Wow what a ride today. I'm in Kuwait but thought I would get this out before I departed. Wrong, with the undercover operation and trying to pack my days really got away from me. We've got a new boss in and he met with us. I'm working for someone who is young enough to be my son. We'll see how this goes. He's an attorney and not an investigator but as long as he listens, he should do okay.
I flew out today on a British helo called a Puma. What an awesome machine. First when we left LZ Washington, 4 Blackhawks came in escorted by two Apaches. What a display. However, the Puma ride was an absolute rush. They leave the doors open and I had the first seat next to the door. We were really flying fast at about 75 to 100 yards off the ground using evasive tactics and turns. We had three stops in all so it was a great trip. The only time I felt a little disconcerted is when the chopper banked with me facing the ground. Then I noticed a guy on the other side not wearing his seat belt. The belts are like the old safety belts in the older cars that fit just around the waist. One slip and he'd be out the door. My ears are still ringing though. One thing bad about this flight is that it gave me yet another glimpse of the poverty that surrounds this nation so unnecessarily if they would just stop killing each other and work together. You see neighborhoods in standing water and it isn't clean. Animals being raised right around the houses with half damaged structures and junk cars around. People still use donkey carts and there are open air markets everywhere. Garbage burns in the streets everywhere. I hope the pics I took will come out. It really is unbelievable.
We had a couple of mortar rounds hit the compound yesterday. They detonated but no damage.
I had pizza at the Italian Embassy with the Carabinieris. Lots of pizza, wine, beer, and music. These guys were just one heck of a lot of fun. I asked why their general and colonels weren't there. They told me they were too old to have fun. I asked how old are they? They responded almost 50. I said gee I'm 57!!! They said I have a young heart. I spoke with one Italian soldier who just got in from Nasireya where the Italians have about 3,000 soldiers.
He said life was very spartan there but the Italian dining facility had wine, spumoni, and excellent cheeses. He brought some of these with him when he came. He's from Sicily and is in his early 30's.
We have a new priest covering for Fr. Dennis who is in Thailand for R& R. Fr. Joe Orlandi is a true paisan. He's a full Colonel in the Army and his parish is in Queens, New York. He's fluent in Italian and he's very charismatic. He gave me some pizzelli which I shared with the Italian soldiers. Father gave two really beautiful masses in which I sang with the choir.
Well, I'm beat and I have to make this short. They only allow you 15 minutes on line at the business center at the Kuwait Hilton. We have these villas which are nothing more than condos to live in. They are elegant compared to my hooch and I look forward to a hot shower with more than a dribble of water and a decent mattress. I hope I get to see some of you on this R&R but I've got to run around as well.
Take care and please continue to keep us all in your prayers. My best. Bob