Sunday, February 06, 2005

Super Bowl Sunday

Baquba, Iraq

Sunday has been quiet for the soldiers here on FOB Gabe. Captain Lee at the TOC said there was only one IED today, that it was big, but that it mostly missed a Humvee and all our guys are fine.

The rains came back making this place a muddy mess again, just in time for the replacement soldiers to begin arriving en masse this week. During about the next two weeks, the 1st Infantry Division is pulling out and heading back to Germany, while members of the 3rd Infantry Division are arriving here at Gabe.

The 1st Infantry Division is heading out in good spirits, but are obviously becoming more anxious to go home the closer the date comes near. That they can smell home-cooking has become obvious; soldiers are talking more and more about their wives, girlfriends and moms. (Strange how few of them seem to mention their dads.) Soldiers with children seem to be the most anxious, and one common refrain I keep hearing goes like this: "We are not outta here yet. This is still Baquba. This still Iraq. We are still at war. This is not the time to let up or start thinking about home." But it's not working. The soldiers are thinking about home. Today I found a bunch of young veterans watching The Princess Diaries. They must be desperate.

The Super Bowl will start any minute, but most have gone to bed.