 4 days long so I will just take a 3-day expandable "bugout" bag. I don't foresee me changing this routine or schedule.

I do want to figure out a time to go to a gym. There is not one of sufficient size open on Camp Victory yet. They are talking about opening up a new gym, a sorely needed facility here, especially if we are going to stay here in Iraq for a while. There are a couple of pools to cool off in, but they have limited hours and I am not completely sure they have the water balanced yet.

That is a typical day in my life here at Camp Victory.

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