OCTOBER 2006

KUWAIT

(SOME INFORMATION HAS BEEN EDITED FOR OPSEC PURPOSES)

 

October 13th

Hey everyone,
I don't have a whole lot of time to write this, but I wanted to send a quick note to let everyone know I'm alive and well "over there".

My birthday came and went on the 10th and I got quite a treat because that was the day I had my guys at the zero range to get a good long-range zero for our sniper rifles.  For the first time I got to shoot both the M24 7.62mm and the M107 .50 cal rifles and it was really really cool.  I hit what I was aiming at too and those .50 cal rounds have quite the effect on a dumpster in the impact area at 500 meters. :)

I've been hearing good news from up north near the area where we're going.  My good friend Marshall has been sending updates pretty regularly and coupled with the classified intelligence briefings we've gotten it's starting to look a lot better than we initially anticipated.  True, the FOB I'm going to was just hit by a few mortar rounds yesterday, but no one was hurt and it won't take long to replace the munitions lost in the fire they started.

I've ran into A TON of friends from West Point here.  Ross M., Mike P., Jon R. (also my Ranger buddy in Ranger school), Matt R., Alex H., Ross S., and the list goes on.  I've heard of quite a few others roaming around here at Camp Buehring so hopefully I'll run into them as well.

We've been really busy with rifle ranges, classes, and training scenarios around here, but once in awhile we get a chance to relax and decompress.  If you want a really good idea of the type of stuff we've been training for, go rent the movie Jarhead that came out like a year ago.  Granted, my guys aren't psychopathic marines, but the job they do in that movie is EXACTLY what we train to do.  And I have the privilege of leading them.

We're slowly approaching the date we get on a "big iron bird" and take a little trip up north so keep everyone in your prayers and we'll get through this.
Some quick notes for specific people:

Jason, let me know exactly where you are on Camp Arifjan.  There's a small chance we might stop there briefly before we fly north and it would be AWESOME to see you.

Mom and Dad, I'm sorry I haven't called, but the phones only stay connected for about 30 seconds over here.  Hopefully the ones at my future home up north work better.

Sarah, Laura, and Becky, thanks for the emails.  I love you guys and appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Marshall, damn fine job, brother.  We'll take it from here.  If I don't see you in the transition between our two units, take care and enjoy your time back in the states.  Stay safe and leave some crazies for my guys to take a shot at, eh? 

Best wishes to everyone,
Tom

 


 

October 18th

Salahm Alaykum,

That's Arabic for "How y'all doin???" 

I think I finally got all the sand out of my boots from this latest little trip to the dunes for some convoy operation training.  My killers, along with Eric R.'s platoon, went out for a little extra training on stuff we don't normally have anything to do with.  Our mission and planning and our entire existence thus far has been all about scouting things out and when we find what we're looking for we take a rather well-aimed shot and move on to bigger and better things.  Not this time.  We were in a convoy with up-armored Humvees and 5-ton trucks and we went literally bumping down the road rehearsing formations and techniques and contingencies and on and on and on.  We didn't do ANYTHING having to do with our normal "craft", but now my guys know how to drive a 5-ton truck so we've got that going for us, which is nice. 

 

Can't have you speeding through the sand.  I mean, road.  I mean, sand...

 

Oh, and we saw a TON of camels.

 

              
 


I've attached some pictures of the things we've been doing since we got here.  These aren't all-encompassing so there are a few things I don't have pictures of, but you're pretty much getting the full Kuwait experience from a sniper PL's perspective with these.

 

         

The guys in the pictures at the range are my teams.  They're shooting the M24 7.62mm rifle and in the foreground is the M107, otherwise known as the Barrett .50 cal rifle.  It's pretty sweet and does the trick when you're trying to shoot through an entire engine block at upwards of 1500 meters.  Boom. 



I got a visit from one of my best friends the other day. 

Good ole reliable Jason found his way from Cp Arifijan and tracked me down.  I hadn't seen the lad since his wedding last year, but we got a short amount of time to catch up and then he had to take off.  He's doing very well and gets to go home to his wife and new son in like 2 months.  Congrats, dude.

Erika just had her 23rd birthday a few days ago and from what she's told me it was a really great time.  Friends, family, and horseback rides are definitely the way to do it.  We kind of cheated a little bit and celebrated our birthdays together in Alaska before I even left so that was cool, but someday soon we'll get to do it for real in the same place as one another.  She's all finished up with flight school and she's headed to Hunter Army Airfield just outside of Savannah, Georgia.  It's quite the place to be assigned and she's really looking forward to it.

I've got a mailing address for our future home up north and it's REALLY easy to remember, but it'd still be cool if you wrote it down in case you feel like sending something one day.

[deleted]

That's all for now.  We'll head north to our FOB someday soon (can't tell you exactly when) and then we'll get to have all kinds of fun.  :)

RLTW

-Tom

 


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