Sunday, July 10, 2005

Freedom Rest Day One

Last night I convoyed back to Camp Liberty so I could catch a ride this morning to "The Green Zone" for a four day pass called Freedom Rest. I slept in my old room with a surprise new room mate. I guess I don't really have a room at Liberty anymore. We pulled out of Liberty this morning and convoyed to a resort on the Tigris river built by Saddam for his republican guard. This place is great. There are 2 pools, a gym, a music room, movie theatre, restaurant, you name it. The first thing we did was turn in our weapons and body armor. It was nice to get rid of them but sort of weird to walk around without a weapon. Every time I walk away from somewhere it feels like I'm forgetting something. They put us up in these little bungalows 6 guys to a room overlooking the two pools and a little outdoor section of the restaurant. I think it's sort of like a cruise though, you don't spend much time in the room. Next I did something I haven't done in the better part of a year. I took my uniform off and put on civilian clothes. Right now I'm trotting around in a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops. Who would have ever believed it. We took a short tour of the place before lunch. After the tour I headed up to the music room where a couple of guys were jamming and joined in. I played drums for a while and then switched to guitar. Someone donated a few drum sets, an electric and acoustic guitar, a bass and a few amps. The electric is an actual Gibson Les Paul (my personal favorite) and the amp is a Line 6 Spider II for anyone who cares. The point is that the stuff is actually pretty decent. After shaking the rust off of my drum chops and strumming a few melodious slabs of distorted guitar music I swaggered on out by the pool in my cool civilian duds to see what Saddam had waiting for us there. There's a regular spring board and two diving platforms at 5 and 10 meters respectively. I'm not sure why but there's also a little round pool a few feet deep with some slides. Looks like a kiddie pool. I guess Saddam was a real family type of guy. I think I'll wait until the brief at 1300 before I go swimming. Lunch was next. I ordered stir fry and they cooked it right there in front of me however I wanted it. This place is really cool. I think the thing that makes it so cool is that your in regular clothes and free to do whatever you want. They have a full size movie theatre so I think I'll catch a movie or two while I'm here. There's also a place they call "Vendor Alley". It's a row of little shops run by locals where you can buy anything from Muslim prayer rugs to $30 Nike shoes to fake Rolex watches. I'll have to check it out to see if anything strikes my fancy. All in all I can say I'm having a great time so far and I've only been here for a few hours. I'll post some pictures once I get a chance and I'll keep you updated on what I've done while at the glorious Freedom Rest Resort.


Blogger devildog6771 said...

And, to think his people lived in poverty while he lived the "life of Riley!"

Anyway, you enjoy you rest. After what you guys do and go through you deserve it. Thank you for your service. Be Safe!

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, what song did you share? Did you guys take turns leading or . . . I don't know "jam sessions". Anyway, that brought a teary smile of joy. I can't believe God could bring that to you in such a surreal setting. He sure has been looking out for you in ALL sorts of ways. I'm sure the Mr. might try and call to interrupt you at the most crucial point in the action movie you are watching. Today, during PD's sermon, PD was sharing why he picked the song he did for his cellphone . . . and so . . . the Mr. decided to call right then and there to see how it sounded. Fortunatly for the church, PD had it on silent. I could tell PD was a bit distracted but he held it together so I don't think anyone else noticed. Enjoy!!! CnH

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She lies! Ok, I did call, but it was only to see if he really paid $1.50 for an Hakuna Matata ring tone. Turns out he did.

The irony of you playing Rock and/or Roll in a palace that Saddam probably could not even describe now is thick. What are the odds that you would stummble upon guys jamming with the very guitar that you covet? Glad to see you were able to break out of the drum Hum Drum to play big finger lickin' slabs of fat licks or whatever. (I don't know "jam sessions.") I do know that your Gibson Les Nesman or whatever is waiting for you at home.

Enjoy your short time in luxury.

Fan of the 5 time Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys.

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment is directed to the Cowboys fan. I repent of my Raider loving ways and bow to superior superiority of said team. I can't wait for you to get back so we can climb Mt. Whitney.

Former Raiders Fan

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:50 PM  
Blogger justme88 said...

We sometimes take our military for granted. I wanted to thank you and those like you for the sacrifices you make for our country. Glad you could relax for alittle bit.

2:12 AM  

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