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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Facebook

If I had known that so much of my family was on Facebook I would have joined long ago. I don't have much in the way of news, just the day in day out business everyone goes through. OK so day in day out business in Iraq is a bit different than it is other places, but after 13 months here that is what it feels like to me.
For the family I haven't had a chance to share with since I've been deployed, or in the service for that matter, let me tell you a little about what my life is like. My job title in the Army is 88M, we say 88 Mike, in English it means truck driver. I drive the Army's Heavy Equipment Transporter. The truck's main objective is to be able to transport the M1A1 Abrams main battle tank and it's crew. This makes it a very large truck. The photo above, or wherever blogger put it, is one of my favorite shots of the truck, the only thing it fails to do is show the scale of the vehicle. The tractor tires are over 50 inches tall and the bottom of the doors is almost 6 feet in the air. I could talk about the truck all day, it's why I picked 88M as my job, I love to drive, but enough about that for now.

The living conditions aren't bad here at all, depending on which FOB you get to call home. I've been on 3 so far this tour. Most people live in what we call CHU's, or Container Housing Units. There are three rooms per container and 2 people per room so my space ends up being about 6x12', I haven't actually measured. In that space they provide a bed, a wall locker, a small end table and a reading lamp. There is usually reasonably good A/C and if you have a TV you can connect to AFN, the American Forces Network, at no cost and get 11 channels to keep up on current events. Also depending on the FOB, and this one is among the best, there is wireless internet in the rooms for the paltry sum of $65/mo. which unfortunately struggles to rival the speed of a good dial-up modem. On top of what is in the room already we have the chore of fitting our military gear and any other amenities we might want to make the tour more pleasant. For my part I have my laptop, a TV, DVD Player and a small surround sound setup, I love my movies. As we are so close to the end of our tour now most of my gear has been packed into tough boxes to get ready to be shipped home.


I carry an M16A2 with an attached M203 40mm grenade launcher. I've been fortunate enough not to need it yet. As for what I actually do, I can only give so many details, MUCH of what I have seen, carried, and where I have been is classified, or at least that is what they tell me. During the hot months, and hot doesn't really do it justice, but during the hot months we work nights. My current schedule has me going to the gym at midnight for PT and then work call in the motorpool at 0230 in the morning. Most of the time in the motorpool is spent trying to keep the trucks running. The problem with a tractor trailer system that weighs 45 tons empty is it has a tendancy to fall apart. Once you factor in that it can haul another 70 tons it really becomes obvious how much work these trucks need. When I'm not in the motorpool I'm mostly left alone. Missions take me outside the wire, a term used to indicate when we've left the FOB and entered into an unsecured area. I've been on so many at this point that I have lost track. This is the part of the job I cannot talk about, suffice it to say that almost anything can and does happen outside but that I have been safe throughout the tour and to date my unit has not lost anybody.

I'll be home to the states by Thanksgiving and our little family is hoping to make the trek to Michigan to visit in late December. The Army likes to do things to change perfectly good plans for no reason at all, but that is the plan for now.

Until then take care and God Bless.


PFC. Pahman, Jesse C.
United States Army
Camp Liberty, Iraq

5 comments:

Mom Jones said...

That was a very informative post, Jes! I'm confused, though, because I switched your blog to the other one ... I'll put this link back on my blog so that I can access both with ease. Thanks for writing! I'm addicted to Facebook and I've only been on 11 days! It is very nice to connect to family ... there are many family members out there who are the swellest of folk! :)

Jesse Pahman said...

They have imposed bandwidth limitations here, in English that means I can only send and receive so much information a day. To cut down on how much and risk being cut off I've gone back to using this blog.

mom hand said...

Hi Jesse: It's so good to hear
from you. We all miss you very much
especially your family (which really
isn't that little when you consider
the wild bunch). Thanks for the
description and explanation of what
you do. Extremely proud of you,
Jesse, and what you do to protect
your family and all the rest of us
and the sacrifices you make. Also,
we are proud of Diana and the kids.
They, especially, Diana have to
work extra hard to do it all. Emma
said she like to come and see us
again, but then you wouldn't know
where to find them cause your family home is in Texas. Chris
offered us his $l.00 tooth money
to come there. Matthew says he
is still a mess when he eats. We
count our blessings when they share
all these things with us, and that
we have a wonderful daughter, son
(in-law) and grandchildren. All
our love and know God has his loving arms around all of you all
the time and he does us.
Mom, Dad, David and Mattie

P.S. Was just going to go for
a walk, but checked you blog first
as I do everyday and found a good
surprise.

mom hand said...

Hi Jesse: It's so good to hear
from you. We all miss you very much
especially your family (which really
isn't that little when you consider
the wild bunch). Thanks for the
description and explanation of what
you do. Extremely proud of you,
Jesse, and what you do to protect
your family and all the rest of us
and the sacrifices you make. Also,
we are proud of Diana and the kids.
They, especially, Diana have to
work extra hard to do it all. Emma
said she like to come and see us
again, but then you wouldn't know
where to find them cause your family home is in Texas. Chris
offered us his $l.00 tooth money
to come there. Matthew says he
is still a mess when he eats. We
count our blessings when they share
all these things with us, and that
we have a wonderful daughter, son
(in-law) and grandchildren. All
our love and know God has his loving arms around all of you all
the time and he does us.
Mom, Dad, David and Mattie

P.S. Was just going to go for
a walk, but checked you blog first
as I do everyday and found a good
surprise.

Dad Hand said...

Thanks Jesse for the informative and interesting posting. Hang in there a little longer. Can't wait to see you and the family when you get back. God is with you! All our love. Dad,Mom and David.