• July 31, 2014

Officially in the box

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Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 10:35 am | Updated: 2:06 pm, Wed Feb 6, 2013.

I officially entered the box yesterday and met up with Greywolf soldiers, which wasn’t an easy task.

I learned the brigade was moving, and until they reached their new location, I couldn’t be handed over. Until then, I got to travel within the box escorted by a public affairs observer-controller - one of the guys who runs these dusty

roads every day. The downside? Observers drive Humvees with no doors, which can get quite chilly and very dusty. And did I mention bumpy?

But that’s true of Humvees with doors as well.

I learned to put my scarf over my head before I put on my helmet, which helped keep my ears from freezing. The dust, though, I just accepted I would soon be covered in it. And I am. Everything is covered in a fine layer of dust.

It took at least five hours, but I was finally handed off to Capt. Stewart and the public affairs soldiers in Greywolf. As they escorted me around, it was obvious I am an outsider. I’m not mistreated or anything, but wearing a purple jacket while everyone else is in ACUs draws attention. Especially when ACUs are all they’ve see for the past 12 days.

Despite my funny clothes, I’ve been taken care of, and even “enjoyed” my first MRE – vegetable lasagna. Not terrible, but not something I will miss. It did come with vanilla pound cake that wasn’t too bad though.

They were also kind enough to let me sleep in a sleeping bag in a heated area instead of behind a Humvee.

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