My Office in Balad, Iraq

This is the building where I work.  It’s painted to look like a castle,
with a blue sky above.  I don’t know who thought of the idea to make the
JBB Consolidated Legal Center look like a castle, but it was an
absolutely brilliant idea!  Our building is right on Pennsylvania
Avenue, which is the main drag for Balad, and the castle motif makes it
one of the most noticeable buildings on the entire base.  Here is the front entrance

(notice the water bottles stacked up on the right behind a small concrete barrier):

office-outside1

 

There is even a dungeon, where some eyes peer out from under the rubble (this is the side entrance, where most people come into our building):
office-outside2

One weird thing.  In the gravel parking lot outside our building, there
are two Chevy SUV’s.   So what
do you do with a Chevy Trailblazer that has been bombed and has body
damage on its left side?  Why, you put it in the parking lot of the
legal center and leave it there for a few years, of course.  Here is the
picture:
bombed-car

Anyway, here is my office, and a picture of me in it.  I’ve decorated it
with pictures of my kids, and several by my kids.  I am glad I have
these artworks from Judy and Rebecca, because I love looking at them and
they remind me of my family back home.  Here I am in my office:

me-in-my-office

My job is the legal assistance attorney for the whole base.  Here is
what I do, according to my OER support form:
Chief of Legal Assistance for Joint Base Balad, Iraq.  The JBB
Consolidated Legal Center provides legal assistance to the military
community at JBB consisting of approximately 30,000 military and DA
civilian personnel, as well as several thousand more personnel at
outlying areas of operations.  Lead two enlisted Soldiers, E-5 and E-3
paralegals.  Manage all operations, insuring that the office is always
staffed during duty hours and is ready for customer service.  Enhance
mission readiness by providing legal advice and counsel to military and
civilians in a competent, courteous, and caring manner, pertaining to
issues such as family law, debtor/creditor issues, immigration,
OER/NCOER appeals, FLIPL rebuttals, Article 138 complaints.  Perform
legal reviews on Special Immigrant Visa packets.  Run JBB Tax Center.
Act as Claims Officer.  Perform other duties directed by 3d ESC SJA.
I enjoy my work.  It is quite similar to my private practice.  I
help people with their legal problems
.  A lot of my work deals with
family law issues, but it could be just about any legal issue that
someone wants to discuss.  I do get a few strange people walking into my office from time to time, but of course I do my best to help everyone.    I also have some administrative responsibilities, like supervising the two junior soldiers, and doing weekly reports on client activity.  It’s a pretty good job.  Lots of soldiers have to work in vehicle maintenance bays, or go outside the base on missions, or do other kinds of hard, dirty jobs.  I just do my legal work in my office, so I am not going to complain.

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5 Responses

  1. Merry Christmas Brian! Thanks for all the updates and pictures. We don’t trust the media but your website makes the war more personal and real. We have talked about the website “Adopt a US Soldier”. Do you think that it is a good idea? God bless Everyone in the Armed Forces and their families.

  2. Does that mean you’re the head lawyer for the whole base?

  3. This reminded me of the time my kids and I visited you in your office in Oklahoma. That was in 1995, I think. How time flies.

  4. Brian – Good to hear from you. sounds like you are settled in for the stay. Keep in touch. Larry

  5. we center balad company
    iraq baghdad
    iraq balad
    iraq taji

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