My unit is preparing to leave Iraq. Some of our replacements have already begun to arrive. This week was significant, because we turned in a great deal of equipment. Some was permanently turned in. Some was turned in to be shipped back to California. I’ve been able to turn in three large bags worth of stuff. Most of it was never used, and remained in the plastic wrap in which I got it a year ago (e.g., winter parka and other cold-weather gear, and much other useless stuff).
So it’s good to lighten my load a bit. I’m now down to stuff that I’ll either leave in Iraq (e.g. television & DVD player, mops & brooms, floor rugs), and two bags and a carry-on that I’ll be carrying with me on the flight home.
Yesterday was a big day, because I had to clear my CHU (containerized housing unit). Yesterday morning, I removed pretty much everything from my CHU that belonged to me, except for the desk and chair. Here’s what my CHU looked like before. I posted a welcome sign on the door, drawn by my daughter Judy:
My bed looked like this:
Another inside view:
My CHU was about a 12 foot square room. Not too bad, over all. I’m not sure if this will take, but here’s a movie of my CHU:
So after finishing final cleaning and removal of everything, I waited around for nearly two hours yesterday afternoon. Finally some extremely thin woman from Macedonia came, along with a Nepalese guy (both KBR contractors). They looked around. They made me throw out the trash bag in the trash can, and a stick that was in the window ledge. They made me sign a piece of paper saying that I was abandoning my desk and chair (which I was, I’d been unable to give these away even for free). They took my key, and then they cleared me.
That was how I gave up the place where I’ve been living since late November 2008. I don’t really miss it much. I’m now living in a trailer behind my office, which actually is more convenient, because it is 30 feet away from my office. I’m starting to get rid of stuff in earnest, so I’ll be able to come home within my limit of two bags and a carry-on. I’m lucky to have the legal office trailer to live in by myself! Everyone else is forced to live in a tent, with 8-12 people per tent and no privacy.
The end of the deployment is near. I’m starting to pass off duties to other people here at the office. I’m not sure when we will leave, and unfortunately I’m not allowed to give out dates and times of our departure. I don’t have that information anyway, so it’s not hard for me keep that secret.
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